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Picture this. Through one way or another, you determine an animation explainer video is what your business needs. You have an upcoming launch it would be perfect for in just a few short weeks. Plenty of time! You get in touch, the price is right…all is going to plan but then you hear it’s going to take longer than you anticipated…a lot longer! In the modern, fast-paced, give me it now reality we live in, how on earth can something take that long?

Join us as we explore 4 important reasons why animation takes so long to create…and why it should!

We hope this article will give you more insight into the process and provide you with things to consider when you embark on your next project. 

General Timeframe for making an animation

As a reference benchmark for this article, we’re referring to your standard bespoke, 2D animation explainer video. The creation time for this is 4-8 weeks, with 6 weeks as the average. I know it would be easier if I could give you the exact length of time that it takes to create an animation video, but unfortunately, I can’t because there are so many variables (i.e. type of animation 2D or 3D, workflow approval process, length of the video, number of videos etc). 

Now let’s get into the 4 important reasons why animation takes so long to create (and why it should)! 

Reason #1 Getting your message right takes time

Coming up with and or fine-tuning your message is one of the most critical steps involved in creating an animation video. No matter how good the animation, if the messaging is all wrong it’s not going to make as much of an impact. To avoid this from happening at all costs, an appropriate amount of time must be spent on this stage of the animation. 

This process could take a few days or up to 2 weeks in some cases especially if the client has multiple decision-makers or are busy.

Reason #2 Labour Intensive

Our process can be summarised as follows:

  • Concept Stage: working on the script and story.
  • Design Stage: storyboard and concept art.
  • Audio Stage: voiceover, music and animatic.
  • Production Stage: animation (bringing the story to life).

Each stage involves the creation of something for you to approve; the script, a storyboard, the concept art… the list goes on. 

The reality is, a storyboard doesn’t take one hour to create, it takes one to two full days. Production takes days if not weeks of somebody sitting there laboriously piecing the scenes together and bringing the story to life.

This applies to each asset we handover for feedback.

Reason #3 Multiple Touchpoints

As you can see from the aforementioned process outline, each stage not only involves time-consuming creativity, it also includes a lot of iterations and feedback.

Throughout our production process, we have client touchpoints where we seek your feedback, and or gain confirmation on a certain matter before we proceed. It is easily omitted from the mind of our client that the longer it takes for them to respond back to our e-mail, the longer it is going to take for us to finish your animation. There is only so much that we can work on without your “Go Ahead”.

***More on touch points and feedback!***

Not including sales, touchpoints from launch to closure is a MINIMUM of 9 touchpoints, where we share something with you for feedback or update you on what to expect.

In our years of experience, we have never had a project go that smoothly and we wouldn’t want it too, because that means you aren’t bringing your own creativity and opinions to the table.

If we add in two rounds of feedback to every stage of production, this brings the total touchpoints up to 17. Each touchpoint usually takes around one working day on the client-side for them to get back to us (can take longer sometimes).

This means, the reality is a project has roughly 17 days, where all we are doing is communicating or waiting for the client. Whilst we can move things along on our side in some areas, we can’t progress onto the next stage without the client first approving where we are at.

Reason #4 Creating content you are proud of

We genuinely want to create an animation that you are happy and proud of.

We want to bring our expertise to the table to provide you with the highest quality animation for your budget, but if you come to us with a very short deadline this can have negative effects on the project.

The focus is entirely on getting you the best animation, in time for that deadline

The reality is, that may not be the best animation. 

As you are forced to rush decisions, we don’t have as much time to offer our expertise or wisdom. We will offer suggestions to improve the animation, but only if they can be achieved within the timeframe (or give you the option to extend if required).

As an example, if you asked a decorator to paint your bedroom and you asked for it to be done in half the time….he’ll do a good job, he’ll meet the deadline, but you know there may be drips on the floor, paint on the skirting boards or the occasional patches here and there.

Each coat of paint takes time, just like each round of revisions, but each coat gets you closer to a solid, more refined finish.

Summary: Why animation takes so long to create?

If you are going to invest in making an animation explainer video, we really recommend that you set aside 4-8 weeks for it to be made. Giving the appropriate amount of time and effort into each production pipeline will allow you to really be involved in the creative process and get the animation video that you really had in mind or even better. 

We hope this article was informative and helpful. If you are considering animation in 2021, now is a great time to start planning, to make sure you can get what you need with plenty of time to spare!

-A bit about us-

At Motion Manor we are passionate about creating seriously persuasive animation, helping your audience understand why they should buy from you.

-Our Vision-

We believe in leaving the world a better place than we found it. We will create a positive social impact, by creating animated content that focuses on the messages that matter.