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How Long Does It Take To Produce A Custom Animated Explainer Video

Sep 23, 2022 6:50:07 AM

An animated explainer video is a great way to communicate complex messages.

It works well for marketing technology products, including demos and other business purposes.

But not all explainer videos are alike, and neither are the timelines for creating them.

Let's try to understand the factors behind the same.

Factors That Impact The Video Production Time

Several factors influence the production time for an animated explainer video.

There are mainly 5 production stages: script, storyboard, voiceover, graphics, and animation.

It’s essential to understand the time implications for each of the stages:

1. Script

When writing a script for an explainer video, the focus is on simplifying the message.

You must understand the concept to break it down for the audience.

Topics about technology and healthcare can get very complex.

Based on our experience, it takes around 2-4 business days for a 90-120 second video.

Please look at this example from Fibrogen below, which I would consider a complex script:

 

The “whiteboard” style of animation is simple and easy to follow. As a bonus, it’s also a rather economical option.

As the name implies, it’s a style reminiscent of a whiteboard lecture and brings a natural feel.

It’s also deceptively simple, so production costs are saved without compromising the quality of your presentation.

2. Storyboard & Graphics

The sketched version of your video and animation style is the defining factor for its timeline.

For example, infographic videos are easy to sketch and design.

But when it comes to character animation, you have to design the characters and their respective backgrounds.

And it gets more complex if you plan 3D or cel animation for your explainer video.

We also have an additional animatics stage for the latter styles to plan better.

It generally takes 8-16 business days to complete the storyboard and graphics.

Infographic Video Storyboard & Graphics

 

Minimalism is all about saying more with less, ideally as little as possible.

When done right, you end up with a beautifully clean look and feel.

That was our aim with the video we made for McAfee’s MVision platform.

It’s deceptively simple looking, but the effect is powerful and memorable.

Character Animation Storyboard & Graphics

 

The great thing about animation is that there is arguably no other format that can break down, simplify and explain complex information, all without losing the finer important details at the same time.

And our video for Sponsorium is a great example of that.

There was a lot to cover.

We needed to break down the information in a way the viewer could understand it, stay interested, and remember it long afterward.

So, we crafted a script that struck the balance between simplifying the main points and going into enough detail to bring the information home properly.

And we paired that script with clever, dynamic animation and visuals to really bring those words to life.

3. Voiceover

This is the quickest of all the stages for producing your explainer video.

Once the storyboard is approved, a VO artist is chosen based on the tone of the scripted voiceover. Instructions are then defined and sent to the artist.

So if there are multiple characters with a conversational tone that requires voice acting takes more time.

For example, the video below would take around 2 business days to complete and for a simple project with one voiceover, a single business day is enough.

 

Here’s an animated video we created for the non-profit organization Kaboom.

The early days of the Coronavirus pandemic were pretty turbulent and unprecedented.

And the disruption was especially hard on kids.

So what better way to speak to them and answer their questions and fears, than through cartoon animation? 

We used bright, friendly colors and familiar, comforting cartoony graphics to grab their attention and tell kids everywhere a short story that would calm their worries and answer their many questions.

Often, the best way to deliver a lesson is to disguise it within a captivating story.

4. Animation

This is the last stage of video production and is mostly the time-consuming one.

Depending upon the complexity of animation, budgeted hours are allocated at this stage.

Generally, character animation is the most complex of all when it comes to 2D explainer videos.

It takes around 8-16 business days of effort to complete animation and music with perfection.

 

Oftentimes, a client will ask the question of whether their story needs to speak directly to a specific kind of person, or whether it should appeal to a broad audience where anyone can understand it.

The truth is, you can do both. 

For this video for SUSE LLC, our primary character is a plucky IT expert (the specific) but he’s worried about his career and thinking about his future (the universal, where even those outside the IT profession can relate to, and understand).

Tips To Save Time When Making A Custom Animated Explainer Video

If you're looking to save some time when making an explainer video, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

  1. Follow a story structure while writing the explainer video script to smoothen the production process.

  2. Plan your storyboard in detail with backgrounds, characters, transitions, etc. for the team to work quickly without unwanted to and fro.

  3. Minimize and consolidate your feedback for the video team.

  4. Minimize the use of colors and use the required graphics resolution for the animation team.

    Preferably use vector-based graphics and have a defined color palette focusing on brand colors majorly.

  5. You can also use stock graphics from websites like istockphoto as per your storyboard to reduce your efforts.

  6. Use maximum plugins for animation, and minimize the use of layers to keep the project file size small to reduce the rendering time.

You can use SFX and royalty-free music from websites like audiojungle.

Best Explainer Videos Examples with Detailed Timelines

Here at Broadcast2World, we categorize our videos in three categories namely growth, premium, and flick in the order of complexity.

Depending upon the use case and budget, clients select the package.

Let’s look at some examples package-wise with respective timelines:

1. Growth Package: We mainly produce custom whiteboard and flat infographic videos in this package.

On average, it takes around 4-6 weeks to deliver the examples below with efforts of 100-150 hours.

TCB - Whiteboard Animation

 

The whiteboard style of animation in this video for TCB, a favorite with many clients of ours, takes “show, don’t tell” to a whole other level.

It’s engaging to watch, but also relatively simple to create.

So it’s a fantastic option for the right needs and tight budgets, without looking as though you compromised on quality.


Comviva - Infographics Animation


 

 

A good animated video isn’t just a script paired with random visuals and moving images.

Like a chef blending the right ingredients, a skilled team will combine a clever script with creative animation that underscores and reinforces the voiceover.

It’s a one-two punch where the end result is a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

See for yourself in this video we made for Comviva MC iCodes Infinity!

2. Premium Package: We mainly produce custom characters, 2.5D infographics, and mixed media animation in this package.

On average, it takes around 6-8 weeks to deliver the examples below with efforts ranging from 160-250 hours.


M&M - Character Animation

 

Testimonial videos are where real customers share their positive experiences with a client.

It’s a simple but powerful way for a company to gain trust and establish its reputation and image quickly.

This is mainly because it doesn’t feel “sales-y” like someone is aggressively trying to make them buy something.

But rather it’s more like a customer review, where consumers feel like other fellow consumers are sharing their experiences with them.

So we crafted this animated testimonial video where we told the stories of a few customers and how M&M Financial Consulting saved the day for them.

It not only humanizes and personalizes the company, but the testimonials are highly effective and build a strong sense of trust with the viewer.

3. Flick Package: We mainly produce custom 2.5D Character Animation and 3D Motion Graphics in this package.

On average, it takes around 8-12 weeks to deliver the examples below with efforts of 300-450 hours.

Omnivore - 2.5D Character Animation

 

 

How can the business world deal with the many impending effects of climate change?

Right away, this is a complex topic with so much to cover.

How can we sum it all up in barely two minutes? 

The answer, as always, is to use the power of visual storytelling.

By narrating a simple story in images, combined with a script that breaks down the main points that we want the audience to remember.

The visuals in this animated video for Omnivore bring a here-and-now real-world realism to an otherwise complex issue that affects the globe in too many ways to list.

 

 Mixed media is just what it sounds like: taking different styles and blending them together.

For this video for Siemens, we blended live footage with both 3D and 2D animation, both realistic and stylized.

Why?

Not just for the gimmick of it, but to reinforce the message that the online and the digital realm are blending with and enhancing the real offline world, in ways people are yet to realize and appreciate.

Need more examples? Check out our 10 best explainer videos blog!

Conclusion

We all understand that making an explainer video is a big commitment and essential for driving maximum ROI for your business.

So we must plan it well and not rush the process.

On average 4-6 weeks is a reasonable amount of time for making your custom animated explainer video.

And if you need any assistance meanwhile in the process, please give a shoutout to our explainer video marketing strategists anytime :)

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