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Marcus Farrar September 13th, 2002 07:56 AM

Animator prices

I have been getting heavy into animation lately and do not really know what other people are charging. When I was working in just After Effects things went pretty smooth. Now I have incorparated Lighwave and we are in a whole new ballpark. I will take any advice on how to begin calculating prices for graphic animations.


Keith Loh September 13th, 2002 10:28 AM

It's been awhile since I have animated professionally. The last job I did (Lightwave) was per piece so that probably doesn't help you.

Keep these factors in mind when charging.
- charge for consultation time (meetings, phone calls)
- charge for rendering (your computer is tied up)
- charge for media (tape, CD, storage)
- specify locked in and change periods so the client doesn't keep on coming back with changes beyond the paid period.

Adam Lawrence September 13th, 2002 12:35 PM

I usually charge per second (of animation) or by the hour...

This seems to be the industry standard everywhere.

I recently did a full 3d job for 7up, the video footage was 1.5 minutes long,
I charged 150 per second (of animation)....or 150 per hour (of labor)....

In the long run they all sum up to be the same...the standard second of animation runs to be about an hour of labor (10 seconds per average working day) do the math, or find out what the clients budget is and work with that,
you dont want to turn down work for budgets that dont suffice with what you charge.

Marcus Farrar September 13th, 2002 12:53 PM

This helps,

but how do you decide between those real deatailed animations compared to the easy ones. The final product will be the same length but it may only take a few hours to put together.


Was your 7 up spot a nattional promotion for the company. It seems like $150 a second is low for a big heavy hitter like 7up. When I think about it I would probaly do one for them free just be able to say I did a project for 7up :-)

Thanks for the imput.

Adam Lawrence September 13th, 2002 01:18 PM


No, it was an internal spot to introduce their "new product" to the national
corporations to be played at national presentations, which in turn may turn into a national TV spot in which we will re-do for those speciafications. However the budget for this was wasnt exactly a treasure. But yes i agree, it would be worth free work to do a national TV spot to get the recongition. This is the viable way to get expsoure being that i have done charity TV spots for PBS, which needless to say is a good opportunity.

Any type of animation work is worth top dollar. Anyone who knows anything about animation digital or traditional, knows the amount of work and time that goes into a small project. But the best thing to do especially for small clients is to find out the budget and work with it. If its too low for you likings,
try to step it up a bit, or work with them on minimalizing the project to fit the budget. Everyone wants more for less.

Today, the rise of desktop NLE, has diminsihed the demand
and value of professional animation and publishing by traditional buisness. Anyone can give anybody a video or basic animation using freeware and $1500 worth of equipment. The thing that some buisness reconize is the quality and professionalism of a skilled videographer or animator. Make sure
you are confident with your work, being that your price will evolve along with
your skill....

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