Art: Calling all PROFESSIONAL Animators; It's Q&A time, if you please.

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  1. #1
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    Calling all PROFESSIONAL Animators; It's Q&A time, if you please.

    I need a quick run down of the necessary tools, amount of people and expenses to create a 5 minute (minimum) to 15 minute (maximum) PROFESSIONAL 2D animation(s). I heard a guy once said he could outsource a 30 minute cartoon for $1,000, but I want some American talent and I am going to jump in the middle to learn along side professionals. (or at the very least look over their shoulders with an unnerving twitch) My estimate, assuming I already have the tools (which I'm sure I don't) is about $5,000 to get what I want.

    How many people would a project like this take? (I know it's vague, but try to think 10 minutes of a Disney quality movie or something) Art direction, choreographers, backgrounds, animators, etc?

    To really create a dynamic, professional animation to my desire, how long would this process take to allow for maximum creativity breathing space but being smart with resources and time?

    What kinds of tools will I need in the way of physical things like paper pencils and such but also in electronics? If professional equipment is simply too much to purchase, are animators typically comfortable with working in Flash, Photoshop, etc? to produce a HIGH QUALITY production?

    Would this be something that animators usually demand money from a relatively small project or is this something where they will pitch in for a portfolio reasons? Perhaps a middle ground so I'm not completely stripped of my cash?

    Does anyone know of a lawyer or some kind of firm I could contact to get the details on copyright information on themes, characters, settings, names and logos?

    I understand how vague this is (for personal reasons) but I don't need exact numbers, just some ball park figures, please. Sometimes your dreams... they need planning.

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  3. #2
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    I'm no professional animator but according to a soundbite from Bill Plympton (who I completely recommend if you are going into indie animation) the estimates, if understood what he said correctly are as follows:


    Colorists/Shaders ($30,000)
    Video Editor ($15,000)
    Sound guy ($15,000)
    Music (about $500 a song on the cheap, major songs easily $1000)
    Lab/Transfer Fees ($35,000)

    If you are the:

    Director
    Producer
    Storyboardist
    Character Designer
    Animator

    then you don't have to worry about "paying" for that service, but if you hire those one by one you are looking at about $600,000, probably more.

    All in all about a million bucks to get everything done very professional set to premiere in festivals around the world.

    This is really is an interesting question though, in that, it compliments Ralph Bakshi's now famous "surviving in tough times" address (in which he actually does mention Bill Plympton). This however, is a really complex discussion, that, I wouldn't even know where to begin (being naive as I am).

    Now, according to Ralph Bakshi, you can get the whole production done for $500,000 and with four people. Last Bill Plympton video I saw, I counted about seven people who did the whole thing and a couple more for the more complex detailing like transferring, video editing, sound editing.

    My personal naive opinion, it can be done for way less than that, it just takes a helluva lot of dedication. Oh, and...those estimates were for about three years of work and about 10 minutes in film duration.

    Good luck! Animation needs more diversity.

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  4. #3
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    .........

    Do we really think it will take a hundo-thousand bucks to make 10 minutes of 2D animation, even with today's tech? What do you think could be accomplished with Photoshop and Flash as far as cost cuts? I'm assuming a lot here to be perfectly honest. I don't have a studio to my name nor the budge to shell out a 100 grand. (Well, I'm sure I could cough up the candy bar, but I don't think that will win too many over, will it?)

    If it's even 1/2 of that, it's obvious I'm going to have to make some good friends within those fields of expertise, huh?

    It seems to me that the 'sound guy' and the 'music guy' can be merged together and the video editor can phase in somewhere with the artist(s). I won't need a lab fee because this is... well something different, so nothing needs to transfer anywhere. I just need the end product to be essentially a flash file or whatever kind of digital file is best. (I'm assuming Flash that is...) given the nature of what I'm trying to accomplish a think a few roles will be eliminated given your "If you were the "blank" list.

    Thank you very much, kind sir or madam, I appreciate your time given to me.



    *sigh* Who said anything worth doing would be easy, Flop? No one, that's who.

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  5. #4
    well look, i've been working as a professional 2d/flash animator for the last 9 years and heres the deal. I always hear from people that say this: "I want a really nice professional 2d animation around 5 to 15 minutes, how much?"
    Then when they hear that it costs money, like serious money they start trying to call shennanigans and say ,"well even with today's technology?"
    The answer is a resounding YES you jack ball. Animation takes time and time takes money. Furthermore, you said you wanted a decent chunk of animation! If someone says, "hey mow much would 5 minutes of crap flash animation cost?" im sure the answer would be much lower, but people don't want crap animation. They want excellence for pennies. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING excellent is cheap. Also, 5 to 15 minutes is a huge gap. Narrow it down if you want an accurate figure. you're talking about 100% cost to 300% cost. Now, if someone came to me and asked how much it would cost ME to produce 5 minutes of quality animation from script to screen, I'd have to hire a couple guys to finish it in a decent amount of time. You'd probably be looking at around $40,000 US.
    This is pretty conservative too because i'd be doing most of the work up to the animation stage. You figure it would take 4 guys working full time on this to finish it in about 2 months. Thats about 10000 dollars per person for 2 months of work, thats not price gouging, thats just what it costs. If thats too much, go get some interns at an art school and cross your fingers.

    Last edited by DanielBodinof; April 29th, 2009 at 01:52 AM.
    -start a revolution.

    AnimationSamurai.com
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  6. #5
    And No, no decent animator is going to create 5-15 minutes of disney quality animation free of charge just so he can use it "for his portfolio".

    -start a revolution.

    AnimationSamurai.com
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  7. #6
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    Cool, well my figure I think is about to be about 8 minutes. I guess this is one of those things which is going to have to be spread out over a longer period of time to cut costs and just... trying to find ways to eliminate dollars here and there because as cool as it'd be to produce 10 minutes in 1 month, I can't afford it. I've never done a full fledge like... quality production so I was sort of out of the loop there. I trust your judgment, Daniel. Thank you as well.

    Again, this isn't going to TV or the Movies or even entering a competition. Consider it more of a personal thing... until I make a move with it... if that makes sense.

    Edit: It doesn't have to be made in Flash, I just assumed given Flash's nature (which I'm quite familiar with if I do say so myself) it would be an ideal program to pull all your frames together.

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  8. #7
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    Daniel got this for sure... but it also depends on the subject matter of the short. If your having people running around and kickin ass it's going to take a lot more time and money than some people doing more mundane stuff with awesome dialogue. I'm an animation major, so I'm only barely learning how hard and time consuming it is to do 2d animation. And it takes a LOT of time for quality visuals.

    Time = Money = Quality

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  9. #8
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    Thanks, anibawl. Everyone's input is greatly appreciated.

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  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DanielBodinof View Post
    well look, i've been working as a professional 2d/flash animator for the last 9 years and heres the deal. I always hear from people that say this: "I want a really nice professional 2d animation around 5 to 15 minutes, how much?"
    Then when they hear that it costs money, like serious money they start trying to call shennanigans and say ,"well even with today's technology?"
    The answer is a resounding YES you jack ball. Animation takes time and time takes money. Furthermore, you said you wanted a decent chunk of animation! If someone says, "hey mow much would 5 minutes of crap flash animation cost?" im sure the answer would be much lower, but people don't want crap animation. They want excellence for pennies. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING excellent is cheap. Also, 5 to 15 minutes is a huge gap. Narrow it down if you want an accurate figure. you're talking about 100% cost to 300% cost. Now, if someone came to me and asked how much it would cost ME to produce 5 minutes of quality animation from script to screen, I'd have to hire a couple guys to finish it in a decent amount of time. You'd probably be looking at around $40,000 US.
    This is pretty conservative too because i'd be doing most of the work up to the animation stage. You figure it would take 4 guys working full time on this to finish it in about 2 months. Thats about 10000 dollars per person for 2 months of work, thats not price gouging, thats just what it costs. If thats too much, go get some interns at an art school and cross your fingers.
    wow
    so you're animator , cool
    nice thread, i'm a young animator but dont know how i can earn with my 2d animations skills.
    i'd like to know where to find some "clients" for 2d animation?
    and i agree you, nice animation should cost a lot ! it's pretty hard to animate somethin, even a walk cycle!

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  11. #10
    Well, you make a demo reel, and then you send the link to every damn flash animation studio in the world and you ask them to give you some freelance. Thats how you get clients!

    -start a revolution.

    AnimationSamurai.com
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  12. #11
    Ok lool
    thanx for the info!
    you mean "give some freelance work"?
    sorry for my english lol

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  13. #12
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    So how much would it cost to make an animated movie with the quality of The Iron Giant nowdays? (2D with some 3D elements)

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  14. #13
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    Those really expensive, beautiful looking movies are minimum $500,000.

    I would like to show you guys my animation final for my beginning 2D class, but because it has O'Fortuna I can't find a place to host it Any idea's?

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  15. #14
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    Animated movies are expensive because the labor is expensive. Good animators don't work for pennies, so good work doesn't come cheap. Iron Giant quality.. made in the US is gonna be about a million dollars a minute. The Technology doesn't make animation take any less time.. it just makes the pain in the ass parts a bit less painless some of the time. My best advise for figuring out the cost of something you want to make is to find something similar online somewhere.. similar in length and style.. and ask the creator how much it would cost to make another one.

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  16. #15
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    Is outsourcing for a feature movie a good idea? Little Nemo was done in Japan and it cost 35 mil back in 1989 (and it took years of struggle to finish one).

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  17. #16
    outsourcing is usually not the best plan, although it is always the cheaper plan.

    $5000 will possibly buy 15-30 secs of Disney feature quality animation, maybe less.

    For that budget, spongebob squarepants's snappish key-to-key animation style might be more reasonable.

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