There are many advantages for a company to choose to advertise its products through 3D product animation. But why is it so expensive? Or isn't it as expensive as it seems? The truth is that many variables cause the value of a 3D project to increase or decrease, and addressing each of these variables is the objective of this article.
The first questions that a professional company or freelancer in this industry should ask if you're looking for a 3D product animation project budget will be:
- How long will the video be? 10, 15, 30, 60, 90 [...] seconds?
- Do you already have the product modeled in 3D?
- What will be the final resolution?
- What is the delivery time?
- Do you already have a reference to follow?
Each of these five items influences the final calculation, and, believe me, knowing how to optimize the responses in your favor can decrease the value of the project by more than 50%. Let us begin then, unraveling each of the points mentioned above.
High-quality 3D product animation takes a lot of time to generate. That is, even after animating the whole scene, there is the time it takes for the computer to calculate the images - which is the famous render. In case you don't know, to produce 1 second of video, an average of 30 frames are rendered. Each frame can take 1 to 5 minutes, at best.
So, to have 10 seconds of animation, we need to render 300 frames. Considering that each frame takes 5 minutes, we need 1,500 minutes, or 25 hours, to complete the process. There are projects in which it is possible to optimize an animation to achieve 30 seconds per frame. Still, we would need 2 and a half hours to finish.
So, you can see that a 60-second project demands much more than one of 30. Apart from the extra 30 seconds of animation, script, art direction and sound that are included. Therefore, if 30 seconds is enough to show what needs to be shown, there is no reason to extend the duration to 60 seconds.
The 3D model is the heart of animation. If you want to show your product, you need to have it modeled in digital format, so that it can be rendered. The most common formats are .CAD, most used by industrial engineers and designers and modeled in programs such as Autodesk Fusion 360, AutoCAD or Modo, and .OBJ, modeled in Maya, 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, etc.
If you already have the 3D model in your hands, whether CAD, OBJ or another compatible format, the cost will be reduced since the studio won't have to model it before working on the animation. If you only have a few photos of the product at hand, or a technical drawing with three-dimensional measurements, the modeling service is added to the project.
The value of modeling depends on the complexity of the object. They generally add 15 to 25% to the final value of the project.
Wherever there is a monitor, there is a resolution. Have you heard of SD, HD, Full HD, 4K, among other terms? They are names given to the most common resolutions. It is not the purpose of this article to delve into the technical part of resolutions, but just open any video on YouTube, click on the gear and switch between 144p and 1080p resolutions to see the huge difference in video quality.
That is not to say that the lower the resolution, the worse the image. The point is that when a 144p resolution is shown on a cell phone whose monitor resolution is, for example, 1080p, the image is generated very small (144p) and resized to fill the entire screen of the cell phone. That's why the quality drops.
If your goal with a 3D product animation is to run ads on phones, a resolution like Full HD (1920x1080) is enough. However, if your need is to present the product on the super screen of an event, it would be more recommended to have the video in high definition, such as 4K.
Naturally, the higher the resolution, the higher the pixel density and the longer the rendering time. If the rendering time increases, the deadline needs to be longer and the project cost certainly will be, as the machine will be active for longer rendering your project. Therefore, if you do not need a high resolution, choose a sufficient enough.
There is no mystery or technical side to be understood here. Like any other service, the longer the delivery time, the more easily your project can be produced and, therefore, the cost will be lower. Working on a 3D product animation with a tight deadline requires skill and optimization on the part of the studio, and for that reason, an urgency fee may be charged.
Always try to have a good margin of time for delivery, as this certainly influences the final quality as well. This period can be 7 to 15 days for smaller projects and 1 to 3 months for complex projects that involve many steps. Organizing is the first step toward good results.
Having other videos or materials that you liked to share with the studio is always good as well, since, instead of limiting creativity, it allows the idea to be attacked in the right direction. When you, the client, have no idea of the result you want, the responsibility to seek references, art direction, create mood boards, among other steps, is over the shoulders of the studio. Of course, any professional studio will be ready to meet this demand, however, the idea of this article is to help you cut costs.
If you already have an idea of the direction you want to take, do not hesitate to share the content so that everyone is aware of the desired result. "I'll know when I see it finished" is not a healthy position for any creative work, but for 3D product animations, specifically, it can be an expensive decision.
You can count on us
I have good news for you! If you need a 3D product animation and don't know where to find it, you can count on us to produce it within a timeframe and budget that meets your needs. We are a studio specialized in 3D product animations and we are ready to go full speed into your project.