Animation Vs. Live Action: Which is Better for Your Business Video

July 26, 2022

All video marketers are in constant debate. Which do you prefer, animated videos or live-action?

If you came into this expecting a simple answer, there isn't one. There is no right or wrong answer. Each has its pros and cons.

Video has become a powerful medium for reaching an audience. The type of audience you are trying to reach will determine whether live-action or animation is preferred.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses. It all depends on your content's purpose and what your audience wants to learn.

Let's take a look.

Animated vs. Live action videos

Pros in Animated Video Content

  • Informative Video Content:

Animation video content has several benefits. It condenses information into manageable chunks. Animation is a great way to simplify complex concepts and make them more understandable. This is especially important if you have a lot of data.

In addition, it allows you to create visually appealing charts and graphs as creative and imaginative as you wish. As they are disarmed and actively listening to you, this will increase audience engagement.

  • Comprehensible & Trendy:

Modern technology-based businesses are turning to animated explainer videos for a reason. Animated videos can easily explain complex ideas quickly and engagingly. Animations allow potential customers to understand the workings of their products and services. This is something that can be done in a live-action video, only it’s a bit limited depending on your budget.

  • Longevity in Video Marketing

It is very easy to edit. You can make any last-minute changes you want without affecting your time. You can modify any graphic to your liking and create animated videos that reflect your brand. These quick updates can also be a benefit in the long term.

Animated Video Content Cons

  • Time-Consuming video production

It can take 5 to 10 weeks to create animated videos depending on their complexity and pre-production time. Animation is not the best option if time is tight. 

There are many aspects to consider before you begin creating. Animation content requires more detailed pre-production plans. This will ensure that you and your creators understand what you want from your animated content.

  • Impersonal video Content

However, animated video content lacks the human touch. Animation might not be a good choice if you promote physical products or services. You may want to send this specific message to your target audience.

Live-Action Videos Pros

  • Shows How Things Work in Real Life

You can also see the product in action. You should allow your customers to see the product in action, regardless of whether you are selling shoes or food.

  • Quicker Production

Live-action video is much faster than animation because it takes less time to record and shoot. Every detail in animation is created from scratch and is more complex than live-action. You have everything you need to shoot live-action, including props or people.

  • Accessibility in Video Production

Sometimes, you don't need to use expensive and sophisticated equipment to make a high-quality live-action video. A mobile phone camera can capture video on the go, even if your project requires minimal casting and apparatus. It all depends on your project's scope, but you can still use simple technological resources practical every day if you have limited money and time.

Live Action Video Content Cons

  • Logistics in Video Production

Many people are involved in making your video content come to life. Each aspect of your video will have a cost. The process can be even more complicated if you hire a lot of cast and crew. It can be stressful to find all these people. Uncertain where to start can cause confusion and inconsistency regarding the direction of your video. That’s why going straight to a dedicated video production company is best to achieve optimal results and reduce your headache.

  • Editing Video Content

Editing live-action videos is difficult if you decide last minute to change things around. You will need to reshoot all footage that has been gathered if you have an additional scene or want to edit some of the dialogue. All cast and crew would need to meet up at short notice, which will increase you expenses. That is why the pre-production stage is super important to ensure you have agreed upon exactly what you want to capture.

Which style is better for my business?

We recommend speaking with a professional to learn more. 

Live action is the best option if you are trying to show how your product works in real life. Let's say you want to show the technology or mechanism of your product. For this, you will need animation. It's possible to use both animation and live-action in one video. Video production companies have many tricks to help you get a better result and save money.

Focus on the best format for you by asking these questions:

  • What message do I want to convey?

Many companies use animation to communicate a more conceptual or abstract message. Animation and illustration can make it easier for viewers to comprehend your product or service if they are not familiar with it.

  • Do I need a human element?

Live action is the best choice for the closest personal connection. Animation can humanize your brand, but not like videos featuring actual employees, customers, and other stakeholders explaining what they love most about your company.

  • How frequently will I have to update the clip?

An animation is a good option if your message changes frequently or needs to be updated regularly. Although it is possible to update live-action videos, it’s not as easy. You will need to gather your original cast and the sound crew and edit the final product for what is most likely a minor change. It can be cheaper to update animation after it is already produced.

  • How fast do I need the video?

Live-action is a good option if you urgently need a video. These are easier to deliver and have a shorter production time. Animation requires time consuming variables, such as design, rigging, rendering and animating . Animation video almost entirely depends on a motion graphic designer using digital tools, which can be deceiving and make you think it takes less time to create. Live-action, although there are more people to bring together, can actually take less time to create and deliver.

Budget Planning

Many people believe that animated explainer videos are cheaper than live-action. 

You can create a great animated video for as low as 10k, and a live-action video costs only 15k.

It all depends on your story and how you tell it. We recommend spending between $3500usd and $7000usd on an explainer video about your online startup. This will ensure that you get a high-quality product from a reliable company.

It is challenging to plan the budget for a live-action business or explainer film. Getting a single person in front of a camera and doing a product demonstration is easy. But for bigger productions you'll need:

  • Actors
  • Crew (cameras, sound, lighting, and director)
  • Stylists for hair and makeup
  • Sets
  • Props
  • Locations (and permits)
  • Catering

What do I need to make a live-action video?

Costs can rise in complex locations or countries. Hire an agency and budget at least 50k. Even if you make a video at home, you need to invest in lighting and backgrounds that aren't too good. 

If you're doing it yourself, this could run into the thousands. Your script should be great. People think they can write great scripts about their business. However, it is rare to find scripts that have been written already and do not require any editing.


What to do if both live action and animation work great for your business?

Consider your video goals. You should choose animated videos if you are creating an explainer video. Google and other large companies do this. 

Why spend more money? You can use animation to test different messages and ideas.

Is it faster to produce live-action or animation?

Sometimes live action is easier to produce. It's more challenging to create a concept. You need to have a strong hook that grabs people for the first 10 seconds of the video to make them want to see the whole thing. Even if you are merely demonstrating a product, it could be filmed in 1-3 days, and the process from pre to post-production could be as little as 4 weeks

Which style is easier to make revisions with?

Animation is the most popular. When you shoot live-action, you use what you have recorded. If you require any new material, you will need to go through the whole production process again. Animation is highly flexible, and revisions are easier. However, if you hire an experienced video agency, they will know to shoot some alternate shots of certain parts of the video to give the edit some options, reducing your need for reshoots.

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