If you’re trying to decide between creating an animated or live-action video for your next project, there are a multitude of factors to consider, and you don’t want to simply assume that one approach will automatically require more time or money than the other.
The truth is, all that depends on the nature of the project, the intended length, the resources that you and/or the video production people you’re working with have at your disposal, etc.
And as an NY / NJ video production company that’s created all kinds of videos in our time in the business, we have an idea of which approach better suits different kinds of projects. So, read on to figure out if you should take the live-action or animated approach to your next video.
Don’t assume you can save a lot of time either way.
With all the work required in live-action film and video, it’s not hard to see why so many people simply assume that taking the animated approach as opposed to having to set up an entire live set is a smart way to save some time.
Yes, finding the right locations, equipment, and actors and doing everything else associated with the production and post-production processes takes time, as does developing a script for a live-action piece and storyboarding the shoot. For more on that, check out this post, Film and Video Pre-Production Tips for Creating a Better Production and Better Project.
However, completing animated video content can take some time too, and often a good deal more than a live-action project. Even if you simply put the most important content and text on screen in an animated video to get your message across, the process still requires a decent amount of time to put together.
The point is, just because a live-action video production has a lot of moving parts like actors, equipment, and weather, you may still have a finished product sooner if you take that route. So, don’t incorrectly assume that making an animated video, even a simple one, will automatically save you time.
Think about the resources you have around you.
One way to start making the decision between creating a live-action or animated video a little easier is to sit down early on and think about all the resources that you and/or the video crew you’ve brought on board to help have to work with.
So, if you have people that can handle things like graphic design and video editing and you have tools like Adobe After Effects or other means of accomplishing the work in house, or the production people you’re working with have them, then an animated approach is completely possible.
If, on the other hand, you have a convenient location in mind for a live-action video, the right people to appear in it, ample time, and access to the right equipment or to people who have the right equipment, then a live-action video may be your best bet.
Then there’s the money to consider, and again, take it from us as longtime NJ and NY video production pros, you don’t want to make the mistake of assuming too much. One approach is not automatically cheaper than the other.
There are too many variables, such as your access to the tools and techniques required to get the job done, the complexity of the project, the time available, the costs of actors, equipment, props, etc. It also depends on how much of the work, if any, you’ll be doing in house and how much you’ll be reaching out for help with.
The point is, chances are that you, like most, don’t have the luxury of having the resources to make any kind of video you want. There are likely things that will be harder for you to get and execute than others, and determining what those things are as early on as possible can make your decision a lot easier.
Consider the content and intended audience.
While the time and resources you have available will make choosing between a live-action or animated video approach a lot easier, you also need to think about the nature of the project and the content you’re creating, as well as the people who will be viewing it.
For example, if your intention is to create some type of explainer video that needs to get some fairly complicated or abstract information across, it could be very difficult if not impossible to do so with a live-action video and an animated approach may be your only option.
If, on the other hand, your primary goal is to humanize yourself or your brand a bit or to simply create a genuine relationship with the viewer, a live-action video may be more suitable for the content. You get the idea.
From there, the expectations and preferences of the audience you’re trying to reach should obviously factor heavily into your decision. After all, if they seem to strongly dislike one and not the other, then the decision’s been made for you.
And whether you use video analytics, do some competitive analysis, or simply ask, there are plenty of ways to find out which kind of video your target audience would likely prefer. No matter how you do it, though, it’s worth the effort, and for some tips on that, check out this post from Moovly, How to define your audience in 4 unique ways for a winning video marketing campaign.
Weigh all factors and make the best decision.
As you can see, deciding between making an animated or live-action video for your next project isn’t always an easy one. There are a lot of variables to consider and you don’t want to assume too much about either approach.
They can both take time, depending on how complicated your idea is, although animated videos tend to take longer to be completed. They also both require certain resources, which is why sitting down early on in the process to determine what you and/or the video production company you’re working with have available to you can make the choice a lot easier.
You also need to carefully consider the nature of the content you’re creating and message you’re trying to send as well as the preferences of your intended audience. From there, it’s all about weighing out all these factors and making the best decision for your project and audience. Good luck!
About KVibe Productions: A full-service film & video production company in NJ / NY, KVibe can handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a corporate video production, a commercial, a feature film, etc., KVibe creates to inspire.