The marketer contemplates: Adidas vs. Nike; Mac vs. PC; live action video vs. animated video. Both mediums come packaged with heaps of advantages, but like anything, they’re both privy to downsides in certain areas. Here, we explore both the merits and drawbacks of live action and animated content.
What is more cost effective?
Animated and live action content can lie in a very similar price range: it just depends on what you want to achieve. The first price point of animation tends to be around the five thousand dollar range, whereas live action tends to start between eight and ten, as the medium usually requires more employees. However, it can be easier to pull together a live action video on the cheap: say, you can use your friends as actors, and borrow a coworker’s camera. On the other hand, animation demands a more specific and technologically knowledgeable skill set, and offers far less room for DIY opportunity than film does. If you don’t have any animation experience, you’ll have to outsource to an agency.
However, filmed video may deliver you with more unexpected costs and delays. The nature of shooting leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of hold ups – bad weather, faulty equipment, an actor throwing a hissy fit. And if, after filming, you want to change the script slightly, or the colour of the protagonist’s dress – chances are, you’ll have to reshoot. Which isn’t good news for your budget.
At every stage of the animation process, it’s possible to make adjustments, no matter how big or small – including, of course, any last minute changes after the video has already been completed. If you’re a little indecisive about exactly what you want your project to look like, animating your branded video might deliver you with greater peace of mind given the medium’s inherent flexibility. Plus, you’re much less likely to be unpleasantly surprised with unexpected costs.
One of the greatest things about animation is that the only limit is your imagination. Does your branded video need to feature a brutal battle between warring factions on an alien planet? Done. A horse in a Godzilla costume riding a tricycle? Easy. Animation allows for innumerable possibilities, and can easily accomplish visuals that would be infinitely more expensive and hugely and difficult – or impossible – to film in video.
What will have the fastest turnaround?
It depends on the sort of animation you’re after – a 2D 30 second explainer video can be completed in just a few weeks, whereas a 3D video game cinematic could take months – but generally speaking, animated videos tend to take longer to complete than live action videos. To film something as basic as a person walking across a room takes a matter of moments – but to animate the same thing will inevitably take longer.
While we’re on the topic of time, let’s talk about being with the times. Stylistically speaking, live action footage has the tendency to become outdated quite quickly. Trends in shooting come and go, and the wardrobe and makeup of your live action characters can make the age of your video show. Animation, on the other hand, is generally more slick and seamless, and not as obviously influenced by the fickle and ever-altering trends of the day – which means that it ages gracefully.
What do you want to communicate?
If you’re communicating something serious and sombre in tone, it could be best to choose live action video, as animation might come across as too ‘informal’ a medium. That said, if done well, animation can tackle serious issues with great compassion, sensitivity and nuance – check out this video we made in collaboration with Child Wise, an organisation founded to prevent child abuse and exploitation.
Although animation certainly inspires emotional reactions in viewers, a benefit of live action video is that it portrays human emotion in a clear, raw and instantly accessible way. We made this clip for My Vocation, an organisation that aims to help people find their true vocational calling. The video follows the journeys of three people who are unfulfilled in their jobs – and when, through using My Vocation, they finally find fulfillment in their careers, it’s hard not to share in the characters’ joy. Filming the clip in live action, with real people, means that the audience is able to instantly connect in an empathetic way.
Animation, on the other hand, is great for explaining more abstract concepts – such as insurance packages, university course structures, or the purpose and objectives of a charity, for example. When the descriptions of these concepts are paired with animation, they are far easier to understand, and more engaging to the viewer.
While engaging its audience, animation can also be great for brand recall: the style can be tailored to match your brand’s existing media, like company colours, or mascots. Even if your logo or business name doesn’t appear in every shot, an animated video will capture the look and feel of your brand more readily and easily than live action can, which will make your brand more identifiable by target markets.
Here at Jumbla, we are happy to help you with either live action or animation. So what are you waiting for?Start a project today.