Animation vs Live Action. Which style is better?

animation or live action video which one is best

You’ve been thinking of creating an explainer or demo video for your company. Whether you’re trying to do it on your own or hiring someone to make your video, one of the first choices you need to make is choosing between animation and live action.

Which is a better fit for your company?

Both options provide a ton of value and in this post I will guide you in the proper direction so you’re able to create an amazing video in the right style.

The Cost

Live action is typically more expensive than animation.

If somebody is quoting you for a live action video less than for an animated video than better double-check the production quality.

With an actual production team and done from top to bottom a good live action video will cost you typically in the range of $15,000 – $50,000 or more.


Well think of all the equipment, staff (actors, a casting director, a film director on the site…), the insurance for these people, location, postproduction, editing software etc.

In the previous post (HERE), I gave a total breakdown of the process and how much you’d pay for an animated video ($3,000-$15,000).

Both actually have in common the script and storyboard cost.

But instead of paying the casting crew you will have voice actors.

However they’re a whole lot cheaper.

The fixed cost for animation is far less than for live action.

An animated explainer video for $10k is going to be much better than a live action one for $10k. It’s going to be more polished and more professional.

However you shouldn’t discard live action right away, there are more factors to consider.

The Time Involved

animation or live_action_video_which one is better

The pre-production with planning takes a lot of time for a live action video.

But once you got that down, a lot of times it can be done in less time than animation.

The shoot can take a day or two. After that your edit and post-production can be made in a matter of days.

In total we’re talking about 4-5 weeks for a live action explainer vide versus 6-8 weeks for an animated explainer video, depending on the quality.

Flexibility and Making Changes

Animation is a lot easier to edit than live action.

Meaning if you want to change something after the production in a live action video reshooting is expensive and booking the same crew and talent, putting the same setup together is really difficult.

With animation you can perform last-minute changes more easily. It’s way more flexible and a better option for when your product or service is always changing and evolving (small businesses and startups).

By going with an animated explainer video, you’re also not bound to the limit of physics.

With animation you can explain abstract concepts and showcase different scenarios easily.

For example like a scene on the moon.

Standing Out From the Crowd

Difficult to tell but the high quality animation stands usually from the crowd more than live action.

Simply because live action just so much around.

If you pull it off with an animation it has a different kind of resonance.

Are there some disadvantages of animation compared to live action?

For software products animation is good, but physical products are difficult to recreate through animation.

Showing it in real life would be better.

Also sometimes it can be tricky to sell a human story through animation than through live action.

A live action video is more likely to emote, connect, simply because it’s something different watching a human face react.

It can be done with character based animation and some techniques, it’s just a bit trickier.



In the end, it’s your call.

It’s up to you to decide which fits in best with your brand, strategy and needs.

Yes, live action however can ad personality more easily. But ask yourself if this is the most essential part of your video.

It depends what message you want to get across to your audience and on the type of your product/service.

We’ve seen although it involves a bit more time, animation is definitely cheaper when aiming for quality. Especially when trying to make post-production changes to the video it can be more cost effective.

Animated explainer videos are more evergreen and flexibility is their number one advantage.

If an animated explainer video is a better fit for your company and want a unique story for your company, I suggest you give us a shout at