How long does it take to animate an explainer video?

A good animated explainer video cannot be created in one day. How much time does it take? Read on the time animation and find the answer.

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Image by SAM JI

Today, SaaS, PaaS, startups, and IT companies struggle to strengthen their online presence and find the most effective ways to surpass the competitors. Using videos results in substantial growth in marketing: businesses notice a 76% increase in traffic. How long does it take to animate an episode?

From the first glance, it seems that a video is a magic tool that helps to leap into a new-style business. But how long does it take to animate static images that you’ve got used to publish on your website? Of course, it does not happen in a minute. As a explainer video company we understand how much video requires time and resources, and if you are planning to do it on your own; so get ready to expand your team.

Even though you’ve probably never worked on creating and animating an explainer video, this article will give you the answer to the question, ‘How long does it take to animate 1 minute?’ We will discuss standard timeline, step-by-step development, strategy, concept art, character design, animation design, music, and sound effects. We hope this information will help you create the best-ever explainer video!

The Standard Timeline

Explainer Video we at Fireart Studio created for Just Media

In general, the standard timeline for creating an explainer video is about 6 weeks. However, it is not a full answer to the question ‘How long does it take to make an animation?’ The timeline will mainly depend on the length of the video. Obviously, it takes less time to create a 15-second video than a 2-minute video. The longer the video is, the more time the production requires.

Also, the process of video creation consists of several important steps. Each step requires spending some time and cannot be omitted. If one of the steps takes more or less time, the general timeline may change.

Step by step

How long does a movie take to make? So what are the basic steps to create an explainer video? The preparatory stages are:


At this step, the company defines the goals of the video. And if the company works with contractors, answers to all questions come in handy when creating a video. It gives a comprehensive idea about what to cover in the explainer video. Here’s an animation design brief sample:

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According to Interaction Design Foundation, ‘brainstorming is a method design teams use to generate ideas to solve clearly defined design problems.’ In our case, the problem is a video. The whole team is working on generating ideas: some of them may be good, some bad. But at the end of the process, the key concept is born to be turned into a script. Here’s a character brainstorming sample:

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Taken from Tumblr

Writing a script

Narration must be coherent and cohesive, and script helps to achieve that. The idea, the dialogues, the development of the characters – we put everything in a script to make it interesting to the viewers.

  • Each of these starting steps takes up to 6 days.

They help to create a foundation for the whole video. As a rule, after dealing with them, it is possible to give a clearer estimation of how long does it take to make a 2d animated movie.

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Found on Google


Then we go with a storyboard. Its’ a visual representation of the shot-by-shot progression of your video. Each shot is represented by a square with artwork or photograph, along with comments describing what’s happening in the scene and what is being stated in the script at that time.

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Amazing storyboards for Veriti
  • Each of these takes up to 7-14 days.


The method of creating moving images in a three-dimensional (3D) environment gives the impression that these digital things are moving through a 3D space. This is known as unity 3D animation modeling. creation of animated characters is also referred to as modeling.

  • It takes up to couple of weeks to create.
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You can improve your designs with animated illustrations. Can an illustration be animated?
Simply adding movement to your illustrations can slow scrolling, increase followers, and bring attention to your portfolio. The digital art may now be animated more easily than ever before because to software that is both more powerful and user-friendly.

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Our Syncredible App Illustration

Voice Over

Celebrity voices are frequently lent to animated characters using the voice-over technique. Their distinctive personalities are frequently shaped by their tone and manner. Videos can be made to sound a certain way with human voices thanks to VO.

  • Averagely, it takes up to several weeks to deal with the voice over and the sound effects.


Working in animation maker, we simply go to the menu, then select File > Export > Export Animated GIF. A dialogue starts up. To export your animation as an animated GIF file, we select our preferred choices in the dialog box and click Done. By selecting File > Export > Export Image, we may also export static GIF image files., etc. To share your ready animated image in various formats, we may store it in a format needed and then share it for usage on any media platform or your website, etc.

The strategy of your video

When we are done with the first 3 steps, we have a script, and we’re ready to work. We need to develop a strategy: what the deadlines are, what people we need in our team, and how much more we will spend on the video creation. As a result of the strategizing, you will get a detailed plan you will follow throughout making an animated explainer video.

  • The development, pre-production, filming, post-production, and editing steps of a corporate video production normally take 4-6 weeks to complete.
  • 8 weeks may be added if the video is longer than 5 minutes.

To succeed with the strategy, you need to have good project managers in your team. They will help to assess the time and resources needed for the upcoming stages.


How much information can be contained in a 60 or 90-second explainer video? We stick to the industry guidelines of 60 seconds = 140–150 words and 90 seconds = 210–220 words for our clients’ videos. Remember that the typical word count for 30-second explanation videos is between 75 and 85 words.

  • A typical 60-second pitch video will run you between $1,000 and $10,000.
  • Pre-production planning, pitch video production, and post-production editing are all included in this price.

30-second promotional video cost on average? In reality, most promotional videos cost between $3,000 and $5,000 for each finished minute, which is a price range well within this range. As a result, a 30-second advertising video typically may cost between $1,500 and $2,500.

Making a concept art

How long does it take to animate 30 seconds for your business? In fact, the timeline can be estimated at the stage of making concept art. Concept art affects the process and the result, and when you know what exactly you want to create, you can estimate how much time you will spend. 

When you get a narration script, you do not get a visual representation of the video. You get just the idea. But when developing concept art, the first images start to appear, and you start to see what you will get in the end.

Concept art is necessary to establish an understanding between the product team and the designers. They need to stay on the same page and understand what we all will see as a result.

Character and graphic design

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Image by Fireart Studio

So, you get a script and a concept ready. Now, it’s time to design characters and see how long does animation take. What do they like? What are their facial expressions for different emotions? What colors should be used? What are the settings? At this step, the designers work on the tiniest details of the illustrations. The matter is that the following – the animation stage – requires all graphic designs made perfectly. Otherwise, the quality of the video will be poor. This process is time-consuming and may take up to 2 weeks.

  • When creating the character and graphic design, a designer should remember the type of animation used in this explainer video: 2D or 3D. It’s important, as the answer to the question ‘how long does it take to make a 3d animation and 2d animation’ will mainly depend on the kind of picture you need.

Animation design

The real magic happens at this stage. We have a script, we have character and graphic designers, and now it is time to put them in a whole and create dynamic scenes!

  • The designers will use software to bring life to the story scene by scene to make it happen.
  • Again, it cannot happen in a minute, as the process is long and rather complicated.
  • Depending on the length of the video, it usually takes from 5 to 15 days.

How long does it take to make a 2d animation?

  • If it’s a 30-second video, it will take about 5 days; if it’s a 2-minute video, about 15 days.
  • It can take at least 4 hours to record raw video for a 30-second commercial correctly.

Once the filming is finished, you’re prepared to go on to the post-production editing stage, which is the last step in the filming process.

Remember that animation design depends on the quality of character and graphic designs. If something is missing over there, the animation may turn into a complicated and time-consuming process.


Now we have almost everything for our explainer video. It’s high time to make it real! And the animating step of the process gets the visual result: our characters are moving, the settings are changing, the emotions are depicted, and the whole story is alive.

However, it is not the end. The visual part of the video has huge importance. But we’re not living in a world where silent movies are popular. Time to make the picture speak!

Music and sounds effects

Have you ever noticed how music and sound effects can change the perception of a video? Great sound effects make the story more realistic, and proper music sets the right atmosphere. There is one more point regarding sound to mention when talking about explainer videos: voiceover.

Professional voiceover is obligatory for a video. The sound behind the screen helps to stay in contact with the audience and explain some complicated moments. Therefore, think about hiring voice actors. Remember that they ought to be native speakers; otherwise, you can have problems with accents on your video!

How to create an explainer video without rush and stress?

If you have never created animated explainer videos independently, it may be a rather challenging process for you. The management of creating a video is perhaps even more complicated than creating illustrations and adding animation. To follow the timeline, one must understand what happens at each stage, how long it takes to animate every character, and when every process starts.

Not ready for such challenges? We at Explain Ninja are prepared to help you! Our team of professional artists will create the characters your audience will love and explain how long does it take to animate 1 minute. We will create a voiceover that will become the real voice of your business. And of course, our managers will make the whole process smooth and easy. You will get the results that you expect! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss how long does it take to animate 30 seconds, the process or the prices. We will be glad to hear back from you!

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