Animation Vs Live Action: Which One Is For Your Project?

You may have already heard about the power of animation. Animations bring motion to your visual story, attracting attention and getting audiences to concentrate on your content. There is also an alternative to animation, which is live-action videos.

Though people depend on particular circumstances to choose between animation and live-action, many producers still treat animation as their preference. As a result, you may be confused about which method is suitable for you. In this blog, we will compare the two types of videos so that, in the end, you’ll have a greater understanding of what style suits your project the best.

An Introduction to Animation vs Live Action Video

What are They?

Animation is the art of drawing cartoons and objects then displaying them in various frames, making the images look like they are moving. Animation can be used in any form of explainer videos to access and educate viewers. 

On the other hand, live-action is a recording of either still or moving objects, including cinematography and videography not using animations.

Common Types of Animation

Animation has several styles, but the two most common styles are 2D animation & 3D animation.

#1: 2D animation

This is the oldest animation style that can easily apply to various videos such as cartoons, promotional videos, explainer videos, and more. In the past, each frame was thoroughly hand-drawn, which caused a time-consuming problem. Nowadays, with the help of digital tools and techniques, the 2D animation process has become much more streamlined.

#2: 3D Animation 

3D animation was a revolution when it was first introduced. It can be considered as a more heavy-duty version of 2D animation. With 3D technology, animators are enabled to create more realistic animated experiences for practical applications in industries like eLearning, medicine, and architecture.

Because of its practical application, 3D animation is often used in full-length movies, interactive advertisements, and other marketing materials. If you are looking for simple explainer videos or similar project producers, it’s better to switch to 2D Animation. Why? Simply because it is less time-consuming and labor-intensive compared to 3d videos

Recommend reading

Make your online and hybrid course more engaging with simple animation guide, why not?

Ultimate Guide to Make Animated Educational Videos

storyboard for educational video

The Pros of Animation over Live Action Videos

#1: Long-lifecycle

Animation videos typically have a longer shelf life than live-action videos. We live in a time when the market is subject to constant changes daily. As a result, it is not intelligent to make a video that can be discarded after a short time or one that is very costly to update. 

Compared to a live-action video, an animation video is much more flexible and can be updated with a few simple steps and techniques. This, consequently, will help extend the shelf life of your video. 

#2: Easy to edit in case of unexpected change in content

Some clients shared their worries with us about whether they would have to make a completely new video because their content was updated annually. In the case of live-action videos, you will have to set up everything again from the beginning: the filming set, the actors, and many other arrangements. This is not something easy to do, especially during the time of N-COVID 19.

However, changes in content can be easily applied with the help of 2D animation as it requires no actors or locations. There is no need to build filming sets or find locations and no actors to coddle, which helps save time, money, and energy.

#3: Engaging

As reported by well-known enterprises, 2D animation is considered the best option for enhancing your conversion rate. According to Jotform – a reputable company for building online forms, their animated video surpassed their live-action with a 20% higher click rate.

On the Jotform blog, animated video is depicted as a “desirable type of content” that brings better performance in audience engagement, customer acquisition, and lead generation. This is because animation can reach a broader customer set, from children to adults, as everyone is interested in a little animation from time to time.

#4: Budget-friendly

The animation and live-action videos cost range depends on many factors. Animation style complexity, video length, animation effects, the purpose of animation video, and the partner with whom you work.

#1: Animation video

If your team is tight on budget, we recommend getting a low price at $100/ minute when working with a Fiverr freelancer. Otherwise, you can expect a rate of around $1000 to $8000 per minute for small and large studios. As a result, a 90-second to 2- minute animated video can range anywhere between $150 and $16,000 depending on the partner you work with.

If you want an explainer video that tells about your eLearning agency startup, our advice is to spend about $3500-$5000 on budget. 

Dive into this blog for more detailed price information about animation

#2: Live-action videos

Not as animation, planning the budget for a live-action business is more challenging. If it’s just a single person in front of a camera doing a product demo, then it’s not a problem at all. Any more than that you will need:

  • Actors
  • Crew (camera, sound, lighting, director, and more)
  • Hair and makeup stylists
  • Sets
  • Locations (and permits for locations)
  • Catering

Depending on video types and your partners, the price for a live-action video can be between $17,000 to $100,000+

When is an Animation Video suitable?

#1 For eLearning purposes

Educational animations are animations produced for the specific purpose of better enhancing learning. Animation is associated with educational technology to facilitate learning and boost performance.

In the Journal of Research in Science Teaching No.32, it was pointed out by Vickie M Williamson and Michael R Abraham that:

“Animation helps students learn in two ways. It helps with the mental representation creation of concepts and processes, and it also streamlines difficult cognitive processes (ex: abstraction, imagination)”.

For example, the University of New South Wales, Australia, explains company capital in its animation video with images of money flows going into the office, a thorough narration script for further explanation, and subtitles so for students to follow.

Recommend reading:

#2 For internal training purposes

Training videos can be executed through different methods. Interested in common ways to make training videos? Then you can reach out to this blog

Every job vacancy implies some easy and complicated tasks. Animated videos can be used to tutor your employees on how to perform their daily workload well and still keep the employees motivated. Animation offers a way to simplify complex topics and bring them to life by engaging with the audience. As a result, it works best for abstract products and services.

Moreover, animation videos also help to save your time for training while still delivering the best quality. As internal training is a process and learning and working at the same time, it should take your employees little time to get the knowledge.

For example, what Aviassist did with their “What Is Drone Training?” video here

#3 For marketing or branding purposes

Brands count on creating an emotional connection between companies and their customers. By delivering the brand through animation, movement, and sound, making this emotional connection is much easier and more effective.  

With the rise of animation and motion in the digital world, brands need to regard branding and animation as inseparable pieces.

Animated branding tells your customers what can be expected from your products and services, and it differs your offer from your competitors. Your brand is obtained from who you are, who you want to be, and how your customers perceive you. It gives you a cutting edge in increasingly competitive markets.

The below example is one of the explainer videos we made for MODO. Since the product is quite abstract and hard to explain by words, the animation video with beautiful illus and smooth motion helps customers understand the product better

You can upgrade the visual level to make your brand outstanding and beat the competition, the below video is not a bad idea:

Top animation company for your best choice

#1 F. Learning Studio

This is a reputable animation company with 5-year experience in video production. Their animation styles vary from motion graphics, hand drawing to even whiteboard. Not only do they produce videos, but they also consult customers on the suitable type for their projects, even in dull topics like economics or medicine.

F.Learning is a full-functional team focusing on the project and smooth communication throughout all steps, and this helps to save much time from back-and-forth feedback. 

Moreover, F.Learning studio even offers a reasonable cost for production while still meeting tight deadlines, which contributes to maximizing profits from your products. 

F.Learning is based in Vietnam, the low-spending region of the world, so the cost is often lowered by 30% than that of other regions.

It is also a trusted partner of many reputable corporations worldwide, such as UNSW or Simple Nursing.

Want to learn more about the F.Learning studio process? Click here

#2 White Animation 

White animation is an animation video agency based in Israel having experience in animation creating for training, education, explainer, and marketing. Their strength lies in whiteboard animation with a highly interactive website.

With over eight years of enriching experience, they are capable of handling great scopes with strict deadlines. Furthermore, they also offer reasonable rates for an experienced animation studio. 

#3 Shy Guys

Shy guys is a young animation studio with high abilities in making animation. Their majors lie in marketing & Explainer, Learning animation, and TV & Film graphics. They mainly produced 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, illustration, and CGI. 

Shy Guys has created a series of animations that satisfied many of their partners at similar rates to other animation production houses in the UK.


Animation, surely, has more benefits over live-action videos, especially during the time of N-COVID 19. When it comes to an explanation, it’s important to keep things simple. Nothing does that better than animation.

Read more

Related posts