Live-Action Vs. Animation Videos – The Core Differences

Animation Vs Live Action Videos
Confused between Live-action and animation videos? Here is our guide to help you determine which type of video to choose for your next project.

Numerous posts on our site explain the power of animations and why they are so effective. Animations give an oomph to your visual tale, and movement, when used well, attracts viewers and keeps them focused.

However, animations are not always the greatest option. Depending on the subject of your video, its aims, and your audience, live footage – camera recorded videos – may be more appropriate.

Today in this article, we’ll do a comparative analysis of animated and live-action videos. We hope by the conclusion of this blog, you will have a better understanding of which video style is more suitable for your video.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin.

A Brief Introduction to Animation vs. Live-Action Video

First, we need to know what the two sorts of videos are and what they can do for us before we can get started. To make animation, you must first create a succession of still pictures that appear to be moving in order to create the illusion of motion.

Animations are frequently used in explainer videos, which are designed to educate and inform viewers.

Live-action video, on the other hand, is a recording of moving or stationary things. Cinematography or videography that does not make use of animation might be referred to as “live-action.”

Animation vs. Live-Action Video: The video length

Everything an animator does is made from scratch. These kinds of projects might last for a long time. On the other hand, live-action video shoots can usually be completed in a matter of days.

Live-action videos allow you to make any required edits or even improvise on the moment because everything is shot in real-time.

It’s also possible to use pre-made animations in place of developing them from scratch.

Animation vs. Live-Action Video: The usage

To be honest, there is no proper response to this question. It’s possible to create a wide range of video content using both animation and live-action. If you’re going to produce an internet video, there are a number of things you should think about.

Do you want to portray a more human side of yourself in a video? If this is the case, live-action video is simply unbeatable. Animations can’t capture the realism of actual people’s faces and emotions which we’re drawn to.

What if you’d want to develop an instructional video instead? We strongly advise you to produce an animated video to serve as an educational tool. For complex concepts, animations can be more effective than live-action videos at simplifying the process. Also, instructive videos that are animated look great!

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Animation vs. Live-Action Video: The cost difference

As with many big expenditures, the cost of animation and live-action videos varies considerably and is determined by a multitude of factors.

To keep things simple, an animated video lasting 90 seconds to two minutes can cost between $15,000 and $35,000.

In terms of live-action, the cost might range from $17,000 to $100,000+, depending on the style of video you choose.

Live-Action Videos – The pros and cons

In simple words, live-action videos are those in which you can use real people in actual locations with physical props.

These videos have no animated touch within them, and since they’re realistic, it is much easier for the audience to relate to the situation showcased in the video. Using Live-action videos, you can easily connect with your audience and get your message across to them.

Below are some pros and cons of Live-action videos to help you determine where to use them effectively.

Pros of Live-Action Videos

  • They have a human touch
  • They showcase the real-life working of your product
  • Faster turnaround time
  • Great for delivering strong messages

#1) They have a human touch

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using live-action videos is that they have a more human touch to them as they include real actors and environments.

Using a real person coupled with a relatable situation can easily evoke your target audience’s emotions as they look more natural.

In simple words, in creating an emotional connection between you and the audience, Live-action videos work comparatively much better than animated videos.

#2) They showcase the real-life working of your product

Remember, the trust factor plays a crucial part in determining whether your product will be successful, and nothing can strengthen your trust factor better than a live demonstration of your product.

This is where the live-action video is essential because the demonstration of physical products is something that you can never achieve with an animated video.

#3) Faster turnaround time

This is no surprise. The turnaround time of a live-action video is way faster than animated videos.

There’s a fair reason behind that. You have to use real actors and environments for a live-action video, which means if you have a strong plan, you can quickly shoot such videos. Moreover, even post-shoot editing is much easier and quicker to complete than an animated video.

In contrast, there’s a lot in creating animation videos, from character designing to motion graphics.

If executed with a proper plan, you can create a full-flash live-action video for your company in just a few days.

#4) Great for delivering strong messages

No matter how engaging animations are, a live-action video is what you need to choose when it comes to delivering strong and serious messages. The reason is quite simple: real people and scenarios involved in the video can make deeper impacts and evoke emotions more effectively.

Cons of Live-Action Videos

Although there are many reasons why live-action videos add value to your marketing efforts, there are a few downsides of live-action videos that you need to know before you jump to a decision. Here they are.

  • Live-Action videos cost a lot more than animation videos
  • Making changes is always daunting
  • Creativity is limited

#1) Live-Action videos cost a lot more than animation videos

The biggest downside of live-action videos is that they are way more expensive than animation videos. Although there are several ways to reduce their overall video production costs by compromising here and there on the quality, if you want to leave a lasting impression, then you must spend like an Arab.

Their production is so expensive because there are costs involved like props, locations, equipment, cameras, actors, etc.

If you’re someone with a tight budget, then you should avoid a live-action video and go for an animation video instead.

#2) Making changes is always daunting

Planning is crucial in creating live-action videos because making changes later on in the process is no less than a nightmare. No matter how small these changes are, they require a lot of time and lots of editing.

Moreover, if you don’t like the final product and change the script, later on, you’ll have to repeat the entire process from scratch and pay the same amount again for a newer version of the video.

In contrast, making minor or major changes in the animation videos is a matter of minutes, and it is much more cost-friendly.

#3) Creativity is limited

The biggest advantage of live-action videos is their biggest problem as well. With live-action videos, you can’t make much use of your creativity. The reason for this is quite basic. Since there are real actors and environments involved in these videos, they require to be much more practical than animation videos to make great use of your imagination.

Animation Videos – The pros and cons

You can quickly guess this one with the name. Unlike live-action videos, animation videos do not require you to use real actors or environments. These videos use multiple illustrations and motion graphics to become a beautiful representation of data or messages.

Even though these videos may sound childish but don’t underestimate their power; they can get even the toughest messages across in an engaging manner, for example, your company’s statistical data. Some of the best infographic videos on the internet today are animated.

Let’s talk about some of the pros and cons of animation videos.

Pros of Animation Videos

  • Creative freedom
  • Making changes is no problem
  • Messages are delivered in a simple way
  • Animation videos are cost-friendly
  • Easy branding
  • Works best for products that are constantly evolving

#1) Creative freedom

We’ve already told you how you have to limit your creativity when it comes to live-action videos. This is not the case with animation videos because your imagination is the only limit here.

With animation videos, you can create characters of your own, fit them into your desired background and do whatever you want with them to convey your message.

#2) Making changes is no problem

Unlike live-action videos, making revisions in an animation video is a piece of cake. No matter what stage of production you want to make a change, all it requires is a couple of minutes and a few illustrations. You can change the existing video’s color palette, backgrounds, and characters with ease.

Even if you have to change an entire scene, you can do it without any problem without having to worry about the cost.

#3) Messages are delivered in a simple way

A live-action video is associated more with reality, which sometimes causes trouble when it comes to explaining complex subjects and messages. This is where the magic of animation videos comes into play.

Since animated videos revolve around creativity and imagination, even the most complex messages can be simplified and presented in an engaging and fun-to-watch manner. Animated videos are informative and easily digestible, leading to the creation of some of the best-animated product videos over the years.

#4) Animation videos are cost-friendly

Unlike live-action videos, where the costs of actors, locations, props, equipment, etc., are involved, the entire cost of animation videos depends on the revisions, complexity of the video’s project, and duration.

You don’t have to worry about any other additional costs, and when compared to live-action videos, animation videos are comparatively economical.

#5) Easy branding

Using your brand colors is quite important when it comes to branding. With live-action videos, the only parts where you can use your brand colors are the actors’ props and clothing. But what if I tell you that you can use each pixel in your video with your brand identity.

Yes, that’s true; you can convey your message more effectively by using your brand colors in the environment, characters, and every other aspect of an animation video to a more receptive audience.

Moreover, if you plan to upload the video on your website, an animated video that matches your brand colors would look more impressive than a live-action video.

#6) Works best for products that are constantly evolving

If your brand is evolving continuously and undergoing updates, then creating a live-action video every time can become an utter nightmare. This is where animation videos come into play. We’ve already told you how easy and cost-effective it is to revise animation videos.

You can always leverage your previously created characters and environment. All you have to do is make some changes to the background and message, and you’re good to go.

Cons of Animation Videos

Even though there are many big advantages of animation videos that you can avail of, there’s also a major downside to their production. Here it is.

#1) Turnaround time is longer

The biggest downside of using animation videos is their longer production times. Since there is nothing real involved in the video, everything has to be built from scratch. Note that an animation video of high quality would require at least four weeks of production.

Each frame should be in line with your message and the motion of the characters. If you’re short on time, then animation videos aren’t something you need to go for. In such cases, a live-action video might become your best pick.

The Final Verdict

Choosing between animated and live-action videos is a challenging feat, but we’ve chosen to take on the challenge and assist you.

In the end, it boils down to your video objectives and your in-house capabilities. Hiring professionals to develop animations or shoot videos can quickly deplete your finances. Therefore, before making a choice, consider the following three important questions:

  • What kind of video do you intend to create?
  • How much time and money have you set aside?
  • And who will be watching your video?

Get Started with Team BuzzFlick

If you choose to go with video animations, it’s never been easier to get started on your first video right now: BuzzFlick provides you with many types of animation videos in many different styles. We are one of the top-notch animation studios in Toronto, offering various video animation and production services.

If you’re still unsure which video style is more suitable for your video, don’t worry; just drop a message, and our video experts will assist you happily.

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Animation vs. Live-Action Videos: FAQs

  • Which video style is better, animation or live-action?

Live-action movies, such as talking head clips, tend to look overpowering and dense with information. An animation disarms your viewers, making them feel everything but intimidated by the newly acquired knowledge. It is more engaging, which results in increased knowledge retention.

  • Which is more complicated, live-action or animation?

Creating animated films takes so much longer and is so much more difficult than making live-action films that I’ve always felt there should be a compelling reason to produce them.

  • Is making a live-action video cheaper than animation?

While the animation is more pliable in terms of cost reduction, a well-executed animation will demand as many specialized talents and as many resources as live-action.

Just as live-action can be done on a shoestring budget, the same is true for animation. Increased funding enables more complex and superior outcomes.

  • How many types of animations are there?

Overall, there are five primary types of animations:

  • Cel Animation
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Stop Motion
Eich Eyf

An animation enthusiast who enjoys explaining complex animation techniques, mediums, and videos. Her love for animated films drives her. In her spare time, she enjoys watching animated films from Pixar, Disney, and Illumination productions.

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