Animation or Live Action?

September 17, 2018

Animation or Live Action?

You know you want to create a video for your business, but do you take the animation or live action path? We’re going to look at the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one could work best for your film…



The major benefit of animation is that it can explain a complicated topic in a visual way, allowing your audience to absorb the information. If you want to explain to your customers how a piece of machinery works for example, using animation would be a great technique to do this as animation can show something that just may not be possible to film.

If your intention for the film is to promote a physical product, (think hot cross buns), then you should think twice about using animation. Seeing the product in a live action film will whet the appetite of the viewer better than any 2D animated image could!



Creating an animated film can be straight forward. With no need for actors, sets, locations or props, creating an animated film may well also be cheaper and quicker than the live action equivalent. If you have a limited amount of time to dedicate to the project, you also won’t need to spend time approving actors, wardrobe, props, locations, or attend castings.



Are you planning on updating the film in the future? Another benefit of having an animation is that it can easily be updated if anything should need changing!


Live Action

Using live action in your film is beneficial if you are communicating an emotive topic or you want your business to be more personal and approachable.

People can relate to body language in others quickly, interpreting their emotions. Seeing and hearing someone tell their story is immediately more genuine and relatable than an animation.



If you are creating a film to promote a tangible product, live action is usually the best way to go. Items such as food or clothing are best seen by the viewer in all their real-life glory. Think about it. Would you be tempted to buy a wedding dress that you saw in a live action film or an animation?



Depending on the complexity of the message you want to communicate, the cost of a live action film can vary greatly. Actors, locations, props and wardrobe will all need to be taken into consideration, as well as how many days filming you need. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean an animation will cost less, as a complex animated film takes a considerable amount of time and skill!

It’s important to also remember that updating a live action film in the future may not be as straight forward as with an animation. Depending on what needs to change, any actors and locations will need to be booked and paid for again.


Which path is for you?

Before deciding on animation or live action, take some time and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is the purpose of the film?
  • Are you advertising a brand or a tangible product?
  • What is the message you want to communicate?
  • Will live action or animation reflect your brand’s tone of voice better?

If you’re still unsure, take a look at our latest work for some inspiration. With 17 years in the business, we’ve got plenty of experience in both animation and live action films. And even a few films that combine the two!

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