The answer to this question is: It depends. And it depends on many factors. Let’s examine some of the key ones below.
I. The length of the video
The longer a video the more time it takes to make it. This is logical and generally true. (Related Post: The Optimal Length of an eLearning Video).
With an animated video there is generally a linear relationship between the length of the video and the time it takes to make it. This means that every successive minute takes the same time to be built as the previous minute. However, with certain animated videos it take a long time to build or acquire assets needed and this can add to the time required to build the video.
With Films a lot of time can be spent in the planning. But if the planning is done right and you have the right team and skill sets on location, the once filming begins the video can be produced rapidly.
II. The complexity of the topic
The more complex the topic the more time it takes to build the video. When animations are complex it takes more time to do the knowledge transfer, to build the assets and to do the animation itself. The same is true for Film. Complex topics require more time for planning and add to the overall time and cost of producing films.
III. The style of the video: simple or complex
Here we refer to the simplicity or complexity of the style. For example: A film interview takes less time to build than a complex video with many actors. Similarly, a simple 2D animation takes less time to make than a cartoon-style character animation or a 3D animation.
Screenshot from a 2D animation
Screenshot from a character animation
Screenshot from a 3D animation
It is important to note that even though some animations or films may take less time to make that doesn’t automatically mean they are cheaper to make.
IV. The availability of assets (for animations) and location/set (for films)
In some animations the animators can create all the assets by themselves. In others, the assets need to be given to them from someplace else. These could be stock images or could be assets created by graphic designers or could be assets which come from the client (e.g. Logos, screenshots, photos, images of products, etc). Often times a large part of the planning to build an animation involves getting access to the right assets and delivering them to the animator in a form which can be used in the animation.
The same applies to Films. Some films can be filmed in generic locations. But others require special locations or the creation of sets. Special locations can be Pharmaceutical Labs, Coal Mines, Factory Floors.
Filming in a pharmaceutical lab
Filming in a coal mine
Filming on a factory floor
Or they could require the creation of a set like in the photo below where we created a doctor’s office for a film depicting a sales scenario.
Filming on a set where a doctor’s office has been created
Creating a realistic set can take time and needs to be taken into account during planning.
To conclude, there are many factors which can affect how long it takes to make an eLearning video. In this post we have seen a few and by controlling these factors you can reduce the time it takes to make the video, but only up to a point.