Animated vs Live Action Videos: What are the Differences — ROCKET MOTION

Animated vs Live Action Videos: The Differences

Both animated and live-action video perform their own tasks. There are situations where the choice is obvious. A blooming garden and beautiful views are best shown by a real camera. But a house that is still under construction can only be advertised with the help of an animated video. At the same time, there are cases when animation and video seem to be equally interesting solutions. We invite you to independently evaluate the pros and cons of each of these formats.

What is an Animated Video

Animated Video

Animated video definition: it is a short clip in which the background, characters, and other features are fictional and drawn. It can be used on television, during presentations of business projects, in the field of education and culture, and for advertising goods and services. There are almost no scenario restrictions, which allows you to implement non-standard decisions and moves. The characters are capable of any action (people can fly or cats can sing).

Pros of Animated Videos

  • Wide possibilities. You can make it snow or the sunshine and a rainbow shine, draw summer in winter, travel to the past or future, and create a fictional world and fictional characters. 
  • Emotionality. The animated video is associated with cartoons and the audience like them. High-quality animation is always impressive and evokes positive emotions.
  • Ergonomics. To create a clip, you do not need a cameraman, sound engineer, actors, make-up artists, etc. There is no need to look for a suitable place for filming. An animator can draw an ideal location and characters, and show different cities, countries, continents, and many other things that would be expensive in a live-action video.

Cons of Animated Videos

  • Complexity. Creating animation is a time-consuming and technically complex process. Making edits requires resources and time.
  • Price. The price of an animated video directly depends on the complexity. Motion design will cost less than 3D story graphics. High-level animation and various special effects often make such a video more expensive than a traditional video-action variant.

What is a Live-action Video

Live-action Video

Do you want to know the live-action video meaning? Live videos are content captured on camera with real characters. These clips can show your clients or actors in a real atmosphere.

Benefits of Live-action Videos

  • Versatility. Videos can be touching, funny, childish, dramatic, etc. There are many ways to convey the desired idea using different techniques.
  • Realism. The live-action video provides a “truth effect”. Even if everything from beginning to end is a production, the viewer will subconsciously believe in the “live” video more than in the drawn pictures.
  • Clear production principle. Shooting one scene from several points and different plans is much faster and easier than drawing the same thing again and again. Changing frames in video editing is much easier than making minor edits to graphics.

Disadvantages of Live-action Videos

  • Unpredictability. The weather can go bad, the actors can get sick, the car can break down, and so on.
  • Mistakes. There are times when the footage for some reason does not meet the requirements. If something got into the frame that should not have been included, reshooting everything will be problematic and expensive.
  • Fragility. Commercial video production is developing very quickly. Videos made 5 years ago look outdated and unfashionable today. That’s why you need to reshoot videos about once every two years!

Which Take More Time to Create?

The time it takes to create content depends on many factors. Animators make everything from scratch. It can take several days to create a simple video. But if you need to use complex elements, the time can be delayed up to several months.

Live-action videos can be filmed even in 1 day but for this, it is necessary to coordinate the filming schedule with the actors. If you plan to shoot outdoors, the weather also plays a role. Anyway, in comparison with animation, it usually takes less time to prepare a live-action video.

When to Use?

If you’re selling clothes, shoes, and accessories, live-action video is the way to go. Real sneakers will arouse more interest than their painted counterpart. Food looks more convincing in reality than in cartoons. Nature or a beautiful interior is also much easier (and better) to shoot live than to draw.

But what is not in reality, which is difficult to see and feel, is better advertised by animation. A building under construction or an intellectual project is difficult to display in a real-action clip. Also, the animation is indispensable if the heroes of your video are fabulous or non-existent characters.

What to Consider Choosing One of These Types?

When choosing between animated video vs live action, it is important to answer a few questions to see the difference to make the right choice.

  • What type of video are you going to make?
  • How much time and what budget did you allocate?
  • Who will watch your video?

The complex 3D clip can be very expensive and time-consuming. But if you want to create an explainer, the animation is the way to go. Of course, for video testimonials, you must select a live-action video with real people. Experts from our animation video agency will help you choose the most suitable format based on your needs and requirements.


Animation will always be popular because there are many tasks that only animation can solve. Similarly, live-action videos will be in trend too. It is best to use both of these formats for different purposes. Or even in a combination. Video and animation can complement each other perfectly. This is exactly the case when the mixing of genres and formats only benefits the result.


What is the animated video?

Animated videos are computer-generated clips of cartoon characters or realistic moving images made using various animation techniques.

What is the definition of a live-action video?

Talking about live-action video definition, we need to say that it is a clip that is filmed on camera with the participation of real people or animals on a real background.

Is live-action video better than animated?

Live action vs animated video: what is better? It would be not right to answer yes or no to this question. Each type is designed to solve specific problems. Considering the tasks, you will be able to select the appropriate format.

Which is harder to create – live-action or animation video?

Simple animations based on templates are easy to create. But if you need to use complex animation, it can take months to prepare a video. And if you need to make changes, the specialist will have to draw everything again. At the same time, in the live-action video, the main thing is to coordinate the filming schedule. You can shoot as many takes as you like until you get the desired result.

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