What's a Harmony animator's average rate?

I’m putting a budget together and would like to get an approximate rate for Toon Boom Harmony animation.

For 3d animation the average rate (in New Zealand) is 700 - 800 frames p/week and at US$850/week. (It’s overall rate is 2800 frames of finished animation over and 8 week schedule).

But for Harmony animation, for your standard animation style, what is expected of the average animator? And how much do you expect to earn from it? Any info you can provide will be helpful to me.

Thanking you in advance. :slight_smile:

I found out (through other means) the following…

- Average weekly frame productivity on Harmony for a basic cut out production: minimum of 1,400/1,500 frames

- Average price per frame in north America: depending on the studio, a range of USD 1.10 to 1.40 per frame.

So, doing the math, works out to be…

1500f/wk @ US$1.4/f = US$2100/wk (1 minute of animation)

1400f/wk @ US$1.1/f = US$1540/wk (56 seconds of animation)

Very interesting figures, Matt! I’d be interested in knowing your source. I hadn’t replied to your question earlier as I do not have any experience working for a known studio. As a freelancer my average production is around 35 hours per minute but sometimes it goes as high as 57 hours per minute due to including storyboard, animatic, character and background design, rigging, animating and compositing.

So I assume this is just for animating with the backgrounds all done and the characters all rigged, right?

I would assume it also has a lot to do length, there is a large initial push to build characters etc, but if you reuse then later minutes take less effort than the inital minutes.

Zebtoonz - Correct (all assets are already created- that’s just pure animation figures).

These figures are from a very good source, although I’m not at liberty to say where. Sorry. They are meant to be an AVERAGE figure though. I wanted it as standard as I could.

As Lilly said, it’s very much about style, method, quality, ammount of animation going on at once, complexity of the drawings (if drawn animation), etc. Charging flat rate per frame might be unfair.

An equation closer to the truth could perhaps look like:
frames * complexity * method * quality = rate

I think the bottom line has to do with the amount of time it takes to produce the animation. More characters, more complex rigs, more movement, more scene changes, etc., all add up to more time. So I think you have to estimate the amount of time it will take you to do a specific project and then calculate how much you need to make per hour in order to live.

It also really depends on the style. If you’re doing cutout style, it’s much faster to work with, so you’ll be expected to produce a lot more frames. If you’re doing frame-by-frame, the frame count will be less. Of course is also depends on the expected quality. Even when you’re talking about cutout production, there are varying levels of quality and complexity of rigs, so higher quality productions will have lower frame counts.

I’m not sure on the pricing side of things, though.

~Lilly