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Live Action vs. Animation: Which One Should You Choose?

Last Updated: May. 12, 2021

Summary: Should you pick animation or live action for your next video production? They are both a creative form for art. This blog will show you how to choose the right one for your video marketing strategy based on the comparison between live action and animation.

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We all have witnessed the rise of internet video, and no one can deny the power of video marketing. So video should undoubtedly be a part of your marketing strategy.

Then where to begin? There are many factors you should think about when it comes to starting a video, whether for business use or a personal video.

But first and foremost, you need to decide on you video type: should it be an animated video or a live-action one. Here in this blog, we will compare the two types of video, and share some practical tips on how to make your decision.

Also Read: How to Add Text to a Video in iMovie on Mac/iPhone >

Part 1 Live Action vs. Animation: What Are They?

First, let’s have a quick look at what the live-action and animated videos are.

Animation vs. Live Action Film

Image Board: Animation vs. Live Action Film

A live-action video is a form of cinematography or videography that uses photography. It is a recording of either still or moving objects.

The animation is the illusion of movement created by showing a series of still pictures in rapid succession. It is the art of drawing sketches and objects and then showcasing them in a series of frames, making it look like the images are moving.

Part 2 A Brief Comparison Between Live Action and Animation

Now we'll make a brief comparison between them on the following three aspects to know the pros and cons of each other.

Creative Limitations

When it comes to shooting a live-action video, there are a lot of constraints that need to be deal with. For instance, ideas that are possible for real people to perform, how to shoot a great video in a crowded location.

For animations, your imagination is the only limitation. One of the best things about animated video is that it can achieve anything your imagination wants: animation can make all of your ideas happen.

Human Touch

Live-action videos act out daily situations that a viewer sees it daily so that it can create a human connection naturally. But animated video can not do it easily because of the lack of human emotions and actions.

The Gear You'll Need

If you decided to make a live-action video, you'd need gear up with a camera, a few filming lenses, a tripod, and other more equipment. Besides, you also need to find the right place for your video filming. All of these extend the turnaround time and increase the cost of your video production. While choosing to go with animation, video location and prop preparation will not be such a struggle.

Part 3 Live Action vs. Animation: Choose One That Right for You

Live Action vs. Animation

Image Board: Live Action vs. Animation

Should your next video be animated or live action? To be honest, there is not a correct answer. Both live-action and animated videos can be used for various video projects. When you're making a decision between live action and animation, you should take into account a lot of factors.

Q1: What's Your Target Audience?

Video is one of the most effective ways to reach an audience, and different type of audience prefer different video style. Choosing live-action or animation is a decision primarily driven by the type of audience you're trying to connect with.

Q2: What's the Goal of Your Video?

What are the goals of your video? Animated videos can work best to explain an abstract concept; if you're creating an explainer video, you would be better off choosing animated videos. Live-action video tends to make a more emotional impact, it is the best way to develop personable relationships, and entertain viewers at events.

Q3: How about Your Budget?

Budget is another important consideration. A live-action video can be more expensive than animated video when considering cast, crew, location fees, video and lighting equipment, hair, makeup, and much more.


  • Making videos with stock footage is a great solution when you have a limited budget. There are a lot of high-quality live-action clips you can find in FlexClip's media library.
  • If you want to know more about how to find stock footage, please check out our post on Best 8 Free Stock Video Sites to Help You Make Videos in 2019 >.

Q4: How about the Time Involved?

Think about the time you've been given to make a video, then make a choice wisely.

Generally speaking, for a video of the same length, an animation will take far longer to complete than a live-action video. If you're making an animation, you need to create everything from scratch, and it will take weeks or even months to complete. On the contrary, you can make a live-action video within a couple of days.

TipYou could also use pre-made ones to make a video quickly, instead of crafting everything from scratch. The FlexClip library contains millions of media resource, including image and video clips, for live-action or animated video making.

Further Reading: Get Started with FlexClip!

Amazing Videos Made Easy with FlexClip

Image Board: Amazing Videos Made Easy with FlexClip

Whether you choose live-action film or animated video, it's never been easy to get started to make your first video. Try FlexClip to begin your video production journey, and you will find that it couldn't be easier to make an animation or live-action video.

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