Top 26 After Effects Alternatives Free and Premium

In Apps and Software review, Art, Review by improveyourdrawings

After Effects is a powerful visual effect editing tool for moviemakers, documentary producers and those interested in visual storytelling. After Effects is built to provide film creators with a catalog of tools that they can use to perform motion picture visual effects editing and production.

The Adobe After Effects software is designed to provide you with a suite with multiple editing options, and through these options, you can add 3D effects, recreate scenes in your raw movie, film or documentary files.

Adobe After Effects comes at a pretty steep price, and the complexity of the software makes it a little bit difficult for creators to master.

If you’re currently experiencing difficulty with learning how to use this software or you’re taken aback by the price tag, then you should opt for other visual effects alternative.

The array of visual after effects alternatives in this review slightly mirrors Adobe After Effects on Windows, Mac, and Linux

These visual effects alternatives have incorporated flexibility into their interface for easy mastery and production.

In this review, we’ll be showing you free and premium visual effects alternatives for your editing projects.

So, without further ado, let’s show you some of the best After Effects alternatives.

The top 26 After Effects alternatives are split into two. On one side, you’ll find the free alternatives and on the other side, you’ll discover the premium.

Free After Effects Alternatives

Natron

Are you looking for a free open source software after effects alternative that is composed of nodes and runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac? If you’re, then you should consider getting this after effects software.

Pros

  • It is an open-source cross-platform special effects tool
  • Supports node base and OFX
  • You can use the plugin library to create your own after effects
  • When merged with blender it works seamlessly

Cons

  • Too many version changes that affect program mastery
  • 3D effects are unavailable

Blender

Blender is an exciting visual effect and animation tool. It is also a free open source 3D creation software that runs on Windows, Steam, Linux, and Mac.

Pros

  • Created to provide the editor with a convenient platform to create animation effects
  • Has support for a variety of visual effects
  • Ability to take on multiple editing tasks

Cons

  • Not entirely designed for editing videos
  • You may encounter some difficulty in understanding the workflow

Wax

Wax is a highly functional video editing, special visual effects, and composting software. Wax is designed to produce two dimensions and three-dimension visual effects and it functions with two different modes.

Pros

  • This is a modern-day video editing tool
  • You don’t require advanced knowledge to understand how to use the interface
  • There are over 300 available stock special effects that you can select from to improve the outlook of your video editing projects
  • It can also act as a plug-in to other after-effects editors
  • It supports multiple output formats

Cons

  • Although it is a freeware for editing, you require a license from the creator to redistribute the program

Hitfilm

A free All-in-one video composition and editing tool that has an option that allows the video to editor purchase FX libraries.

Pros

  • It has similarities with the editing process of Adobe after effects
  • Accelerated editing process
  • Presence of a Hitfilm online community for resource sharing

Cons

  • Mastering the editing process in a short time is practically impossible, you require more time to understand the creative process

Snowmix

Have you sought a tool that can conveniently mix recorded and live video and audio content? If you have, then Snowmix is the perfect after effects software for video mixing.

Pros

  • Presence of video animation support
  • It can function as a unilateral CLI software
  • Using Gstreamer pipelines output can be accessed
  • If the bandwidth links are low Snowmix can easy apply control

Cons

  • It’s not a sole video editing program

Pixel Conduit

Pixel Conduit is a great video editing after effects software that is designed to edit live video processes.

Pros

  • Conveniently renders HD resolution in real-time
  • Ability to combine a variety of effects during live editing
  • Presence of a node interface that allows the creator to create complex effects
  • You can conveniently integrate pixel conduit into your workflow

Cons

  • It has been discontinued

ButtleOFX

ButtleOFX is unique after effects editing software. The user interface is highly dynamic and during editing, the video editor will find that the editing process is simplistic. It’s also open-source software that conveniently does compositing.

Pros

  • You easily customize effects through a readily available parameters editor
  • You can conveniently edit through three workspace configurations
  • You don’t need to do a graph when you’re creating effects due to the highly specialized interface

Cons

  • It has been discontinued

Talos

Are you a game software developer? If you’re one, then Talos VFX is the ideal open source special effects video editing tool for you. This particle effect node-based editor can conveniently be used in the schematics of game development.

The interface is super-efficient, as it allows you to simply drag-and-drop legacy files during the visual editing process.

Pros

  • You can use the node-based design to create stunning visual effects
  • You can easily switch up the interface to your editing preference
  • The modules are customizable
  • Open format export that applies to your game runtime

Cons

  • There is no dedicated forum for solving any issues that may arise from using the software

Liconcomp

Liconcomp is a highly intuitive special effects editing suite for creating live text, camera images, and videos. While you’re running live editing, you can also playback in real-time.

It’s a perfect editing tool for live playback on LED walls, large viewing screens, LED displays that scroll, and much more.

Pros

  • Video content or tickers can easily be combined and forwarded to display screens
  • It allows the software programmer to tailor the software to the proprietor’s requirements and this is facilitated by the embedded scripts control system

Cons

  • If you’re not well conversant with the editing process, you need an on-site professional to handle the editing and forwarding to display screens

Design Camera

If you’re a fan of running special effects designs on Smartphones, then Design Camera is the right editing software for you.

Design camera is a free special effects software for capturing and animating design mockups on smartphones.

Pros

  • It’s a great software for amateurs that don’t have any basic 3D creation techniques
  • It can be used to create stunning portfolio designs
  • You can use it to create unique landing pages for your business
  • Improves specs appearance
  • Grants your content with full privacy
  • Multiple file type support

Cons

  • We found no cons with using this software

Tooll

Tooll is a powerful multi-purpose open-source software that is designed to create highly intuitive 3D renders and animations.

It sports a pretty lightweight user interface that is great with combing vital animation particles, coding and compositions.

Pros

  • The interface is tailored to combine coding and designing
  • Through graphical programming, you can quickly draw and tweak your design philosophy
  • It is free for use as long as it’s not deployed in commercial purposes
  • Ability to share designs as executable or renders to movies

Cons

  • Restrictions in creating commercial visual designs

Premium After Effects Alternatives

Notch

A notch is a special effects editing tool that allows you to produce stunning motion graphics sequences within a single real-time workflow editing environment.

Pros

  • Easily integrates with media servers
  • Over 100 unlimited node combinations
  • It’s an all in one package consisting of volumetrics, 3D cameras, fluids, composting, and particle effects
  • Creates stunning live video effects

Cons

  • There are no known cons in the user interface

Sensei Format

Sensei format was specifically designed to enhance Blender’s user interface. The Sensei Format software is preloaded with over 100 unique tweaks that are tailored to improve the functionality of Blender. 

Pros

  • Free software that is super easy for video content creators to learn and use for their video editing projects
  • An incredible editing tool that aids in memory retention of the processes involved in animation and 3D modeling projects
  • With Sensei it is much easier to quickly learn CG programs

Cons

  • Learning the 3D program process may be tedious as it has similarities with learning the language of programming 

Solar

For high volume VFX projects, solar offers the editor with a GPU-accelerated compositor. Solar’s workflow is tree-based and incorporates the use of a node. It offers multiple composition working tools such as grading, particle systems, color correction, caustics, and layer management tools. And Solar is highly compatible with advanced hardware for editing.

Pros

  • Depending on your budget, there are two available versions of Solar that you can purchase
  • There are more than 150 tools for compositing, special effects, transformation, color correction, and creation
  • It has a node-based professional compositing user interface
  • Enhanced timeline editing capacity
  • Comprised of 35 tools and effects that are designed to prolong the postproduction of your toolkit

Cons

  • It is a complex software to understand for amateurs

Kite Compositor

With Kite Compositor you can easily create your designs in macOS and run the testing of your designs by utilizing the mobile iOS app. This special effects video editing software is tailored to provide the editor with an array of prototypes and animation sequences.

Pros

  • Complex layer interfaces can easily be built by just “dragging and dropping” on the workspace
  • The integrated timeline can effectively tune animations
  • Through the software, you can add custom logic and behavior to get your desired production outcome
  • There is a built-in JavaScript module for engaging in scripting
  • Multiple workspace templates

Cons

  • This premium high-end has no cons, however, there are cases of bug complaints by users

Simmetri

Do you seek a flexible software that allows you to engage in multiple editing tasks while you build? Then Simmetri is the perfect special effects design tool for you. Simmetri is a sandbox in part, a game-builder in part and it allows you to have a fun experimenting experience during the course of building your designs.

Pros

  • Availability of Image filters
  • Drag-and-drop mode support
  • Support for streaming to Google/Facebook Live
  • Multiple displays support, including 4K
  • Physics is robust
  • You can conveniently run keyframing and timeline animation
  • Integral VR and 3D capacity

Cons

  • No available software for macOS

Blufftitler

This special effects software is designed for Windows operating system and it is used to create, render and play 3D video special effects.

Pros

  • Supports creating short high-end animations in 3D
  • It can be used to create dynamic animated logos
  • It can be used to create stunning video promotions
  • It can be used to create vivid intro and outro video titles

Cons

  • No available software for macOS

Filmora

Filmora is an amazing high-end special effects editing suite. There are over 300 built-in visual effects included in the software editing workspace. This software gives you the opportunity to create stunning pro-grade videos of Hollywood quality.

Pros

  • Supports green screen editing
  • It can conveniently run slow-motion edits
  • Allows you to upload videos easily to YouTube
  • You can conveniently save editing presets for instant playbacks on smart gadgets like iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.
  • Audio/Video recording feature is super easy to use
  • There is a single personal lifetime license (excluding commercial use) and a business lifetime license (includes commercial use)

Cons

  • No cons detected

Blackmagic Design Fusion

Blackmagic Design Fusion is the most advanced visual effects software for composition on the planet. It is also used for 3D animations, broadcast and motion graphics designs.

Pros

  • High-end software for design composition
  • It is a highly powerful
  • The user interface is node-based
  • Support for 3D and VR
  • Performance is accelerated by GPU
  • It can create visual effects for feature films
  • Image is analyzed by Optical Flow

Cons

  • It is quite expensive compared to other alternative editing software
  • Difficulty in understanding the operating process

Camtasia Studio

The Camtasia Studio editing software is designed to create HD and compact H.264 web format videos. You can also use Camtasia to create videos for presentations, training, and video demonstrations with the aid of software for screen recording.

Pros

  • Availability of 5 presets for production
  • You can easily record on-screen processes
  • The recording software is highly intuitive
  • The software is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Cons

  • A major drawback is that this software is designed for only screen recording

Nuke

The creators of Nuke designed brilliant visual effects software. Nuke has the ability to render powerful compositions. And the embedded toolkits are designed to enhance node-based compositing for high-end renders.

Pros

  • The final results of the production are film grade
  • You can easily access the technical support
  • You can customize it to suit your design preference
  • Nuke allows you to explore your creativity

Cons

  • For an annual maintenance price of $4,758, it is extremely expensive
  • Amateurs cannot easily understand the Nuke user interface

Apple Motion

Apple Motion is compositing software that assists an editor in creating and editing motion graphics and video titles. With Apple Motion you can conveniently customize the 2D and 3D effects for creating your own animations.

Pros

  • Seamless customization
  • It’s a cheap premium software
  • Plug-in extensions available
  • Capacity to edit motion graphics in HDR

Cons

  • No available version for Windows and Linux
  • In stack comparison with Adobe After Effects, there’s a difference in the editing logic

Photo Anim

With Photo Anim you can transform a photo into a 3D object. It is a windows software that is designed to edit and introduce animations into images.

Pros

  • Three basic editing modes such as image edit mode, animate mode, and movie edit mode
  • You can conveniently use it to warp or morph images
  • Performs skeletal animation

Cons

  • No application version for Mac or Linux

Houdini TimeLine FX

Houdini is a holistic 3D effect editing software. It is designed to cover all the aspects of 3D editing that includes lighting, rendering, particles, dynamics, animation, and modeling.

Pros

  • Houdini has an active forum for creators to share content, interact and proffer solutions to technicalities
  • Support for motion capture
  • Shader authoring is note based
  • Capacity to manipulate raw channels

Cons

  • Although its workflow is similar to Adobe After Effects, it doesn’t guarantee that Houdini is an ideal after effects alternative. There is a difference in the workflow of Houdini and this can greatly affect the user’s understanding

Autodesk Smoke

Are you looking for high-end visual effects software for editing broadcast and commercial projects? If you’re, then the Autodesk Smoke is the ideal visual effects software for your commercial and broadcasts projects. And the workspace has advanced 3D editing and finishing tools.

Pros

  • Ability to deliver editing projects on time
  • GPU-accelerated composting
  • You can easily share media and timelines via Autodesk
  • Advanced 3D tools

Cons

  • It does not have a software version for windows
  • It is not cheap
  • Unavailable option for a one-time payment

Particle Illusion

Particle illusion is a stunning unilateral particle editing software that is designed to cater to editors that are inclined to incorporating particle effects to video, animations, and images.

Pros

  • It’s very easy to incorporate particles to scenes with the drag and drop function
  • It has a control panel that supports keyframe navigation at lightning speed
  • The onscreen path is fully integrated into the interactive stage window onscreen path

Cons

  • It has no support for the Linux operating system

Conclusion

All the visual effects contained in this review are an ideal alternative to Adobe after effects. You can search through the free software and premium software to see the perfect fit for your editing projects.

Whichever software you choose, we’re confident that you’ll get the best result in the Absence of Adobe After Effects.

Do you have any comments? Please tell us more about it in the comment section.