Best Free Alternative To After Effects (2023)

To support their photography and expand their client services, more photographers are turning to video. Digitalization has made it easier to seamlessly transition between motion and still photography.

Since the Canon 5D Mark II, hybrid cameras have been very popular. They can shoot both video and photos at an exceptionally high level. These cameras opened up new opportunities to shoot video and photography at both a professional level and an amateur level. They are now the norm.

Adobe After Effects is the most well-known editing and effects software. Although it’s primarily a moving image toolet, it has also provided many opportunities for still photographers.

It is not the only program that offers video effects. It’s not the only video effects program available. We’ll be looking at many Adobe After Effects alternatives starting from free to professional prices.

If you have ever wondered: Is there an app like Adobe After Effects ?…?, this guide will answer your question.

Best After Effects Options for Free

After Effects offers a wide range of tools to help professionals and novice users create amazing visual effects.

Although it is expensive to use, there are many free After Effects alternatives.

1. Blender

Blender is an open-source alternative to After Effects. Blender is cross-platform, available for macOS and Windows, as well as Linux. It’s incredibly versatile and much loved by many users.

Blender is free to download and use because it’s open-source. Blender is also extremely versatile. You can use it to create professional-grade visual effects or simple video editing.

Blender can also be used to model, sculpt, draw, and create animations.

Blender can be used for video, film, and game design. Blender is able to handle all your tasks, including rigging, texturing and UV unwrapping.

Blender’s rendering quality is amazing, which makes it easy to create high-quality video FX. Blender also supports object tracking and camera reconstruction (tracking can either be manual or automated).

Blender is a flexible and responsive open-source software that can be used in a variety of ways. If you are a beginner, you can access a complete community support network via the Blender website.

2. Wax

Wax can be used for personal or professional use for no cost. Wax is an adaptable piece of software that excels at visual effects and video compositing.

Wax can create both 2D and 3-D visual effects.

It can be used in two modes. The first is standalone (ideal to beginners and non-professionals), while the second is for use with video editors as a plug-in (ideal to more professional use).

Presets can be created, saved, and used in Wax. These presets can then be used in a chain to create unique effects similar to AceMovi or another useful video editor.

Wax offers many features, including graphic acceleration that allows for effects in real-time, unlimited audio and video tracks which enable different compositing options, plug-ins that allow full 3D modeling and texturing, as well as the ability to manipulate shadows and shadows.

Wax does not support WAV and AVI files when importing files. Overall, Wax offers a lot of value for little investment. Wax is a great choice if you are looking for 2D/3D effects software.

3. Natron

Natron, a cross-platform free software that is not included in After Effects, can be considered as an alternative.

Natron is a node-based app that specializes in real-time compositing. It has over 250 pre-made plugins you can use to create visual effects.

Although it supports both 2D (and 2.5D) effects, this open-source software does not support 3D animations or 3D effects creation. In terms of interface and usability, Natron is similar to Nuke.

4. Hitfilm Express

Hitfilm Express can be used on both Mac OS and Windows. Hitfilm Express is a free video editing program that also offers professional VFX tools. This makes it a viable alternative to Adobe After Effects.

Hitfilm Express allows you to create and edit all kinds of content, as well as basic color corrections, professional-looking FX, and polish films.

This tool is very creative and includes high-speed FX, 2D and 3-D compositing and tracking without limitations. You can also integrate your workflow with a professional video editor.

Hitfilm Express is perfect for beginners. There’s also an active forum available to help you. Professionals can also use Hitfilm Pro, a paid version.

5. ButtleOFX

ButtleOFX, an open-source compositing program for Linux, is free to download and enjoy. You can use it to create visual effects in both video and photography.

You can connect nodes with the graph editor and you have access to a parameter editor.

ButtleOFX was created with the intention of making it simple, easy-to-use, and effective.

This Adobe After Effects alternative is an excellent piece of video editing software and effects software for beginners, or anyone who wants a simplified user experience.

Best Paid Alternatives to After Effects

After Effects may be the most popular software for digital visual effects. There are many paid After Effects alternatives apps that can be used in different creative industries. Continue reading to find out more.

1. FilmoraPro

FilmoraPro can be used as an alternative to After Effects, but you can still try it free. FilmoraPro is a great tool for creating animated credits and titles.

FilmoraPro offers a wide range of video editing options. It can also be used in place of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro.

FilmoraPro features advanced editing options, including audio sync technology, audio noise removal, and color correction.

You can also create customisable effects for your video. It’s less complicated than After Effects but is still very user-friendly and easy to learn.

FilmoraPro can be downloaded for Mac/Windows.

2. Fusion 16

Fusion 16 by Blackmagic Design is a professional alternative for Adobe AE on Windows and Mac. It is used by Hollywood filmmakers and other professionals around the globe.

This is a great tool for graphic designers and special effects artists, as well as those who specialize in 3D animation.

This application uses a node-based interface to give you access to many tools, including VR, 3D support, and more.

Fusion 16 is more than a video editor. You can also create broadcast-quality graphics and animations with it.

Fusion 16 is actually more advanced than After Effects. Fusion 16 has been used in many commercials, films, and TV programs.

Fusion 16 is the best After Effects alternative if you are looking for something professional and sophisticated.

3. Apple Motion

Apple Motion works in conjunction with Final Cut Pro. You can create motion graphics which can be imported directly into Final Cut Pro.

Apple Motion, just like After Effects allows you to composit. This allows you to create animations, motion tracking and titles, as well as other special effects.

It is a simple application to use, and it’s great if Final Cut Pro is already installed.

4. Autodesk Smoke

Autodesk Smoke, which is only available for Mac users, is a powerful piece of software.

It combines editing workflows and is aimed at professionals as well as studios. Smoke works with FCP X in the same way Adobe After Effects does with Premiere’s timeline.

This is a professional piece, and the price reflects that (currently it has a yearly cost of US$1,620).

It’s not easy. Smoke can be mastered once you are comfortable with the process.


Smoke, like many other AE options recommended here is node-based. Smoke is node-based, which means you can quickly create complex effects and not have to leave your timeline.


NukeX, Nuke Studio, and NukeX can be used alongside NukeX. NukeX and Nuke Studio are also favorites of the film industry. Nuke can be used for amazing effects.

Nuke is available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

It’s not cheap, just like Smoke! It is possible to purchase it directly, or pay monthly or yearly, just like Smoke.

In that Nuke can be used to composite and create special effects, it is very similar to After Effects. The node-based interface allows you to build scripts and provides access to many ‘toolkits’ that will speed up your editing and creation.

You can perform batch edits and compositing with the node interface. You can also save scripts to be reused in other projects.

Nuke can be used in a variety of ways and is very customizable. You can customize Nuke to fit your workflow and work style.

Nuke is proud of its complete retention of quality when it comes to colour. Nuke does not allow colour shifting or loss of quality. All colours you put into Nuke will be the same.

Nuke Indie, which is more geared towards solo artists than production studios is, is also an option. It is also more affordable.

What Else You Need To Know

After Effects can be purchased permanently.

After Effects are available through Adobe Creative Cloud for a monthly fee. This can be done cost-effectively by purchasing a bundle of creative software programs. If you already have Lightroom and Photoshop, After Effects can be easily added to them.

Can Blender Replace After Effects?

Blender is an excellent video editing tool. Blender is used more often than After Effects to do tasks like compositing. Blender can be preferred over After Effects if that suits your style of work. It’s also free to use.

Can After Effects be downloaded for free?

After Effects can be downloaded for free, but you will have to pay for it after the trial ends. There are many great alternatives to After Effects, including free ones. This will allow you to weigh all options before deciding which video effects software you want to use.

In Conclusion

Adobe After Effects is a video effects editor that is among the most popular and well-known. Adobe After Effects offers a wide range of tools to help professionals and novice users create amazing visual effects.

As we have shown, there are many options to choose from, including the powerful Blender app, which is free, and the highly effective FilmoraPro, as well as the class-leading Nuke, Smoke, and Fusion 16.

Remember that effects software doesn’t only help with the final look of your work. It’s also part of the creative process. This will allow you to take better photos and videos with the goal to edit them and manipulate them.

Download some trial versions of the software we have highlighted to help you find the best After Effects alternative.

We’ll be back in touch as soon as possible if you have any questions.