Adobe After Effects Alternatives and Similar Software

Arguably one of the best video effects editors in the business, Adobe After Effects provides users with a robust suite of tools and documentation to enable both novice and professional video editors to do what they need to in order to create stunning visual effects for video and film.

Alternatives with a similar workflow include Small FXhome HitFilm iconFXhome HitFilm (which has a free option available), Blackmagic Design Fusion, and NUKE.

For more especially purposed programs that are concentrated on 3D modeling, screen capturing and recording, and advanced motion tracking instead of post-processing and video effect editing, you've come to the right place!

The list of alternatives was last updated: 9/14/2020 10:16:00 AM

Alternatives to Adobe After Effects for all platforms with any license

  • Natron

    Natron is an open source, cross platform nodal compositing application. It is built around industry standard open source tech such as OpenFX, OpenEXR, OpenColorIO and OpenImageIO. The feature set includes realtime playback/RAM cache, multi-threaded rendering, 2d tracking, rotoscoping, grading, animation via f-curves and 3rd party OpenFX plugin support. All contained within a familiar, intuitive interface with an XML based project file format.

    • Natron can import SVG image and edit node. However, Natron cannot export SVG file. Guest • Jul 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Free and open-source node based alternative to After Effects. It's pretty similar to Nuke, but doesn't cost anything. POXApr 2020 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Its hard to understand at first, but once you know what you're doing, every things is worth it Rotchka22Mar 2020 • 4 agrees and 5 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • A Node based approach for not only vector and raster image processing and animation but also for OpenGL effects and shader authoring. Also supports OFX. Mainly targeted for VFX compositing. fahadhasanpathikJan 2018 • 14 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Awful documentation (blank page); The versions change so much that the old tutorials don't help at all; Difficult to learn by just messing around; High learning curve. Guest • Aug 2017 • 27 agrees and 19 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Its simple (when you get the arrangement) but still very powerful, easily works with Blender and its free!! Guest • Apr 2017 • 12 agrees and 15 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's more of like a basic thing. MrJangoonOct 2016 • 2 agrees and 7 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    Natron icon
  • FXhome HitFilm

    HitFilm merges FXHome VisionLab Studio , FXHome Effectslab and FXHome CompositeLab into one software. HitFilm is a layer-based editing and compositing package. HitFilm Ultimate gives you blockbuster quality visual effects and compositing at an indie price. You have full control to create your own unique effects using cutting edge technology.

    • it has a better alternative when it comes to editing Guest • Oct 2018 • 4 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It has some nice features to make 2D and 3D compositings. Very easy to use and free. In this case, free does not mean "cheap". Guest • May 2018 • 7 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • The only one in the list that has more similarities with the After Effects Workflow Guest • Sep 2017 • 7 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It has a free version, also has a lot of built-in tools to help you achieve everything you can imagine. It has TRUE 3d space, unlike *some* other solutions. Guest • May 2017 • 5 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac Windows

    FXhome HitFilm icon
  • Blender

    Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

    • AE's main purpose: Video effect editing. Blender has a whole range of possibilities, but it's hard to get into and it's not designed to be used solely for video effect editing. danielmichelNov 2017 • 70 agrees and 27 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is has a bit different workflow, that doesn't make it worse than AE. People think that Blender is only a 3D program, but it fact it has greasepencil (2d animation tool), and it also includes node-based compositing, video editing and video tracking. With Blender you can combine 2d animations, 3d renderings and video footage without using any external program. sas_jaJun 2020 • 2 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is a 3D suite and the node based compositing workflow differs a lot from after effects. Guest • Aug 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • It is free and u can use it for everything. You can Design you own things Guest • Jun 2020 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • While Blender itself is undoubtedly a quite extensive 3D graphics software it simply does not play the same role which After Effects does. One may argue that some functions of After Effects can be replicated in Blender the overall Workflow is entirely different (and not for the better). Guest • May 2019 • 22 agrees and 8 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is free, open source, and constantly updating. Plus, there are thousands of free add-ons to expand Blender's capabilities. Guest • May 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is a very powerful tool, don't get me wrong, but Blender is not focused on video effects. Blender is more focused on 3d modeling and animation. Blender can do what After Effects can do, but only to a certain extent. Guest • Jun 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is animation software, not compositing. Just because you can edit video doesn't mean you can do VFX as well. Guest • May 2020 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • New blender now had video editing Guest • Apr 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is a 3D creation tool, not a video editing software. Guest • Apr 2020 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is mostly used for CGI and model creation. After Effects is for video editing and VFX. Yes, these two programs are sometimes used together, but they are not alternatives. Guest • Mar 2020 • 6 agrees and 6 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Yeah, you can edit videos with it... But it's not made for it in specific and isn't it's main purpose. It has lots of purposes. Guest • Dec 2015 • 28 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is for 3d more than after effects which is for a different style animation Guest • Feb 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is not typically used for editing and compositing videos, although it has some functionality in such Guest • Sep 2018 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender has a steep learning curve and it meant for 3d modeling and animation. it is a more powerful program that AE but not recommended as an alternate Guest • Nov 2018 Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is made for animation; After Effects is primarily made and advertised to combine animation with camerawork, not as a standalone animation creator. You can edit video on Blender, but it is sort of a loophole and very difficult to get started with. Guest • Aug 2018 Disagree   Agree
    • It may have a very different UI, and be 3d instead of 2d, HOWEVER it's still good for doing similar things if you can't afford After Effects. (Armature can replace puppet pin, you can choose to import images under User Preferences, etc.) Guest • Jun 2018 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is mainly a 3d modeling application. After effects is focused on motion graphics, video editing and compositing. Guest • Nov 2017 • 2 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's a multi-purpose software with capability to things that After Effects can do, like adding special effects. It is free and best video editing software for linux. Guest • Feb 2018 • 1 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It clearly doesn't look like after effects and has a pretty steep learning curve, but it can do anything that after effects can do. Guest • Jan 2016 • 19 agrees and 12 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It can be used as an alternative to After Effects, and is more powerful since it is a full 3D graphics software. Guest • Jan 2016 • 2 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD ... Haiku Steam

    Blender icon
  • Blackmagic Design Fusion

    Blackmagic Fusion (formerly known as Fusion and eyeon Fusion) is an image compositing software program created by eyeon Software Inc, now developed by Blackmagic Design. It is typically used to create visual effects and digital compositing for movies, TV-series and commercials. It employs a node-based interface in which complex processes are built up by connecting a flowchart or schematic of many nodes, each of which represents a simpler process, such as a blur or color correction.

    • Great software and well integrated with DaVinci Resolve. POXApr 2020 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • High level composition software. Guest • Sep 2018 • 6 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's really powerful, but also very difficult to understand. Maxi_MegaNov 2017 • 7 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It may not be entirely free, but still works VERY WELL if I could only understand it XD Guest • Jun 2016 • 8 agrees and 5 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium $ $ $ Mac Windows Linux

    Blackmagic Design Fusion icon
  • NUKE

    NUKE is a powerful compositing application that delivers unparalleled speed, an efficient multi-channel scanline rendering engine, and a first-class feature set that is unrivalled in the desktop market. If you are in the business of creating high-quality digital images Nuke is a production proven visual effects tool that brings speed, functionality and flexibility to your VFX pipeline.

    • There is a free commercial version, nuke is also more industry standard for compositing Guest • Dec 2016 • 12 agrees and 7 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    NUKE icon
  • Apple Motion

    Motion is a compositing application used to create and edit motion graphics, titling for video and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects. Motion is now included in the Final Cut Pro X video post-production suite. Designed for video editors, Motion 5 lets you customize Final Cut Pro titles, transitions, and effects. Or create your own dazzling animations in 2D or 3D space, with real-time feedback as you work.

    • A great software for motion design and 2D/3D animation, especially if you're already using Final Cut Pro. POXApr 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • better than ae and one-time payed Guest • Feb 2018 • 4 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Cheap, not free, and there are some plugins. Guest • Jan 2017 • 8 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac

    Apple Motion icon
  • Hitfilm Express

    Free video-editing and video-composition software in one, with the option of buying fx-packs.

    • Because it can do precisely similar things to what things Adobe After Effects can do. Guest • Jun 2019 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's free I have used black magic's da'vinchi resolve. After effects is mainly for vfx. Hitfilm too is! As per its latest update it has been optimised to a high lag. It's really good.its forums are very active! I don't think any free software can compete with hitfilm express in case of VFX:) Guest • Feb 2019 • 5 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Mac Windows

    Hitfilm Express icon
  • Snowmix

    Snowmix is a video mixer tool for mixing live and recorded video and audio feeds. It supports clipping, scaling and transparent overlay of video, png graphics and text. It supports animation of video, images and texts through native commands changing scale, placement, transparency and rotation. Animation and actions can also be controlled through native scripting and an embedded Tcl interpreter.

    Free Open Source Mac Linux

    Snowmix icon
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  • ButtleOFX

    ButtleOFX is a simple, user-friendly and open source compositing software. It is based on TuttleOFX,  an open source, modular and sustainable image processing architecture. ButtleOFX allows you to easily create special effects for your photos and videos thanks to its features.

    • Discontinued
      as evidenced by their github page, the team is no longer developing it any further. They are looking for a maintainer. The last commit is over a year old.

    Free Open Source Linux

    ButtleOFX icon
  • Houdini

    Houdini covers all the major areas of 3D production, including: * Modeling - All standard geometry entities including Polygons, (Hierarchical) NURBs/Bezier Curves/Patches & Trims, Metaballs * Animation - Keyframed animation and raw channel manipulation (CHOPs), motion capture support * Particles * Dynamics - Rigid Body Dynamics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Wire (Curve) Dynamics, Cloth Simulation * Lighting - node-based shader authoring, lighting and re-lighting in an IPR viewer *...

    • Houdini is a fantastic application for simulation and 3D graphics. It may have some niche functionality overlap with After Effects but the intended use of the application is wildly different. Guest • Jun 2020 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • While one could argue that many 3D packages include functionality similar to the one of After Effects, that alone does not make said package a valid alternative. The overall workflow of the application has to taken into account too, and that is where things diverge greatly. Guest • May 2019 • 3 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    Houdini icon



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