Adobe After Effects Alternatives for Windows

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: 2/28/2019 12:20:00 AM

Alternatives to Adobe After Effects for Windows 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.

    • 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 • 13 agrees and 8 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 • 5 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Its simple (when you get the arrangement) but still very powerful, easily works with Blender and its free!! Guest • Apr 2017 • 8 agrees and 12 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's more of like a basic thing. MrJangoonOct 2016 • 1 agrees and 6 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 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 • 3 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • The only one in the list that has more similarities with the After Effects Workflow Guest • Sep 2017 • 4 agrees and 2 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 • 46 agrees and 10 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is not an After Effects alternative, it is a 3D modeling app, it should be removed to avoid confusion. Guest • Feb 2019 • 11 agrees and 9 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's MORE powerful than AAE is. Guest • Jul 2019 • 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 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is for 3d modeling and editing, not video editing.. Completely different. Guest • Dec 2018 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • After Effects is not a 3D modeling software, although it can have a 3D editor, its main functions are post-production and video editing. Guest • Jan 2019 Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is not typically used for editing and compositing videos, although it has some functionality in such Guest • Sep 2018 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Adobe After Effects is created specifically for video montage, adding special effects, etc. While Blender is, first of all, a 3D-rendering software. Guest • Nov 2018 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
    • after effects is for animation and effects.. blender is a 3d modeling / animation program Guest • Jul 2018 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees 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 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • its not a video editing software. Guest • Feb 2018 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Mostly because its free. But not just that, it can do much more than just video composting. For me its a win-win. Plus, did I mention it is way lighter than AE and open source? Guest • Mar 2018 • 1 agrees and 3 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 • 24 agrees and 2 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 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is mainly a 3d modeling application. After effects is focused on motion graphics, video editing and compositing. Guest • Nov 2017 • 1 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • blender is modeling and animations, after effects is video editing Guest • Nov 2017 • 0 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is a 3D editor. After Effects is a video editor. Blender has a video editor and effects but no video editing. After Effects edits videos and adds effects. Guest • Oct 2017 • 1 agrees and 7 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Blender is a 3D modelling & game engine tool; different field. Guest • Sep 2017 • 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 11 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Has nothing to do with special effects Guest • Jan 2016 • 1 agrees and 1 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 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • After Effects is a VFX and MoGrahp software (focusing compositing, masking...), while Blender is a 3D computer graphics software (focusing modeling, rendering...). Guest • Jan 2016 • 2 agrees and 8 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD PortableApps.com ... 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.

    • High level composition software. Guest • Sep 2018 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • It's really powerful, but also very difficult to understand. Maxi_MegaNov 2017 • 5 agrees and 0 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 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium $ $ $ Mac Windows Linux

    Blackmagic Design Fusion icon
  • Camtasia Studio

    Produce videos for the web using the industry-leading H.264 format. No tweaks or technospeak, just sparkling HD-quality video with compact file sizes...every single time. Two existing production presets (blog and web) and three new presets (YouTube, HD display, and Screencast.com) take advantage of the new format. Create eye-catching training, presentation and demo videos…the easy way. Camtasia screen recording software is streamlined, intuitive and makes you look like a pro.

    Commercial Mac Windows

    Camtasia Studio 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 • 6 agrees and 6 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    NUKE 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 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 level.no 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 • 2 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Mac Windows

    No features added Add a feature

    Hitfilm Express 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 *...

    • 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 Disagree   Agree

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

    Houdini icon
  • Liconcomp

    Liconcomp can compose videos, text, and camera images live and play them back in real time. It's perfect for the playback of content on large screens, LED walls, scrolling LED displays, LED perimeter systems, and screens in custom formats. Liconcomp can combine different content like videos or tickers and output them to the screen. Control is based on scripts, that is, your programmer can customize the software to your exact needs.

    • Discontinued The project seems to be no longer developed. Last version, 1.2.2, released in March 2011, can be still downloaded from the official website.

    Free Open Source Windows

    Liconcomp icon
  • ParticleIllusion

    particleIllusion 3.0: award-winning standalone particle effects application that enables you to quickly and easily add a huge variety of particle effects to your images, animation, or video.

    Commercial Mac Windows Adobe After Effects

    No features added Add a feature

    ParticleIllusion icon
  • BluffTitler

    BluffTitler is a Windows desktop app for creating, rendering and playing 3D video effects. With BluffTitler you can create short, spectacular 3D animations: -video titles -intro videos -outros -bumpers -promos -special effects -logo animations

    Commercial Windows

    BluffTitler icon
  • Sensei Format

    Sensei Format & the Blender Crash Course were created with each other in mind (blendersensei.com/blender-crash-course). The idea being, make Blender easier to learn and use. Sensei Format removes tedious and difficult to remember steps from hundreds of common 3D modeling and animation tasks. Learning a 3D program is similar to learning a programming language. Once learned, transferring your skills is fairly simple. Sensei Format helps you learn core CG disciplines faster.

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac Windows Linux Blender

    Sensei Format icon
  • TimeLineFX

    Export the particle effects as static animations onto sprite sheets, animation strips or image sequences in PNG format, or if you develop for the iPhone or iPad, you can export using the PVRTC format (Mac only). If you program games using the powerful Blitzmax programming language, you can also use the effects directly using the TimelineFX Module.

    Commercial Mac Windows BlitzMax

    No features added Add a feature

    TimeLineFX icon
  • Solar

    Lightstream Solar is a new GPU-accelerated high-end compositor for VFX work. The software provides a node and tree-based workflow, and offers the range of tools one would expect in an app of this type, including layer management tools, colour correction and grading, and additional tools like particle systems and caustics. The system is compatible with standard editing hardware, including Bluefish, AJA and Blackmagic Design boards.

    Commercial Windows

    No features added Add a feature

    Solar icon
  • Action Pro

    Record and build 3D animations in one piece of software using Action Pro Beta. Make your move, build your animation Tired of tedious keyframing? Take animating into your own hands (literally) with our brand-new motion-building software: Action Pro Beta. Easily transform real-world motion (from your mousepad or Leap Motion device!) into professional 2D and 3D animations. No clunky graphs. No numbers. Record your moves and watch your animation come to life.

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac Windows

    Action Pro icon

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