9 Best Adobe After Effects alternatives- free, commercial & open source

List of popular Opensource, Commercial and Free best alternative applications for Adobe After Effects for different OS platforms (Windows, MacOS and Linux).

Adobe After Effects can be considered as one of the most popular Visual effects editor platform around all kind of users. This application is a robust solution for all kind of Video and Visual effects editing, and also do comes with tons of tools and documentation which enables both any professional visual effects editor as well as any novice editor to design, edit and create as per their need. The output quality is also pretty high that’s why many Visual effects editing professionals like to use Adobe after effects for their daily needs.

But it is to remember that Adobe after effects is a commercial application so if you are an individual and want to use After Effects to create something or edit something out of curiosity or just because you are passionate about it, you may feel that the price tag is too high for you. There almost no Professional organization with Visual effects editing needs who do not have the paid subscription of the Adobe After Effects, but for an individual for non-professional usage, there are a couple of free options available out there.

On the other hand, even if you are a professional or a student who is learning about Visual Editing techniques, must know that using a one-stop shop application like Adobe After Effects always does not ensure the best result. For more precise purposes and special needs, there are a couple of specialized applications also available in the market which in turn also can be considered as the Alternative means of Adobe After Effects. The specialized applications can be recognized by the various kind of needs like 3D Modeling, Screen Capturing and Recording, Advanced Motion Tracking etc.

If you want to learn about the most effective and most convenient tools and application for Various type of Video and Visual effects editing purpose other than Adobe After Effects then go through this article, and at the end you will also learn about some of the latest applications, some of the free alternatives and also you should give these applications a try as you may come up with better result with these alternative applications than After Effects.

If the money is the only point you are going through this article then looks for the free alternatives only, doing piracy of the original application is not provoked by us, and you do it at your own risk if you do so.

Adobe After Effects Alternatives Free, commercial & Open Source

Motion (paid)

This application is really a wonderful application form IT giant Apple itself. You can find and use this application only in Mac OS. It is an After effects like application which comes with various tools to help you with your 2D and 3D animation jobs, as well as adding stylish titles to adding transitions all can be done using this application. It also has a lot of tools for video editing jobs.

Motion adobe after effects alternatives software

There is a big plus point in Apple Motion over the After Effects is that Motion provides the user with real-time feedback, so the user does not need to render every time to view the change in the working project.

This application is so renowned and loved by the user that there are many users out there who have bought a Macbook just to use this application.


Pros –

  • The users can work on the project for both the 2D and 3D titles with many advanced and exclusive tools.
  • Drag and drop facility enables the height level of ease of use.
  • Comes with more than 200 types of filters.

Cons –   

  • It is not a platform-independent application, it runs on Mac only. As well as it is a partially free (Freemium) piece of application, with a price tag of $49.99 one-time payment for full access.


Blender- Free & Open source

Blender is a completely free alternative for Adobe After Effects to use also an Open-source software application available for all the users. It can run on Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS and FreeBSD. It is the best free alternative to Adobe after effects.

Blender free and open source alternative to Adobe after affects

  • This application can be used for a serious level of professional jobs, like creating animated graphics and films, creating and modifying visual effects on image or video, creating an interactive 2D/3D application like video games etc.
  • The software’s core is strong with some specific type of Visual editing jobs like UV unwrapping, Texturing, fluid simulation, smoke or fog simulation, particle simulation, animation, video composing etc.
  • This application can be used as a full-on alternative of Adobe After Effects. For any Linux user, this one is one of the best choices in the market without any doubt.
  • If you like the application you can donate the developers directly or can support them by buying some merchandise from their website.
  • It also requires very less amount of hardware juice comparing to other Video editing applications. The CPU speed, GPU support, amount of Memory needed are quite low and almost at any computer, you can use this application.

Website to Download

Pros –

  • It comes with a 3D effects maker, which is a complete open source package.
  • Best quality rendering effects and manipulation tools are available in this application.
  • Supports most of the popular Operating System, which makes this application a cup of tea for all the users.
  • Though it is a free application, it receives frequent updates and occasional upgrades from the developers. It also comes with a tech-support and community support to resolve any performance issue.
  • You can go to the official webpage of the product to check out some sample works and short movies which has been created with the application.
  • No watermark or any issue even if you use the application for commercial purpose.

Cons –

  • You may feel there are lack of some features if you have used to with Apple Motion or After effects before.
  • Mastering the navigation of all the features and tools takes a little longer time.


Natron- Free & open source

Another wonderful solution for all your video editing needs. Natron is a free and open-source alternative to Adobe after effects, node-based compositing software application.

This application is also freeware and needs no payment to utilize all the features within the application. The application comes with the flexibility of customizing the User Interface according to the user’s choice. You will even have more flexibility and features while you are working with OpenFX architectures.

Natron- Free & open source after effects alternatives
Best After effects alternatives
  • This application has versions for most of the OS like Windows, Linux, OSX, and FreeBSD, and the unique thing is all the user interface are the same in all the versions.
  • You can use this application to create and customize new effects and you can also work on your project by creating unlimited no of layers of masks, you can work with mattes and shapes and all.
  • The application is easy to use and easy to master. If you possess prior knowledge about video editing applications then this application is going to be a piece of cake for you.
  • This application is a great choice for working with motion graphics also.
  • It needs a higher hardware boost to run while you compare it with Blender.

Website to download

Pros –

  • Very stable and very user-friendly application.
  • Very good choice even if you are a hardcore professional.
  • Has multilingual and multi-platform support.
  • Comes with customizable UI feature.
  • It is a freeware, with full access, and no watermark on the output.

Cons –

  • Not frequently updated nowadays
  • The community is helpful but sometimes it takes days to find the solution of the quarries.
  • For some features, you may need to use some other application for best results.


Autodesk smoke (paid)

Again, coming to a perfect alternative for Adobe After Effects for Mac users. This application is only for professionals, hence provide a quality result. Learning this application is quite tricky and takes a longer time than any other video editing application.

Autodesk smoke paid adobe after effects alternatives

  • Apart from adding various types of effects on video and images, you can also work with 3D text effects in this application.
  • You can use the effects and without any rendering directly you can see the preview without any delay.
  • This is a commercial application, comes with a 30-days free trial period.
  • This application is damn expensive, it costs $195/month and $1545/year as a subscription.


Pro –

  • Best quality performance and output for any video editing professionals.
  • Best choice for industry standard usages.
  • Cover almost all the features you can imagine and expect in a modern video editing application.

Cons –

  • The learning curve is tougher than any other counterparts.
  • It is a very expensive application, so not for any students or enthusiasts, it is only meant for professionals only.
  • The price factor is the reason why I put this application at the last spot otherwise it is one of the best video editing application around the world.
  • There is one more application for Mac users called iMovie from Apple, which is quite good of an application as a video editor, but it is not meant for pro usages, actually, it is meant for normal usages by normal Mac users for fun and learning basic video editing. This application is a freeware and only available in the Apple store. Though among mature users this application is a very popular one.

Wondershare FilmoraPro (freemium)

Of course, the second one in the list is the Wondershare FilmoraPro as it is considered as the best alternative solution for Adobe After Effects by all of the experts. If you ask me what I like about this application, it will be the ease of navigation within the tools. For most of the novice users, the Adobe After Effects can become such a pain when it comes to learning all about the app and navigating through the tools as per the need. But, in Wondershare FilmoraPro is really very easy to use, easy to learn and master.

Wondershare FilmoraPro adobe after effects alternative

  • It comes with 50-plus well-organized preset effects and with add-on tools to modify those further. You can work with any kind of image or video while you are using FilmoraPro. You can work with 360-degree video settings, and also can work with lights and flares of the image, sharpness settings, keying effects and all.
  • One can create animated titles just by using the presets in the application very easily. The created slides, videos and images also can be further edited with the matte cleaner tools, motion trail effects and all.
  • FilmoraPro has a unique feature of supporting unlimited no of video track addition and automatic audio track syncing which makes the job easier.
  • The Auto-correction feature for suitable colour control for any image or video works really awesome. It is something worth experiencing.
  • This application is supported by the MacOS and Microsoft Windows. It also comes with a free version, but it will contain watermark upon your work and you will be provided with no tech support.
  • You can also try Wondershare Filmora9, which is an older version and comes cheap in price.


Pro –

  • Very easy to use, a perfect one for anyone who wants to learn video editing from scratch.
  • The free version contains full access, which let the new users learn all about video editing techniques for free.
  • The Audio auto-syncing feature is best in class.
  • Auto-correction feature for colour settings is one of the best in class feature and works really out of the box. Many professionals also do use this technique to reduce the time of work done.
  • As this application has a MacOS version so it has a wide range of user base.
  • If you are a MacOS user and you have the paid edition of this application, then you will not need any other application for Video editing jobs as of 2019, as the combo of Apple Motion and Wondershare FilmoraPro is the best you can have.
  • Filmora also has a screen recording application on their website, it is also a commercial application but can be proved to be very useful for the YouTube creators and Live streamers, as the combo of the Screen recorder and the Video editing app from the same developer can provide you with a bang on performance.
  • You can go to the official webpage of the product to check out some sample works which has been created with the application.

Cons –

  • The free version contains a watermark on the project. So, the freeware cannot be used professionally.
  • The paid version comes with a $90/year subscription and $150 one-time-payment option, which are quite costly.


Few other best alternatives to Adobe After effects those haven’t tried by us personally, so pros and cons haven’t discussed here but worth to know about:

Lightworks (Freemium)

Freemium available for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Lightworks freemium alternative to adobe after effects

Nuke Non-commercial

Nuke which is paid alternative to Adobe After effects also offers non-commercial versions with some limitations such as:

Output resolution is limited to HD (1920 x 1080).
The WriteGeo, Primatte, Ultimatte, BlinkScript, and GenerateLUT nodes are disabled.
2D format support is disabled for MPEG4 and h264.
There’s no support for third-party plug-ins—only plug-ins that ship with Nuke are supported.
Data storage is encrypted, meaning that you cannot open Nuke Non-commercial files in the commercial version of Nuke.
Python scripting is limited.

Nuke non-commercial alternative for Adobe After effects

Hitfilm Expres: Free After Effects Alternative

Offers both free and paid versions for Windows and MacOS.

Features: Professional-grade video editor, Full 2D and 3D compositing, 410+ effects and presets, Free video tutorials and projects and Unlimited tracks and transitions.

FXhome HitFilm

Eyeon Fusion (Free/Paid)

From the Blackmagic design (offer both free and paid versions for Windows, Linux and Mac). The free of Fusion comes with DaVinci Resolve which is a free version and also offers fewer features than the paid one. But more than enough and powerful when you compared free software with it. The developer of these software are veteran in the videography field.

Blackmagic design Fusion


Wrapping up

Now the decision depends on your needs. If you are a professional you already have a choice of your own by your experience, and also another hand your organization has its own choice of application. But if you are a student or just a passionate enthusiast then it is upon you whether you want to spend money to buy a commercial application or you want to go with the free applications. All the applications listed here are one of the best in class, so do not worry before trying the free alternatives for Adobe After Effects.

Other Alternatives to See:

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