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Top 8 After Effects Alternatives for Mac/Windows

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Editing your photographs and videos is an important part of making them perfect, and it takes a lot of work too. For this post-process, a lot of professionals quickly choose to use Adobe After Effects although there are various reasons to avoid it. If you’re one of those who would rather use an After Effects alternative, then you’ve come to the right place.

Adobe products are expensive and sure; they’re rightfully so. However, this means that anyone who does photography as a hobby most likely won’t be able to use any of Adobe’s tools. This includes both After Effects and Photoshop and on top of the price, Adobe programs aren’t easy to use. It takes a long time to figure out where everything is and how to use different features. Some alternatives are much simpler and can make shooting videos and photos a more enjoyable experience.

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Wondershare FilmoraPro – #1 After Effects alternatives

At the top of our list is Wondershare FilmoraPro, a fantastic piece of software for any aspiring video editor. With this tool, you have all the capabilities of After Effects at your fingertips, without the absurdly high price tag or complexity. It’s easy to use, includes a lot of useful features, and offers a hassle-free editing experience.

You can edit 360-degree videos without any problems, sharpen images, adjust lighting, and pretty much anything else you can think of! You can even add animated intros and outros to spruce things up. For the beginners, you may also try Filmora9. Read more information about iMovie vs. Final Cut Pro, VSDC free video editor review and Top Girl YouTubers, as well as the Windows Story Remix if you like.

Key Features of Wondershare FilmoraPro

  • Over 50 video effects for video editing
  • Has plenty of built-in tools to create professional-quality videos
  • Combine multiple videos smoothly
  • A free version of FilmoraPro is available to try before you buy!
  • A friendly option for beginners looking to start editing

Get FilmoraPro

Wax Video Editor – #2 After Effects alternatives

Another great After Effects alternative is the Wax video editor. Only Windows users can access this program, and they have two options when doing so – using Wax alone or as part of Sony Vegas. Unfortunately, there is no Mac or Linux support with Wax.

As a free video editor, Wax is a fantastic choice for any type of editor. It includes various filters and editing features, and you can add more features by using DirectX and VirtualDub plugins too! One thing worth noting about this program is that it uses your computer’s graphics card for processing your videos. This means that the better your GPU, the faster your videos render after editing.

Key Features of Wax Video Editor

  • Allows you to add 2D and 3D video effects
  • Users can use Wax as an individual program or a Sony Vegas addon
  • Add 3D text and particle overlays to your videos
  • Uses the graphics card for processing instead of the CPU

Hitfilm Pro – #3 After Effects alternatives

With this fantastic piece of software, you can enjoy the range of professional features that Adobe After Effects has to offer without the over-complicatedness. Whilst you work on your masterpiece, you can use the preview panel to see how it looks, therefore allowing you to make slight adjustments without re-rendering.

Using Hitfilm gets you to access to as many as 800 video effects that won’t disappoint, and which will impress your viewers. Whatever your videos are for, this is an editor that’ll get the job done.

Key Features of Hitfilm Pro

  • Over 800 video effects and presets available
  • Supports various video and audio formats (import videos from any device!)
  • Has a professional feel but is simple to use

Autodesk Smoke – #4 After Effects alternatives

At first, the price of Autodesk Smoke screams stay away. But if you can afford the $1,500 per year in exchange for a professional video editing tool, this is the right one for you.

Autodesk Smoke is one of the After Effects Alternative programs that is more advanced, although there are plenty of guides online to get you started. In a short amount of time, you’ll be able to create incredible videos that’ll impress all your friends!

Key Features of Autodesk Smoke

  • Expensive but has a 30-day free trial so that you can experience it before purchasing
  • Developed with professional video editors in mind
  • Includes all of the features you’ll ever need (as a beginner or as a professional)
  • Students get access to Autodesk Smoke for free!
  • Timeline-based editing platform

Apple Motion – #5 After Effects alternatives

If you’re looking for something simple, then take a gander at Apple Motion. Although there aren’t many advanced features on the show with this program, it’s a great starting point if you want to start learning.


As an After Effects alternative you can expect features such as adding 3D text, drag-and-drop effects, and a library of over 200 filters to add a little extra to your work. You can easily combine multiple videos into one or do basic edits – as straightforward as they get!

Key Features of Apple Motion

  • Suitable for beginners who don’t have much video editing experience
  • After editing, your video doesn’t need to render (real-time production)
  • Drag-and-drop effects make editing easy

Eyeon Fusion – #6 After Effects alternatives

This next After Effects alternative is available for Windows and Linux users, but not Mac. Some people think After Effects is too complex for video editing in which case, Eyeon Fusion might not be much better. It has a lot of great features to offer but isn’t any easier to use than After Effects is.

Users who have the basics of video editing under the belt can jump straight into Eyeon Fusion. It’s suitable for creating virtual reality videos, supports camera tracking and planar tracking, and utilizes your computer’s graphics card too.

Key Features of Eyeon Fusion

  • Supports camera tracking for creating professional videos
  • Videos process using your graphics card allowing for incredibly fast rendering
  • Included delta keyer and clean plate features
  • Can be used to create 3D and virtual reality videos
  • Has all of the tools you’ll ever need to become a professional

Blender – #7 After Effects alternatives

Another free and very simple video editor is Blender. This is one of the few programs that are open-source, with plenty of add-ons available.

Not only can you use Blender for video editing, but you can create animations, interactive animations, and much more. Not to mention it enables you to add particles and filters to your videos too. While simple, this is the best After Effects alternative to start with that lets you grow as an editor.

Key Features of Blender

  • Great starting editor for beginners
  • Creates graphics, animations, 3D videos, and more
  • Supports texturing, particles, and UV unwrapping
  • Includes all of the essential video editing tools for beginners, and a few other advanced features too

Natron – #8 After Effects alternatives

Last on the list is Natron, a powerful video editing tool which like Blender, is open source. At first glance, the user interface can look cluttered, but you can customize the layout with ease. After you have the interface layout perfect you can start editing your videos with a wide range of editing features.

One of the best parts of Natron as an After Effects alternative is the community plugins. Since this is an open source program, anyone can create plugins for it. That means that if the editor doesn’t already have a feature you need, there’s likely a plugin somewhere that’ll do what you want.

Key Features of Natron

  • Uses the computer’s graphics card for a quick rendering
  • There is a plugin marketplace for community plugins
  • Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers
  • Provides object tracking and rotoscoping capabilities

To Conclude for the After Effects alternatives

Don’t let the complexity of an application like Adobe After Effects discourage your video editing endeavours! With one of the After Effects alternatives above you can make small edits to your recordings, enjoy professional features, and pursue video editing as a hobby or to advance your career. From this list, we recommend Wondershare FilmoraPro or Filmora9 which is for the beginners, but whichever you decide on, they all provide a top-notch experience.

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