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10 Best After Effects Alternatives on Mac, Windows and Linux (Free and Paid)

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Sep 05, 2022• Proven solutions

Adobe After Effects is a unique software for digital motion compositing and editing.

With Adobe After Effects, you can make dazzling motion graphics and fancy visual effects using your creativity and imagination.

As to my own experience, it's not easy to get started, though you can use After Effects templates at the end. There is a steep learning curve in front of you, and price makes so many people look for After Effects alternative.

So is there a program like After Effects that enable you to enhance your video with compelling effects quickly and easily?

The answer is Yes. This page will include several Adobe After Effects alternatives partially similar to After Effects on Mac, Linux, and Windows. We will also include After Effects free alternative for your choice, so keep reading!

Part 1: Best Free After Effects Alternatives

1. Wondershare Filomra - Easy to Use Effects Maker on Windows and Mac

Filmora is the best After Effects alternative if you feel like After Effects is too challenging to use.

Filmora has more than 100 well-organized effects settings, which means you will have more control over the video effects, including 360-degree video, keying, lights & flares, sharpen, and so on.

With Filmora, you can create animated titles and credits from the inside preset.

You can use Filmora to create natural effects by using matte cleaner, stylize, or motion trails in a more natural way. Besides, Filmora supports unlimited video tracks and auto audio sync if you want to make professional effects with easy to use features.

Now download it on Windows and Mac to have a try!

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

2. Wax - Free Alternative to After Effects in Windows


  • You can add more plugins with Transition and Plugin SDK feature
  • It has more than hundreds of built-in presets to use


  • For importing files, it only supports AVI and WAV

You can also use Wax as a lightweight After Effects alternative for Windows only, and for totally free. With Wax, you can do compositing and special effects like After Effects. This free alternative program to After Effects can either work as a standalone application or as a plugin for software like Sony Vegas.

By using Plugin Adapter - you can even use DirectX plugins/Windows Movie Maker presets/VirtualDub filters as Wax Plugins. For most graphic cards, it provides some real-time or near real-time effects.

Key Features:

  • You can create 2D/3D video effects.
  • It can be used as a plugin to Premiere.
  • Use graphics acceleration for processing.


3. Hitfilm - After Effects Alternative for Windows and Mac


  • Multi-core and GPU accelerated systems will give you high-speed effects making experience
  • Active Hitfilm forum to solve your problem


  • Beginners need time to learn how to make visual effects

HitFilm Pro is an all-in-one video editor, compositor, and VFX software. It helps you make the complicated process in After Effects easier while in HitFilm. It has many preset effects that allow you to make Hollywood-like videos easily and quickly.

Key Features:

  • Hitfilm has 820+ VFX and presets
  • It supports almost all media formats.


4. Blender - Another Free Program Similar to After Effects on Windows, macOS, Linux and steam


  • Especially, it is designed for making animation effects
  • It supports all kinds of visual effects - modeling, sculpt, VFX and drawing


  • You need time to adapt it as the entire workflow is unlike Adobe Effects

Blender is FREE and open-source software that, like After Effects can be used for creating animated graphics, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games. Blender's key features include 3D modeling, video editing, UV unwrapping, texturing, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, animating, and compositing.

Key Features:

  • It is an open-source 3D effects maker.
  • Ultra-realistic rendering is available.


5. Natron - Free open source on Win/Mac/Linux


  • It is a cross-platform visual effect maker
  • Over 250 plugins to make effects offered by people around the world


  • It supports making 2D/2.5D effects, but you can't make 3D effects

Natron is an open-source After Effects alternative for those people who like to customize the functions or interface. Compared with After Effects, you will have more controls over OpenFX architecture.

You will see the same interface on Windows, Mac, and Linux, so don't worry about the cross-platform problem. It can generate many layers of masks, mattes, and shapes that can be used on making effects.

Key Features:

  • GPU rendering for acceleration
  • It offers plugins in the community


Part 2: Best Paid After Effects Alternatives

6. Apple Motion - A Program Like After Effects for Mac


  • Make high-quality effects on all video editing levels
  • Fast editing experience by saving at any time and then starting editing


  • Unlike Effects, the editing logic and workflow are totally different

Price: $299.99

Apple's motion is also a motion graphics and compositing application like After Effects, which lets you create your own dazzling animations in 2D or 3D space, or customize stylish titles, transitions, and effects for Final Cut Pro, a video editing application also developed by Apple.

Different from After Effects, Motion gives you real-time feedback. There is no need to render to view your work.

Key Features:

  • You can build 2D/3D titles with advanced tools.
  • Drag and drop to make effects
  • Offer more than 200 filters.

Apple Motion

7. Eyeon Fusion - After Effects Alternative for Windows and Linux


  • It belongs to Blackmagic Design, so you can make visual effects along with its software
  • It is a film-making industry maker for professionals


  • the steep learning curve for most of the users

Price: $299

Fusion is video compositing software even more advanced than After Effects designed by Eyeon Software Inc. It is widely used to create visual effects and digital compositing for film, HD, and commercials. For example, Avatar, Sin City, Lost, Terminator Salvation, etc. have used Fusion to do post-production. Fusion can run in Windows and Linux (using a customized Wine. )

Key Features:

  • It supports creating 3D animation.
  • It's used by Hollywood's blockbusters.


8. Wondershare Filmora - Friendly to beginners

Wondershare Filmora provides you with more than 300 visual effects that instantly bring your video to the next level. It also includes all the common video editing tools you need.

With it, you are able to create Hollywood-like home movies with transitions, titles, effects from broad formats of videos, audio, and photos. Advanced features like Picture-in-Picture, fast/slow motion, voice change, video/audio recording are easy to use.

What's important is that sharing with friends and family has never been easier. You can share videos with easy upload to YouTube. Save to configured presets for playback on portable devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle Fire, etc., or burn DVD to better preserve it. It could be the alternative to After Effects that compromise the ease of use and power.

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

9. NUKE - Win/Mac/Linux


  • Nuke, NukeX, and Nuke Studio are seamlessly working together to make effects
  • Many movies use it to make stunning effects


  • Beginners are intimidated by it for the difficulty

Price: $1629/qtr, $4758/lifetime

It is powerful in compositing and VFX, so it is similar to After Effects. For commercial use, you can easily collaborate with others as it offers a toolkit for you to make effects no matter where you are. It is customizable with multi-channel processing. You can use it to create movie effects or use it for your own. As an alternative to After Effects, the price is so much higher than its counterparts.

Key Features:

  • Many tutorials on using for users
  • You can use it to make a VR project


10. Autodesk Smoke - ONLY for Mac


  • It supports making 3D text/titles with animation features
  • Accurately make FCP X in timeline-based editing similar to Adobe Effects


  • There is no one-time payment

Price: $1545/year

You need more time and patience to learn as it is a professional editor like After Effects, but it is easier a little bit than Effects. It is only for Mac users, and the price is $1,505 a year. You can use it for 30 days freely. With this After Effects alternative, you can make effects directly without leaving the timeline. You can even make 3D text effects.

Key Features:

  • Making effects on the timeline
  • Possibility to use in 3 years for students

Autodesk Smoke

Part 3: FAQ about After Effects Alternative

1. Is there a free alternative to After Effects?

Adobe After Effects is its level of spectacular – and you would be forgiven for thinking that it is the only sophisticated program of its type. It is available for a free trial, but you will be asked to pay for it before long.

HitFilm is the alternative to After Effects. The most up-to-date will allow you access to a wide range of features, as well as optional free online plugins to make it do anything else that you need it to.

2. Is there an alternative to After Effects?

You can use Filmora, from Wondershare, as an alternative to After Effects. Filmora is good enough to be used by both beginners and pros. This After Effects alternative is one of the best-rated on the market and should provide you with all the features you need to animate any artwork that you want to.

EduCBA has voted Wondershare's program to be the best alternative available – and they represent the online standard when it comes to digital technology and learning capabilities.

Some other suggestions for After Effects alternatives include WAX, HitFilm, and Blender.

3. Can Blender replace After Effects?

You can use Blender as an After Effects alternative; however, it is not usually the first choice. Reasons for this include the sheer overwhelming number of features on Blender. They do not have the same walk-throughs, online tutorials, or libraries that help you understand. We would advise you only to try to replace After Effects with Blender if you are a competent film animator.

Some people have suggested that they do not use newer versions of Blender because of the complexity.


Above are the 10 After Effects alternatives, so which one do you like? If you still don't know which one to choose, here we recommend Filmora. It is designed for intermediate users. It is easy to use than After Effects, yet with powerful features to make effects. Download it now!

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

Download Free After Effects from Filmstock

If you are wondering how to get free video effects and templates for after effects, you can visit the newly released Filmstock effects store, which provides various video effect templates for After Effects, including lower thirds title & text video effect templates, and slideshow effects and explosions effects and much more. Besides, some of the video effects are totally free to download for your AE project.

Filmstock is a one-stop shop for royalty-free video effects, music and sound effects, stock video footage, and more stock media. You can download both free and paid after effects templates for Adobe After Effects on Filmstock as well as some free stock video and photos and royalty-free music and sound effect.

Filmstock Stock Media Library

author avatar
Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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