I downloaded, tested, and reviewed dozens of video editing software to find the best free alternatives for After Effects. I quickly found out that most of the free programs didn’t have features that matched up to After Effects or weren’t safe to download. After expanding my search to include programs with free trials that didn’t require a credit card to get started, I found that Movavi Video Editor Plus was the best alternative. It has all the features I need, including a Chroma Key (green screen), stabilization features, and plenty of special effects needed to get my video ready for production. Best of all, I was able to download it without having to enter my credit card details and I used it completely free for 7 days. Try Movavi Video Editor Plus for Free!

Quick Guide: The 3 Best Free Adobe After Effects Alternatives in 2023

What I Look for in a Free Adobe After Effects Alternative

Like most Adobe products, After Effects has an extensive toolset and more features than one needs. I didn’t find an exact replica with all the same features, but the average user doesn’t need all the features to create special effects and put the finishing touches on a video. While testing dozens of video editing programs, I made sure they had the important features, such as:

Transitions, Titles, and Credits: The main reason for using After Effects instead of a regular video editor, is for the post-production features. It needs to have tools for overlaying text, transitions between clips, credits, and tools for creating and animating special effects.

Multi-Track Editing Board: It doesn’t matter whether the software uses a timeline editing board or uses different editing styles, such as Nodes or Storyboard. But what does matter is that the style includes multiple tracks, so I can easily align the special effects, ensuring they are in the proper place.

Compatible with Multiple Formats: One problem I found with many of the free software I tested is they were limited as to what media elements I could upload to my media library. If a program only worked with AVI, didn’t have certain types of image files, like GIF or PSD, or wasn’t compatible with audio files, I left it off the list.

Ease of Use: One of the biggest complaints with After Effects is that it’s not a very easy program to use. I prefer a video editing and effect program that is relatively easy to learn, so I can focus on producing my videos.

Free or Free Trials: Any program with high-quality tools and features similar to After Effects would require a subscription. Therefore, I included some free trial programs, but only if there is no requirement to enter payment information or purchase the software and have to request a refund.

5 Best Free Alternatives to Adobe After Effects

1. Movavi Video Editor Plus: Professional-Grade Tools for Adding Effects and Text Overlay

The first thing that I noticed when using the Movavi Video Editor Plus is how easy it is to use. It has a well-designed workstation, divided into different sections, for the element and effect library, multi-track editing board, and video preview. It also gives you complete control over the video’s colors, hues, brightness, and contrast. Movavi Video Editor Plus excels at video post-production. You can fix shaky or unstable video clips by simply adjusting sliders until you have the desired output. Similarly, you can use tools that will minimize or remove background noises and sync the video and audio clips so that the video looks and sounds great. Movavi Video Editor Plus has plenty of advanced effect features that can change the tone of your video. The Chroma Key, commonly known as the green screen, makes it simple to change the background of your video to anything you want. The Movavi Effects Store has plenty of free transitions, stickers, and intro titles that can elevate the quality of your video. Adding a filter to your video can change or set the mood for your video. If you can’t find an effect in the free section, you can buy them in the store. With Video Editor Plus, you can add a Picture in Picture element to your videos. It’s a great effect if you are trying to show multiple angles of the same sense or record a person talking about what is on-screen. If talking over your video is important, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to use the voiceover feature. You’ll have access to a complete audio editing track to cut out any unwanted noises, hesitations, or mistakes and import it to the video track in the perfect position. When you download Movavi Video Editor Plus, it will automatically activate a 7-day free trial with no credit card required. At the end of the trial, you’ll have the option to purchase a lifetime subscription at a one-time low price, which is significantly less expensive than Adobe After Effects. Try Movavi Video Editor Plus for Free!

CyberLink PowerDirector is a powerful video editing software with all tools needed to create and add special effects. The features are easy to use, and you can expect to produce professional-looking videos quickly with a bit of practice. The workstation is divided into three main sections. You can add items to your media library and drag and drop them on the multi-track editing board. While the timeline style editing board is the default option, you can switch it to a storyboard, slideshow creator, and auto mode if you prefer. CyberDirector gives you the tools needed to add effects to all types of videos, from professional product tutorials or YouTube videos to full-length movies. It comes with an extensive library of royalty-free images and video clips that you can seamlessly add to your video. The feature list with PowerDirector includes a large selection of mask-design tools that make it easy to cut and combine multiple video clips. A motion control tool also gives you complete customization control of any special effect. PowerDirector Essentials is completely free and gives you access to the intuitive video editing toolset and access to many premium features. It is compatible with other free CyberLink tools, such as CyberLink ColorDirector, AudioDirector, and Director Suite. Combining all these programs allows you to enjoy complete control over your video production efforts. Try CyberLink PowerDirector for Free!

3. Blender: Capable of Real-Time Editing to Professional Level Visual Effects

Blender is a versatile program that makes it easy to create special effects and has basic video editing tools. While it can be used on 2D videos, it specializes in creating effects and characters for 3D videos and video games. The intuitive workstation makes it easy to design, model, sculpt, and create animations. Once the character or effect is ready, you can complete the rigging, adding texture, and UV unwrapping with Blender. In addition to high-quality animation, the rendering quality from Blender is top-notch. This allows it to create and manage high-quality video effects. Blender also supports manual or automated object tracking and camera reconstruction. Blender is a free open-source software that you can download for free. It has a very active community forum that is quick to give tips and advice, and it can implement feature requests quickly.

4. Wax: Features for Video Composition and Visual Effects

You can complete some basic visual effects for your videos with the free version of Wax. It has the capabilities to work with both 2D and 3D effects, although the 3D features are fairly limited. One of the most helpful features with Wax is that you can build presets, and then reuse them throughout all your projects. I found this to be a huge time saver and maintained consistency in my videos. You can also use the presets to combine multiple effects, to create a unique effect. Wax has some features that you typically see with paid subscriptions. For example, there is no limit to the number of video and audio tracks in each project. It also has a graphic acceleration tool that allows effects to appear in real-time. The biggest limitation with Wax is that it’s not compatible with most file formats. You can only import AVI and WAV files to your media library. With that being said, it does provide a lot of features and possibilities with no financial investment. Wax has two tiers; the free account can be downloaded as a standalone app. It’s a good option for beginners and personal use. If you need the advanced 3D tools or more features, you can purchase the “Plug In” option, which lets you extend the capabilities of Wax with third party plugins.

5. Blackmagic Fusion: Powerful but Limited Features

Blackmagic Fusion is a node-based system that gives creators a lot of flexibility when creating and implementing effects in their videos. The full version of the Fusion has been used on major Hollywood movies and TV shows. Fusion has a friendly interface, and it should be familiar to anyone that has used the DaVinci Resolve. The free version still gives you plenty of tools, so you can create realistic visual effects, animate motion graphics, adjust the color of your videos, and edit the audio in post production. One big advantage the Blackmagic Fusion has over other free programs is that there is no watermark on the finished video or effect. On the downside, it can’t render or produce HD videos and is limited to 1080p.

When Adobe After Effects isn’t For You…

Adobe After Effects can seemingly do it all when it comes to video post production. However, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can be an overwhelming program to learn, and some of the features get lost in the crowd. Additionally, it has the high monthly cost of a premium video editing program.

If you are looking for a professional-grade video effects tool that is easy to use, I recommend Movavi Video Editor Plus. It has the features you need to make your video look great, such as a multi-track editor, smooth transitions, and fast processing and rendering. Download it today and use it free for 7 days . If you need a program with unlimited audio and video tracks, try CyberLink PowerDirector for free. The intuitive motion control feature gives you precision control over all the effects. It also has a chroma key, video stabilization, and color customization tools.

Which free video editor is better than Adobe After Effects for post production?

There is no completely free post production tool that will give you access to professional-grade tools for adding intros, animations, titles, and more to your video. However, if you need a short-term solution, then Movavi Video Editor Plus has a wide range of tools for adding the finishing touches to any video, and you can try it at no risk with its 7 days free trial.

Is Movavi Video Editor Plus really free?

Unfortunately, Movavi doesn’t have a free version of Video Editor. The best option is to download the software, which automatically activates a 7-day free trial, with no credit card or account setup required. This should give you enough time to work on the post production effects for your videos. If 7 days isn’t long enough, you can purchase a subscription and take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee, which gives you 37 days of risk-free use of Video Editor Plus.

Which is better, After Effects or Movavi Video Editor Plus?

After Effects is a much more comprehensive program than Movavi Editor Plus. The advantage you get with Movavi Video Editor Plus is how easy it is to use. Even without any video production experience, you should be able to add transitions, filters, intros, credits, titles, and animations to your video in no time.