Top 8 After Effects Alternatives for Mac/Windows


By Jason

Update on

After Affects Alternative

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, many 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 will most likely be unable to use any of Adobe’s tools.

This includes 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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Wax Video Editor

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

Wax is a fantastic choice for any type of editor as a free video 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.

Wax Video Editor

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
  • It uses the graphics card for processing instead of the CPU

Hitfilm Pro

With this fantastic piece of software, you can enjoy the range of professional features that Adobe After Effects has to offer without being over-complicatedness.

While working on your masterpiece, you can use the preview panel to see how it looks, allowing you to make slight adjustments without re-rendering.

Using Hitfilm gets you 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.

Hitfilm Pro

Key Features of Hitfilm Pro

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

Autodesk Smoke

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 time, you’ll be able to create incredible videos that’ll impress all your friends!

Autodesk Smoke

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

If you’re looking for something simple, take a look 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.

After Affects Alternatives - Apple Motion

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

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.

Users who have the basics of video editing under their 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.

After Affects Alternatives - Eyeon Fusion

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
  • It can be used to create 3D and virtual reality videos
  • Has all of the tools you’ll ever need to become a professional

Besides, let’s learn more about how to replace footage in After Effects.


Another free and very simple video editor is Blender. This is one of the few open-source programs 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. It also enables you to add particles and filters to your videos.

While simple, this is the best After Effects alternative to start with that lets you grow as an editor.

After Affects Alternatives - Blender

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


Last on the list is Natron, a powerful video editing tool that, 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.

Natron After Affects Alternatives

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

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  1. Are these After Effects alternatives compatible with both Windows and Mac? Yes, most of the mentioned alternatives are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. However, it’s always recommended to check the system requirements of each software before installation.
  2. Do these alternatives have similar capabilities to After Effects? While these alternatives offer similar features and functionalities to After Effects, each software has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. It’s essential to evaluate your specific requirements and compare the capabilities of each alternative before making a choice.
  3. Can I import my After Effects projects into these alternatives? In most cases, you won’t be able to import After Effects project files directly into these alternatives. However, you can typically import individual assets, such as footage, images, and audio, and rebuild your projects within the alternative software.
  4. Are these alternatives suitable for professional use? Yes, many of these alternatives are used by professionals in the film and video industry. However, the level of professionalism and industry recognition may vary. It’s advisable to research and consider the specific needs of your projects before deciding on an alternative.
  5. Do these alternatives offer support and tutorials? Most of these alternatives have dedicated communities, online forums, and tutorial resources where you can find support and guidance. Some also offer official documentation and tutorials to help users get started and master the software.

To Conclude

Don’t let the complexity of an application like Adobe After Effects discourage your video editing endeavors! 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 advance your career.

From this list, we recommend Filmora for beginners, but whichever you decide on, they all provide a top-notch experience.


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.