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I would love to use After Effects, however, I don't have enough money to buy it, so is there an After Effects alternative? They can be free or low priced. Or is there a way I can buy After Effects CS3 with a discounted price?

asked May 08 '11 at 15:21

Anthony%20Guidetti's gravatar image

Anthony Guidetti

edited May 08 '11 at 16:07

answered May 08 '11 at 16:19

Duodave's gravatar image


I'd also like to point out that if you cannot afford the full price, you can subscribe to a variety of Adobe products and pay a monthly price. It may not be cost efficient but it might be worthwhile if you don't use the product much. After Effects CS5.5 is as low as $49/mo if you pay for a year, or $75/mo month-to-month.


(May 09 '11 at 10:39) Duodave Duodave's gravatar image

Blender - http://blender.org/ Cinelerra - http://cinelerra.org/ Jahshaka - http://sourceforge.net/projects/jahshakafx/ Wax 2.0 - http://www.debugmode.com/wax/ Kdenlive - http://www.kdenlive.org/ LiVES - http://lives.sourceforge.net/ OpenShot - http://www.openshot.org/

Blender is mainly for 3d modeling and game creation, but it's also very good for video editing. The built in Video Sequence Editor is mainly for simple video edits, and you can get plugins for it at - http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~mein/blender/plugins/

Oh before I forget Blender is free, open source, and cross platform so it'll run on windows, linux, mac os x, unix, solaris, and iris. (Did I forget to mention it's developed in the Python programming language?)

I made a website called BlenderPimp that you can head to (http://blenderpimp.tk/) to view tutorials I've made on using Blender for video production (haven't had time to get to them yet). You can use motion capture (only if VooDoo is installed at the moment though), and incorporate 3d models you've made or downloaded into your movie/video and Blender will open/import 3d models from 3ds max (.3ds) wavefront (.obj) and even scalable vector graphics (.svg) which is a huge help. (BTW you can also export/save your 3d models as .obj and .3ds for users that use like lightwave, 3ds max, etc:)

NOTE: Blender takes some time to get used to, and understand the GUI once you got that down, it should be pretty easy to get started. (You can view this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOD0R0e8VLA the images were made in Gimp, and I used Blender to create the animation)

Jahshaka is mainly for effects as well as LiVES, but definitely become a help Jahshaka is free, open source, and cross platform as well. It'll run on windows, linux, and mac os x. However there hasn't been any updates or news about Jahshaka sense 2008, and my guess is it has been discontinued. There is/was a program called CineFX that stated that they reinvented Jahshaka, however no news from that sense 2009. Jahshaka and LiVES though are hard to use at first, and have a ugly gui. LiVES I believe will only run on Linux though. Oh by the way Jahshaka also does support motion capture. However LiVES I don't believe so.

OpenShot is good to enable effects, have green screen effects, and animate. However I haven't used it sense they updated it. (NOTE: OpenShot will only run on Linux)

I heard Kdenlive is good too, however the GUI for me was confusing, and I had nothing but problems, however it is worth a shot. (NOTE: Kdenlive will only run on Linux)

Wax 2.0 is my personal fav, and is so easy to use it supports layers, has layer modes, loads of filters, and plugins. You have the ability to create some very nice effects, animations, plur out faces, incorporate 3d models, etc: However it'll only run on Windows. I have some old tutorials on using Wax 2.0 on my YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/mikethedj4) and my friend Daniel also has some good tutorials on his channel as well (http://www.youtube.com/gigafide)

You can also head here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFpKujEXFOA and view another tutorial by me, and the images again were created in Gimp, but all the animating was done in Wax 2.0.

Cinelerra, and Blender imo are no doubt the closest free alternatives to After Effects as After Effects can create 3d effects, support motion capture, etc: so go ahead, and check them out, and get back to me.

BTW this is all free software.

answered May 09 '11 at 03:04

mikethedj4's gravatar image


edited May 09 '11 at 03:04

Well, Sony Vegas is pretty good. But a little pricy.

Videopad video editor is a more powerful movie maker, and you can add A LOT of cool effects through it. It is free at the moment because it is still in Beta.

Movie maker, obviously, is free and not so powerful.

In my experience, there are very few programs that have the power of After Effects.

answered May 08 '11 at 15:45

Gorer22's gravatar image


I'm not looking for a video editor, I am looking for effects maker.

(May 08 '11 at 16:08) Anthony Guidetti Anthony%20Guidetti's gravatar image

Well take out movie maker and replace it will visual effects lab in that case

(May 08 '11 at 17:02) Gorer22 Gorer22's gravatar image

What is it you want to do exactly? After Effects isn't a video editor, it's an effects editor.

answered May 08 '11 at 15:47

samruston's gravatar image


You edit the effects into the video surely? WHich would be editing the video, because you're adding something to it. You can also change nearly everything about the video.

(May 08 '11 at 15:49) Gorer22 Gorer22's gravatar image

Okay, sure, it could be used as a video editor, but it isn't designed to be. If After Effects were a full standing video editor, then they wouldn't release Premiere. It is almost impossible to edit audio in a video in After Effects and the timeline is awful for video editing. You add your effects in After Effects and then cut and dice the clips and mix the audio in Premiere or Final Cut.

(May 08 '11 at 15:52) samruston samruston's gravatar image

Yes, but it is as much a video editor as an effects editor.

(May 08 '11 at 15:55) Gorer22 Gorer22's gravatar image

From Wikipedia:

Adobe Premiere Pro is a real-time, timeline based proprietary video editing software application.

Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software.............After Effects can also be used as a basic non-linear editor and a media transcoder.

(May 08 '11 at 15:58) Feras Feras's gravatar image

I'm not arguing it isn't an effects editor, that is after all what I use it for, but I use it as a video editor just as much. I'm just saying how I use it.

(May 08 '11 at 16:01) Gorer22 Gorer22's gravatar image

I'm not looking for a video editor, I am looking for an effect editor.

(May 08 '11 at 16:08) Anthony Guidetti Anthony%20Guidetti's gravatar image
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You could use the trial of After effects then after your one month period is over re-install your os and download the trial again. You could do this for how ever long you want.

answered May 08 '11 at 15:52

Feras's gravatar image



That is how Freddiew done it before he bought the full retail version.

(May 08 '11 at 15:55) Gorer22 Gorer22's gravatar image

There is no way I am reinstalling Windows every time my trial is up.

(May 08 '11 at 16:08) Anthony Guidetti Anthony%20Guidetti's gravatar image

Well, if you installed a virualization program like VirtualBox you could do this without endangering any of your other installed apps.

(May 08 '11 at 16:20) Duodave Duodave's gravatar image

You can find student discounts from Adobe here I prefer using VisionLab Studio but After effects is cool too, I have heard of some others but if I remember i'l post them.

Student discounts are the cheapest on the web, but there are others from stores such as Office Max.

answered May 08 '11 at 17:35

Patxi's gravatar image


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Asked: May 08 '11 at 15:21

Seen: 5,301 times

Last updated: May 09 '11 at 10:39