5 After Effects Alternatives

by | Feb 26, 2019 | Animation, Motion Design, Video Post


January, 2019

Motion Design

After Effects


After Effects is the big player in motion design, but it isn’t the only one. Whether you’re starting out or a seasoned pro here are some alternatives. 

Sure, After Effects is the standard, but whether you are looking to add some more tools to the toolkit, or don’t like having to pay a monthly subscription, you might have good reasons to see i the grass is greener somewhere else.

Here are 5 alternatives that can supplement or replace your After Effects workflow. 


1. Apple Motion

Apple entered the motion design game with the aptly titled Motion way back in 2004. Tuned to Apple’s hardware and OS  Motion promises realtime production…but only if you have the right hardware and aren’t doing anything too heavy.

Compared to After Effects motion is a little light on features, but it makes up for this with a great creative workflow. Motion encourages experimentation.

Motion obviously works well with Final Cut Pro, and there are a number of great plugins MotionVFX (3D Rendering, Flares, etc.), Boris, and FXFactory.

 Price:  $69.99


2. Hit Film Studio

Hit Film Studio from FXHome promises an entire post production suite in one application. From editing, to motion design, to visual effects, particle systems, and 3D animation. 

Primarily meant for indie filmmakers Hit Film is actually a very robust, well though out, and capable system. It features 32 bit colour processing, support for 8K rendering, animation tools, keying, and planar tracking.

It also supports OpenFX so you can supplement with plugins from re:vision, Boris and more.

 Price:  $497


3. Blackmagic Resolve

Since buying Resolve and Fusion, Blackmagic has set out to take Resolve from being the world’s best colour grading system to being the world’s best video post production tool.

We can debate whether they have succeeded, but with the integration of much of Fusion’s compositing and animation tools, as well as Fairlight adding audio, Resolve certainly is a complete system for creating just about anything. Best of all you can get started for free.

Resolve offers video and audio editing, node-based compositing, 3D animation, and, of course, incredible colour grading.

Price:  Free ($299 for studio)


4. Autodesk Smoke

Before Resolve tried to be the all-in-one video post tool of your dreams the was Smoke

Smoke combines editing with node-based compositing and support for 3D objects and titles. From cutting to creation to colour correction Smoke can do pretty much everything.

Price:  $1,965 per year


5. Notch

Notch is a new player with a new idea. It’s designed for realtime production and realtime playback, making it a popular choice for major events and stadium-sized concerts.

Notch has already been used to design live experiences for everyone from Foo Fighters to Frozen on Broadway to Coldplay. 

Price: £99 per month for Notch Builder



Lots of potential for flexible teams and contractors. It allows you to leverage your network in production in a useful way. 

Renee M

Zig is in Open Beta

Try Zig now and get in at the start. 

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