Adobe creative cloud, any others?


I here everybody talk about Adobe creative cloud as the tools to use to create awesome visual effects. I’m assuming they are the industry standard? Are there any other comparable contenders…particularly less expensive and newbie friendly?

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I would highly suggest you check out HitFilm if you’re looking for something more beginner-friendly. HitFilm is a lot more powerful than most people realize, and has some features that are more advanced than what Adobe After Effects offers natively. They also have a free version which is still pretty powerful.


To build on what Rody says, Ae is the “industry standard” for layer-based compositors. It’s very powerful…

But, it’s not only expensive, once you end an Adobe subscription, they turn the software off.

Hitfilm doesn’t have all of Ae’s killer features (but has a few tricks of its own Ae doesn’t have), but there’s the free version, Hitfilm Express which has optional paid add ons, and Hitfilm Pro, which is even more powerful.

Hitfilm and Ae have similar workflow and layout, so, learning one gives a head start on learning the other.

DaVinci Resolve has a free version, although its Fusion VFX module is quite different from Hitfilm/Ae. Fusion is nodes, not layers.

Don’t overlook Blender. While Blender is mostly considered a 3D model/animation package it has powerful tracking, editing and compositor features (but a steep learning curve).

There are also a slew of emerging AI apps that can automate roto or background removal, and the amazing EBSYNTH, which was designed to apply “art styles” to video but can also do aging/deaging effects and face swapping!

I sort of feel that even though resolve is different from AE, the benefit of it being free is so huge. The layer based system is similar to the node based system in essence - you’re still stacking things on top of each other and masking them out as you need for basic stuff.

Honestly I thought I would find the switch more difficult.

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Hey @multiwebby!

As already mentioned in this thread, HitFilm is for sure a heavy hitter. :slight_smile:

I did write an article this past year that is a great resource for beginners and follows both a HitFilm and a Resolve learning path. And the best part about it, is you can do everything in this article for free!

Here is the link to it.

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