Alternative to After Effects?

over 4 years ago from , Designer

I'm a huge fan of the abundance in new-comers who are challenging the Creative Cloud. I've been using Sketch for years as my weapon of choice for UI, I recently began playing around with Affinity to replace Illustrator for icons and illustrations.

But I was wondering, is anyone taking a stab at replacing After Effects or do I really still need to keep that CC subscription to have a proper motion graphic tool?


  • Trev MorrisTrev Morris, over 4 years ago

    I suppose this all depends on your primary use of After Effects! If you're doing some heavy animation, stick with AE.. but if you're doing this for interactions, transitions of screens etc etc, then you could try Flinto/Principle (as suggested).

    Alternatively.. you could use Keynote. Some may laugh, but I find it so quick to mock up an animation I'd like a developer to implement. Granted I use this a lot less than I used to now that Principle is around.

    9 points
  • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I wonder if people that work at Adobe are noticing these complaints. It seems like almost every week, there is an "Alternative to ". I'm sure it's negligible from their perspective, but it seems like there are lots of opportunities for new companies to grow.

    5 points
    • John PJohn P, over 4 years ago

      My only complaint about AE is all the other crap I have to pay for to access it.

      if I had a choice the illustrator dev team wouldn't see a penny of mine and I'd only pay for PS and AE.

      2 points
    • Trev MorrisTrev Morris, over 4 years ago

      We are of the few - there are massive companies still subscribing to CC with little complaint... I guess because they've not been shown alternatives, or that they trust the big names to do the right job. I'm so excited to see what happens in the software industry over the next 2-5 years. Change is definitely a'coming.

      3 points
  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    I use AE intermittently and I've always been incredibly frustrated by it's interface. I swear it was designed to be deliberately obtuse and to give power users a sense of accomplishment from deciphering it.

    4 points
  • Nathan ManousosNathan Manousos, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Peter Nowell did some insane motion graphics using Flinto for Mac for his pixel density video. Check out the video, all the motion graphics were done in Flinto, it's crazy.


    4 points
    • Peter NowellPeter Nowell, 4 years ago

      That's true! I found that Flinto's ability to automatically interpolate between connected layers (especially basic shapes) in the Transition Designer, along with 3D rotations and super easy timing/easing tools allowed me to create more stunning animations in 2 day than a motion graphics animator could get through in a week. Sure, it doesn't support multiple keyframes, but you can fake that and get surprisingly far with groups and additional screens.

      1 point
  • James LaneJames Lane, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Check out Fusion 8 by Blackmagic. I keep meaning to give it a try, but haven't had chance yet. From memory, I think it's free?

    Also, not entirely sure it could be useful for what you are trying to do, but in terms of something to substitute AE, it sure sounds like it!

    3 points
  • Connor NorvellConnor Norvell, over 4 years ago

    If you are on mac, check out apple motion. I have never used it personally, but It looks like a very comparable program to AE (though much simpler).

    Look into if you can use it for motion graphics, but it has generally the same keyframing options as after effects.

    3 points
    • Greg Warner, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

      I picked up Apple Motion to test and compare to After Effects, and for UI animations and other simple layer-based animations it's both powerful and relatively easy to use. The downside, compared to After Effects, I discovered, is Motion doesn't have quite as robust of export as AE + Media Encoder. I found a way to convert output videos easily enough with HandBrake (a nice open-source app). The other (bigger) downside is using, say, Affinity Designer + Motion doesn't give you the native vector import to work with that Illustrator + AE does, so you're kind of stuck there if you want to do complex vector/character animation. Motion's vector import support is rather sad. I'd love to see Serif create a cross-platform Affinity companion app for motion, but that's likely far down the road.

      1 point
  • Kyla Medina, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Hype is great for UI animations and can output HTML. Adobe Animate which is Flash with HTML5 and WebGL support for interactive work. Even if you don't need that, Animate is better at manipulating vectors that AE.

    3 points
  • Alexander ObenauerAlexander Obenauer, over 4 years ago

    I've been wondering this a lot lately, the more I've been using AE. I would love to see the Sketch of After Effects. Naturally, as a product designer, I've had a lot of thoughts around how it could and should work.

    But building something like that, while maintaining speed, is - I assume - a huge barrier to entry.

    3 points
    • John PJohn P, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

      I would love to see the Sketch of After Effects

      That's like saying I'd love to see the fisher price version of the super computer.

      AE is a ridiculously powerful and extendable tool and Adobe's only true piece of professional software.

      AE as a tool is leagues beyond silly UI animations.

      4 points
      • Alexander ObenauerAlexander Obenauer, 4 years ago

        Does Sketch do everything PS does? No. But what it does do, it does arguably better. AE does a ton, all I'm saying is I'd like to have a few tools that cover some specific use cases better.

        3 points
        • Jesper KlingenbergJesper Klingenberg, 4 years ago

          I agree !!

          I think it's the wrong approach to try and build AE but with nicer and more intuitive UI. Instead I'd love to see someone figuring out how a new and much much simpler (and cheaper) tool could cater to a sub-set of the AE users.

          Who that sub-set of users are and what the exact use is, I'm not sure. Perhaps simple animations for web, or simple motion graphics. Thus leaving the hardcore animators who do heavy 3D work with AE.

          This is exactly what Sketch did - they realized there was a ton of UI designers who used PS in a totally hacked and non-intuitive way. So they branched out and created a tool specifically for them. But PS is still a fantastic piece of software for hardcore illustration/drawing/photo-editing.

          4 points
  • Ymar FrenkenYmar Frenken, over 4 years ago

    Maybe Principle?

    2 points
    • Daniel FisherDaniel Fisher, 4 years ago

      Came here to post this! A more robust version of keynotes magic move, that lets you import straight from Sketch.

      1 point
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 4 years ago

    You haven't mentioned what you need it for - AE is indeed one of the most powerful pieces of software Adobe has made and it has few alternatives.

    0 points
  • Jan SemlerJan Semler, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    After Effects is a powerful tool and rock solid, except the recent versions which is kinda buggy in terms of cache playing. After Effects is way more than just animation. You can compose really heavy cinematic effects, 3D tracking, keying and so on. But i am with you there should be a cool alternative tool for motion design only, vector animation, puppet tool, easy export to svg animation, css animation. Not only the creation and manipulation of video files. There is at the moment nothing out there that i am aware of. I have searched heavily for an alternative but i am positive that we will see something like that in the near future.

    But you may have a look on principle or flinto for mac for the creation of animated UI Designs for web or mobile.

    0 points
    • Jesper KlingenbergJesper Klingenberg, 4 years ago

      Principle & Flinto looks promising for prototyping. So if someone would just create a similar kind of tool for vector animation it would be interesting.

      2 points