July 15, 2024
Interested in using Adobe After Effects for your video editing projects? This article explores the different pricing options and capabilities of the software, including tips for using After Effects without breaking the bank and exploring the free version of the software.


Video editing is an essential skill in today’s digital age, whether you are creating content for personal or professional use. However, it can be expensive to purchase software to enhance your editing skills. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the available options before making a purchase.

In this article, we will cover five different topics related to After Effects. First, we will explore whether After Effects is really free. Next, we will offer tips on how to use After Effects without breaking the bank. Then, we will dive into the capabilities of the free version of After Effects. After that, we will break down the free trial period for After Effects. Lastly, we will conduct interviews with After Effects users to gather their thoughts and insights on using the free and paid versions of the software.

Is After Effects Really Free? A Comprehensive Review and Analysis

The answer to whether After Effects is free is not a straightforward one. There are different pricing options available that offer different features and capabilities.

In terms of pricing, the standalone version of After Effects costs $20.99 per month, while the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite, which includes After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and other applications, costs $52.99 per month. For those who are just starting out in video editing, these prices may be too steep.

However, there is a free version of After Effects available. The free version, called After Effects Expressions, is available to use with any version of After Effects. It offers a range of features, including basic animation, motion graphics templates, and exporting options.

While the free version can offer a great starting point for those getting into video editing, it does come with limitations. For example, it does not offer certain options such as 3D rendering or motion tracking, which are available in the paid versions.

Upgrading to a paid option of After Effects can offer many benefits. For example, the paid version offers access to the full range of features and capabilities, including 3D rendering, motion tracking, and more. Additionally, paid versions can offer better performance and faster rendering times.

How To Use After Effects Without Breaking The Bank

If the prices for After Effects are too steep, there are still ways to use the software without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips:

  • Take advantage of discounts: Adobe offers discounts for students, teachers, and military personnel. Keep an eye out for seasonal discounts and promotions from Adobe as well.
  • Subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud: While the overall cost is slightly higher, subscribing to Creative Cloud is more affordable and offers access to other Adobe applications.
  • Consider renting: If you only need After Effects for a short period of time, consider renting it for a lower cost.

Additionally, there are alternative software options available that can achieve similar results to After Effects. These options include HitFilm Express, Blender, and Blackmagic Fusion. However, before choosing an alternative, it is important to consider any potential drawbacks, such as a lack of support or less intuitive user interface.

Exploring The Capabilities Of The Free Version Of After Effects

Although the free version of After Effects comes with limitations, it still offers a range of capabilities. Here are a few features of the free version and suggestions for how to use them effectively:

  • Basic Animation: Use basic animation to create motion graphics and simple animations.
  • Motion Graphics Templates: Utilize pre-made motion graphics templates to enhance your video editing project.
  • Express Yourself with Shapes & Text: Use shapes and text to add visual appeal to your project.

While the free version of After Effects may not offer all the capabilities of the paid versions, it can still be a valuable tool in your video editing arsenal.

Breaking Down After Effects’ Free Trial Period

If you are unsure whether to purchase After Effects, there is a free trial period available. The trial period lasts for seven days and offers access to all the features and capabilities of the paid version.

During the trial period, it is important to make the most of the available time by exploring the software’s capabilities. Additionally, when the trial period ends, it is important to consider the pricing options carefully.

Interviews With After Effects Users: Free VS Paid Options

To gather additional insights on using the free and paid versions of After Effects, we conducted interviews with After Effects users. Here are some of the common themes that emerged:

  • Free version users appreciated the accessibility and ease-of-use of the software, but were limited in the types of projects they could undertake.
  • Paid version users enjoyed the full range of features and capabilities, but were initially overwhelmed by the learning curve.
  • Both free and paid version users valued the software’s versatility and ability to enhance their video editing projects.

It is important to consider your own needs and priorities when deciding between the free and paid versions of After Effects.


In conclusion, After Effects offers a range of pricing options and features for users. While the standalone version and Creative Cloud suite subscriptions can be expensive, there are still affordable ways to utilize After Effects. Additionally, while the free version of After Effects may come with limitations, it still offers a range of capabilities.

Ultimately, it is important to carefully consider your needs and goals in video editing before deciding whether to use After Effects and which pricing option to select.

We hope this article has been informative and helpful for those interested in exploring After Effects.

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