💡 Key Insights
  • We uncover powerful software alternatives to Adobe After Effects, including Linearity Move, Canva, Jitter and Apple Motion, that cater to different needs and preferences, from vector-based animation to comprehensive visual effects and motion graphics. 
  • Work out what alternatives best suit your objectives using our comparisons between interfaces, pricing models, and features for making professional-grade animation and visual effects more attainable. 
  • Delve into how each alternative stands out, whether through specialized capabilities for specific types of design work or through versatility and integration options, helping you make an informed decision based on your project needs and workflow preferences.

For many years Adobe After Effects has set the benchmark for creating visual effects and motion graphics. But as the industry evolves, so do the tools and technologies available to creative professionals.

For graphic designers and marketing teams, navigating the list of options available may be as daunting. It requires a significant amount of skill and time. Almost as much as it does to achieve the look and feel your animation vision requires.

The long ramp-up time has resulted in many of even the most enthusiastic teams rather outsourcing the work they want to do. But with developments like Linearity Move, the game is changing. Now, it's possible to create custom animations in minutes.  


Whether you're looking for a more accessible entry point or different functionalities, we've curated a list of the top After Effects alternatives that deserve your attention.

Key features of Adobe After Effects

After Effects 2023 UI
Image source: Apple Community

Adobe After Effects is synonymous with professional-grade motion graphics, special effects, and compositing. It was developed by Adobe Systems, the creators of industry-standard design programs Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

Adobe After Effects video editing software is widely used in the post-production process of filmmaking, video games, digital compositing, 3D titles, and television production.

After Effects also allows users to animate, alter, and for 2D and 3D compositing with various built-in tools and third-party plugins.

Some of the key features of Adobe After Effects include:

  • Animation and keyframing: Users can create complex animations using keyframes to define the parameters of motion, opacity, scale, and other properties of objects over time.
  • Visual effects: It offers a vast range of visual effects that can be added to layers, enabling the creation of realistic smoke, fire, explosions, as well as 3D motion and mapping effects.
  • Motion graphics: After Effects creates complex and dynamic motion graphics, including titles, lower-thirds, and detailed, multi-pronger animated logos.
  • Compositing: Combining multiple layers of video and images seamlessly to create a single, cohesive final product. This includes green screen (chroma key) techniques, masking, and blending modes.
  • Text animation: It provides extensive tools for animating text in various ways to add emphasis or create engaging title sequences.
  • 3D integration: After Effects integrates with Adobe’s 3D content creation tools, allowing for importing and manipulating 3D models and scenes.
  • VR and 360 video: Support for creating and editing VR and 360-degree videos for immersive video projects.
  • Scripting and Expressions: After Effects offers scripting features to automate complex workflows and create more sophisticated animations and effects.
After Effects in use
Image source: Adobe

Adobe After Effects is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. For a significant additional subscription fee, you can integrate it with other Adobe apps such as Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. This helps create a workflow between the different video and film production stages. 

Adobe's suite of products offers a comprehensive toolbox for digital creators, encompassing everything from image editing with Photoshop to digital illustration with Illustrator. While these tools provide intense depth and integration, they require training and can be resource-heavy.

The subscription-based pricing model can be a barrier for some. You can opt for the single app subscription, but might need access to more Adobe tools in future. This can rack up costs over time.

After Effects pros:

  • Integration across Adobe Creative Cloud applications.
  • Industry-standard tools with advanced features.

After Effects cons:

  • Adobe's subscription model can become costly over time.
  • Requires professional training.
  • Long ramp-up time.
  • Can be resource-heavy.
“The Learning Curve can be frustrating. It's a powerful tool, but getting to grips with it can be daunting for newbies. The interface and sheer number of features can be overwhelming, and it takes a good chunk of time to feel comfortable with it.”–Imran O. on G2

At a glance: the big 4 After Effects alternatives

Feature Adobe After Effects Linearity Move Canva Jitter Apple Motion
Target market Professional video editors and motion graphic designers Graphic designers and marketing teams Non-designers, small business owners, educators, and students Web and UI designers, motion designers Professional video editors and motion graphic designers
Pricing Starting at $24.14/month (Single app) Free version available. Pro plan (including Linearity Curve) starting at $7.99/month (annual) Free version available. Pro plan starting at $12.95/month Free version available. Pro plan starting at $12/month $49 once-off, with additional purchases required
Subscription includes access to software suite No Yes No No No
Design file import (Figma, Illustrator, Sketch, etc.) Limited Yes No No Limited
Video export options .avi, .mov, .mpeg, .mp4 up to 8K .mp4 and .mov up to 8K, .gif and others coming soon .mp4 and .gif up to HD (1080p) .mp4, .gif, and .lottie up to 4K .m4v, .mov, and .mp4 up to 4K
Sync across devices Yes (with Creative Cloud subscription) Yes Yes No No
Free animated templates No Yes Yes Yes No
Animation presets Yes Yes Limited Yes Yes
Keyframing Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Automatic animation Limited Yes Preset-based No Limited
Layers Advanced Yes Basic Yes Advanced
Masking Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Shared workspaces No Coming soon Yes No No
Commenting Yes Yes (coming soon) Yes No No
Shared font management No Yes Yes No No

After Adobe: 4 tools for the modern creator

Adobe After Effects has etched its place in design circles, but it's certainly not for everyone. A new age of creativity calls for innovative tools that cater to diverse needs and workflows.

You have many options for vector-based animation.

1. Linearity Move

Learn more about Linearity Move
Learn more about Linearity Move

Launched in 2024, Linearity Move is a pioneering vector animation platform designed with the modern creator in mind. From animation novices to skilled graphic designers and marketing teams, Linearity Move is bridging an invaluable gap in the market.

If you want to create animated social media posts, ads, and announcements quickly, Linearity Move stands out as the perfect partner.

You can start creating animated content in seconds and cut production costs. The features are easy to use but also give you space to grow into creating more complex, custom animations.

Our Pro plan starts at $7.99/month (billed annually) and includes Linearity Curve graphic design software. A Linearity license is significantly more affordable than Adobe After Effects.  

Linearity Move pros:

  • Tailored specifically for vector animation, offering precision and scalability.
  • Intuitive interface that lowers the entry barrier for new designers.
  • Integrates seamlessly with Linearity Curve (one of the market’s most convenient platforms for efficient, high-quality graphic design) to create a cohesive design ecosystem for your team and workflow.
  • Auto Animate brings your designs to life with a single click, allowing you to easily convert static assets into beautiful animations in seconds.
  • Easily integrate with your other design software in a single click using the Import function, which quickly imports your designs from Linearity Curve, Figma, Sketch, and other vector tools
  • 3,000+ customizable templates to fast-forward your design process.
  • Priority support on the Pro plan, and a dedicated account manager on the Org plan.
  • Automatic software updates as new features are brought online. 
  • Regular video and blog tutorials to help you achieve your animation vision.

Linearity Move cons:

  • As a specialized tool, it may not cover the breadth of video effects capabilities found in After Effects.
  • It's new software, so online forum communities are still developing.
“With Linearity Move, I was able to animate my first illustration in less than 40 minutes without checking any learning materials! It’s really easy to use and the integration with Linearity Curve really helped!”–Kara Bernbeck, Co-founder of Sunbear Studio

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2. Canva

Canva design software
Image source: Canva

Canva has made incorporating animations possible for even the most inexperienced user. It allows subscribers to craft everything from social media graphics to animations easily.

Thanks to its templated design approach and novice-proof interface, Canva’s basic animation tools are highly accessible to beginners.

Canva pros:

  • User-friendly, ideal for beginners and non-designers.
  • Offers a vast library of templates, graphics, and stock photos.
  • Web-based platform, enabling access from any device.

Canva cons:

  • More suitable for basic graphic design than complex animations or visual effects.
  • Limited customization options compared to specialized software.
  • No video masking tools.
  • Basic timeline layers.
  • No keyframes.
“Canva provides a user-friendly interface with enormous amounts of variety in graphics, videos, and photos. But I believe Canva lacks the professional outlook and can be used only for educational purposes as it’s not that good when used for video editing. Many features require you to have a premium subscription, which reduces various options even when they’re available.”—Vaibhav A on G2

3. Jitter

Jitter video-editing software
Image source: Jitter

Jitter is making waves as a powerful yet accessible tool for motion design and interactive animations. Jitter's web-based platform means there's no need for heavy software downloads or high-end computer specs, contrasting with After Effects' more intensive system requirements and desktop-only access.

This accessibility facilitates easier collaboration and sharing, as projects can be accessed and edited from anywhere, a feature particularly appealing in remote and hybrid work environments.

Jitter pros:

  • User-friendly interface for mid-level and professional designers.
  • Web-based, facilitating collaboration and sharing.
  • Offers pre-built components and animations, speeding up the design process.

Jitter cons:

  • May lack the depth of features for advanced visual effects work.
  • Potential performance issues, such as lag when browsing through extensive template libraries or using the Figma plugin.
“Jitter is a versatile software and takes our graphic designs to the next level with the power of motion design. However, its Figma plugin can make things tricky at times. I also feel it starts to get laggy while you browse the templates.”—Namarata G on G2

4. Apple Motion

Apple Motion software UI
Image source: Apple

Apple Motion emerges as a formidable tool in the realm of motion graphics, uniquely optimized for macOS users and designed to integrate seamlessly with Final Cut Pro.

This synergy creates a streamlined workflow for video editors and motion designers who prefer a Mac ecosystem, offering capabilities that are both powerful and accessible.

Apple Motion pros:

  • Highly optimized for macOS, offering a smooth user experience.
  • Integrates well with Final Cut Pro software.
  • Includes a wide range of tools for text, shapes, 3D objects, and more.

Apple Motion cons:

  • May not offer the same depth of features as After Effects for complex animation work.
  • Integration primarily with Final Cut Pro: While this is a pro for some, it can be a con for users of other video editing software.
  • As noted by users, the software can experience crashes, which can disrupt the workflow and productivity.
“The worst thing about Apple Motion is that it often crashes. Since it's made by the same company that made the hardware and the operating system, I would expect the software to run much more consistently than others in its class. Sadly, that isn't the case here.”—Troy F on G2

In-depth pricing comparison

Choosing the right animation software often comes down to balancing features with cost.

Below is a pricing comparison of Adobe After Effects and its alternatives, providing a clear picture of the investment required for each option.

Software Free option Subscription cost One-time purchase Important notes
Adobe After Effects No $24.14/month (Single app) No Discounts available for students and educators.
Linearity Move Yes Starts at $7.99/month billed annually (includes Linearity Curve integrated design software) No Annual subscription discounts. Book a demo to learn more about the Org plan for teams.
Canva Yes Starts at $12.99/month No Annual subscription discounts. Team tiers may incur extra costs depending on team size.
Jitter Yes From $15/month No Pricing depends on the team size and usage.
Apple Motion No $49.99 (one-time purchase) Yes Check Apple system and device requirements.

When comparing the pricing of these animation and motion graphics tools, consider both the upfront costs and the long-term value each provides. It comes down to your specific needs and budget constraints.

Adobe After Effects adopts a subscription-based model, starting at $24.14/month for a single app subscription. It's part of the broader Adobe Creative Cloud suite, which means you'll be paying more to also get access to the comprehensive ecosystem of Adobe's professional-grade tools.

For those deeply integrated into the Adobe workflow or requiring advanced animation features, this might justify the higher ongoing cost.

Linearity Move offers a refreshing contrast with a starting price of $7.99/month for its Pro plan (yearly subscription), including the Linearity Curve design platform. This makes it significantly more affordable than Adobe After Effects, particularly for users focused on vector animation.

The lower price point, combined with its specialized toolset, makes Linearity Move an attractive option for digital designers and marketing teams looking for a revolutionary, cost-effective, and powerful animation solution.


Canva offers a basic free version, with its Pro plan starting at $12.95/month. This pricing model is particularly appealing for its simplicity and the wide array of design tools and resources it provides.

Tailored for non-designers, small business owners, educators, and students, Canva's approach delivers a wide spectrum of design functionalities without the intricacies and expenses associated with more advanced software.

Jitter mirrors the SaaS approach with a free basic version. The Pro plan starts at $12/month. While it may lack the depth of features for advanced visual effects work, its user-friendly interface and focus on motion design make it a cost-effective choice for web and UI designers and motion designers seeking an accessible entry into animation.

Apple Motion stands out with its one-time purchase price of $49, offering a compelling value proposition for those invested in the macOS ecosystem.

This upfront cost can be particularly appealing for users wary of subscription models, providing access to a powerful toolset without the ongoing financial commitment.

Moving into the future

When comparing After Effects and Linearity Move, it's essential to look at specific features and pricing to understand what each offers and how they match up to your needs as a graphic designer or marketer.

After Effects is known for its comprehensive features, catering to complex animation and visual effects projects. It's a powerhouse for professionals with a subscription model starting at $24.14/month (single app part of Adobe Creative Cloud).

On the other hand, Linearity Move offers a streamlined experience, focusing on ease of use without sacrificing output quality. It's designed for those who want to bring their designs to life quickly and efficiently.

With features tailored for intuitive vector animation, it suits the fast-paced environment of digital design work. Linearity Move’s pricing is competitive, providing significant value if you find After Effects' comprehensive suite more than needed.

Pricing and accessibility

After Effects: subscription model starts at $24.14/month. While it offers a vast range of features, it can be more than necessary for some projects, making it a pricier option for those who don't use its full capabilities.

Linearity Move: offers a more straightforward pricing structure (exact pricing to be checked on their website), making it accessible for freelancers and small businesses who need powerful animation tools without the complexity or cost.

Ease of use

After Effects: requires a steeper learning curve, given its professional-grade capabilities. It's powerful but overwhelming for beginners or those who need quick results.

Linearity Move: built with user-friendliness in mind, making it easier for graphic designers and marketers to jump in and start animating without a lengthy learning process.

Features for modern design needs

After Effects: shines in creating complex visual effects and detailed animations. It's the industry standard for a reason, but it may offer more functionality than some users ever need.

Linearity Move: focuses on providing the essential tools for effective marketing design. It includes vector animation, static and animated templates, and Linearity Curve design software.

If you're looking for a tool that balances functionality with ease of use and cost-effectiveness, Linearity Move is worth considering. It's designed to make the animation process as straightforward as possible, providing a practical alternative for those who find After Effects too complex or expensive for their needs.

Ready to try new and innovative software? Get started with Linearity below.

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Animate marketing assets in seconds with Linearity Move.

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Frequently asked questions

What’s Adobe After Effects?

Adobe After Effects is a professional-grade motion design software developed by Adobe Systems. It offers features for creating motion graphics, visual effects, and compositing.

The software is most widely used in the filmmaking, video games, and television industries. It enables users to animate, alter, and composite 2D and 3D media with various built-in tools and third-party plugins.

Why do graphic designers and marketing teams outsource animation work?

Many graphic designers and marketing teams choose to outsource animation work because Adobe After Effects and similar software take a long time to master.

Learning to use these tools requires a significant amount of time and skill, which can be daunting for even the most enthusiastic teams.

What’s Linearity Move?

Linearity Move is a vector animation platform launched in 2024, designed to make creating custom animations accessible and efficient. It caters to a range of users from animation novices to skilled designers and marketing teams.

It has an intuitive interface and is integrated with Linearity Curve for a cohesive design ecosystem.

How does Linearity Move compare to Adobe After Effects?

Linearity Move is tailored for vector animation with a focus on ease of use, making it an accessible option for those new to animation or seeking to create animations quickly. It may not cover the breadth and complexity of video effects capabilities found in After Effects, but it offers a powerful, user-friendly, and more affordable After Effects alternative.

Linearity Move is perfect for creating custom social media posts, ads, and announcements.

What are the pros and cons of using Adobe's suite of products?

The pros of Adobe Creative Suite include integration across Adobe Creative Cloud applications and access to industry-standard tools with advanced features.

The cons include a single-app subscription model (which can become costly over time) to for users to reach proficiency.

What are the main features of Adobe After Effects?

The key features of Adobe After Effects motion design software include:

  • Animation and keyframing
  • Visual effects
  • Vector-based motion graphics
  • Video compositing
  • Text animation
  • 3D integration
  • VR and 360 video support
  • Scripting and expressions to speed up the animation process

It’s part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, integrating with other Adobe apps for a seamless workflow.

How do I choose the right After Effects alternative?

Selecting the right alternative to Adobe After Effects depends on your specific needs, skill level, and workflow. Consider factors such as ease of use, specific functionalities, software integration capabilities, and pricing models.

It's also important to assess how each tool complements your design evolution and meets your team and project requirements.

Pros and cons: the 5 best After Effects alternatives | Linearity