Best Video Effects Software

With video effects software, users can alter video files with custom or preconfigured effects. Features can range from title and credit creation to special effects such as inserting computer-generated imagery and manipulating visual appearance, depending on the depth of the program. These programs are most commonly used by special effects engineers and artists during the production of films, TV shows, and other media, to add visual details, manipulate scenes, or edit out unwanted objects. Video effects software often integrates with video editing tools, as well as animation or 3D design software.

To qualify for inclusion in the Video Effects category, a product must:

  • Allow users to overlay or alter video files with preconfigured, imported, or custom effects
  • Provide an effects creator that allows users to mold specific effects to their liking
  • Integrate with other video products and export finished files into a variety of file types

Video Effects Software Grid® Overview

The best Video Effects Software products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on products’ scale, focus, and influence) and placed into four categories on the Grid®:
  • Products in the Leader quadrant are rated highly by G2 Crowd users and have substantial Market Presence scores. Leaders include: Adobe After Effects
  • High Performers are highly rated by their users, but have not yet achieved the Market Presence of the Leaders High Performers include: Nuke, Trapcode Suite, and RedGiant Effects Suite
  • Contenders have significant Market Presence and resources, but have received below average user Satisfaction ratings or have not yet received a sufficient number of reviews to validate the solution. Contenders include: Motion
  • Niche solutions do not have the Market Presence of the Leaders. They may have been rated positively on customer Satisfaction, but have not yet received enough reviews to validate them. Niche products include: Blender, Fusion, Smoke, and MotionStudio 3D
G2 Crowd Grid® for Video Effects
High Performers
Market Presence

What You Should Know About Video Effects Software

Video effects platforms transform raw or edited film footage into an entirely different viewing experience. From transitions to video filters and beyond, modern visual effects lend themselves to "movie magic" in Hollywood and can do the same for your professional business or production company.

Each image in a video clip is rife with possibilities for artful editing or complementary motion graphics. Thanks to this advanced technology, an original image in filmed footage is now a canvas for creativity and imagination should the video editors or others involved desire more out of it.

As more and more businesses adopt video content as a legitimate means of communication—with partners, customers, and among the staff—these solutions grow increasingly viable for widespread use. Video editing and manipulation is a hireable skill just like software development or sales expertise. Whether you actively create videos in your current strategy, the time may come before long, and with it the inherent benefits of a video effects app.

Why Use Video Effects Software?

Video effects tools can make your personal or professional videos more entertaining, cohesive, or simply impressive through any number of additions or alterations. Basic features, such as secondary color correction, are able to remove imperfections and maximize viewer engagement. On the other hand, high-level features such as computer-generated imagery (CGI) or object creation can completely change the action in a clip, bringing scenes to life with a combination of the real and the synthetic.

As you grow more comfortable with a video effects product, you can alter each project in countless ways for your desired outcome. Even if you’re not a video editor by trade, you can have fun exploring the potential of this technology for self-produced movies, tutorials, vlogs, and so on. You and your team, regardless of industry, might realize the benefits in your branded content and marketing materials, among other things. Finally, if you work in entertainment, a video production company, or are a freelance videographer of any kind, these solutions should be trusted tools in your daily routine that elevate your long list of projects.

Who Uses Video Effects Software?

In the early years of video special effects, the concept may have appealed to mostly music video directors and effects coordinators on motion pictures, TV shows, and commercials. The rules have changed in the digital age, with our relationship with videos extending into every aspect of life. Today, over a billion hours of videos are watched each day on YouTube alone, running the gamut from news coverage to walkthroughs of video games. The technology continues to evolve, with immersive video and 3D films that jump off the screen, not to mention our ability to stream live video on social networks and watch full-length movies or live content on our mobile devices. As the trend pushes forward, these tools become relevant to a growing selection of teams and individuals.

Marketing Teams – If you’ve ever seen an impressive small business ad on your social timeline, there’s a good chance it involved a special effects software tool. As these platforms have become more affordable and accessible in the mainstream, marketing teams worldwide have adopted them to help broadcast and legitimize their brands. If your company decides to make digital ads in-house rather than reaching out to an advertising agency, a creative cloud that includes a video effects solution can help you make fully realized advertisements to be shared with your network and the public. Experience with these types of products is fast becoming a basic qualification for hiring marketing professionals, and their impact on in-house marketing campaigns will only become more apparent in the near future.

Content Teams – Content teams will often work in tandem with marketing to establish the "voice" of a company and the various ways to use that voice for building awareness and generating business. This can include everything from short website clips to viral videos to engaging product walkthroughs or learning materials available for purchase or download. Proper use of video effects can help blur the lines between entertainment and information, allowing creative departments to communicate vital talking points to a wide audience or simply improve the brand reputation and customer prospects through unique, effects-laden content across multiple channels.

Film & TV Teams – Perhaps the most obvious customer for these offerings is the professional filmographer within a multimedia production company. If you work in television or motion pictures, particularly with digital equipment, an effects tool and more general video editing app provide endless value. Industry experts may refer to video effects solutions as "vfx software," and know their way around these tools like a painter does their brushes. From finding the right tonal range for a scene to dropping in the perfect sound effects, these platforms empower video editors and effects specialists to transform footage however they see fit. And because effects can be easily applied, modified, and removed before the final draft is approved, each scene enables experimentation and risk-taking with the many features included in these products. In this way, special effects supervisors are artists in their own right, and can sometimes be the most valuable players on a given project with their signature touches and contributions.

Video Effects Software Features

The technology behind video effects is constantly evolving; for evidence of this, compare the visuals in a movie today against one from previous generations. Not only are the standard features in these solutions both powerful and diverse, but thanks to video effects plugins, some solutions are customizable with new features from the vendor or third-party developers. If you integrate a video effects tool into your operation, you should keep your eyes out for effects plugins as they become available. With that said, you can expect to see these reliable features included in many of the products featured in this category.

Transitions – Transition effects are a simple but extremely effective method of blending scenes to create a flowing and seamless video. They can be subtle or flashy, depending on your desired end product or reaction from the viewer. Using something called "keyframes," the user can map out the beginning and ending of each transition. Then, you can select and tweak the exact transition effect based on what your chosen solution has to offer. Common examples includes wipes, dissolves, fades, and basic cuts. The variety of available video transitions depends on the effects tool you choose—you may even be able to create or customize transition options.

Objects – Adding a person, object, or piece of scenery to a shot gives users a great deal of freedom in their video editing process. A number of video effects platforms offer ways to paste images or cropped portions of other video files into a given scene. A popular process known as “image compositing” involves the picking and choosing of different elements to produce a patchwork scene that appears as a single, unified collection of images. In some cases, the production team will intentionally film objects separately to be merged together. One term for this is "chroma key." This may benefit from shooting certain subjects in front of a green screen or blue screen, which simplifies the process of isolating the images within a video effects platform or inserting external scenes or objects into the shot during the effects stage.

Filters & Colors – There are hundreds of different ways you could alter a video clip with the filters and layering tools available in certain video effects programs. With the push of a button, you can transform the entire color range in a particular scene, add or remove shadows, adjust the hue saturation of specific objects, and much more. Video editors will commonly leverage filter tools to bring objects in and out of focus, in addition to complete blurring; this is common when any sort of censoring is necessary. Color correction and lighting effects allow you to give the appearance of a certain time of day or certain environmental surroundings—you can also remove or add the illusion of "midtones," or indirect sources of light that illuminate an object in the video frame. Some other effects can include distortion, lens flare, reflections, and transforming objects or entire scenes to appear like paintings or cartoons.

No two products in this category offer the exact same toolset, and some may be more suited for your team’s particular needs or personal creative ambitions. Before deciding on a solution to buy, you are encouraged to visit the product website to learn more about its exact range of features. If you’re wondering about certain capabilities or possible lack thereof, you should reach out to the vendor with your questions.

Software and Services Related to Video Effects Software

Video effects software can manipulate videos imported from external sources as well as original video files you or your company captures with your own filming devices. You should research the particular file types or devices that are most compatible with a particular product. When working on a video project, it is recommended to use a video editing tool to arrange, crop, and master your content. After adding visual effects, you may decide to reopen the project in a video editing platform for final touches. Once your video project is finalized, you can choose to upload and share it using a video hosting platform. You may also store or distribute these files using a content management system, such as a video CMS tool or social network. Video effects tools may also integrate with animation software to create videos with animated elements, or video game development software to weave video tutorials or cutscenes into games.

Video effects can be included in the services of many video production companies and advertising agencies. You can inquire with a video production company about the possibility of adding visual effects to videos you have filmed and edited in-house. If creating videos to be viewed in other countries, you can enlist the help of video translation or multimedia localization providers.

Compare Video Effects Software
    Results: 20

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    Video Effects reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

    Animation and creative compositing software used by a wide variety of motion graphics and visual effects artists

    Motion features a familiar interface that lets you easily create titles, transitions, and effects for Final Cut Pro.

    Red Giant Effects Suite is a set of 9 tools that have served the visual effects community for years, delivering the creative freedom to produce professional effects.

    A unique and seamless combination of visual effects, editorial timeline and finishing, NUKE STUDIO lets you composite, conform, edit, color-correct, add effects and playback at 4K.

    3D design, engineering, and entertainment software and services.

    The industry-standard package for motion graphics in After Effects.

    Advanced Visual Effects Compositing

    Corel MotionStudio 3D is packed with easy-to-use tools for 3D graphics, animated text, particle effects, motion blur and more.

    Blender is an open source 3D creation suite that supports the 3D pipeline, modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking, video editing, and game creation.

    Use ManyCam to add awesome webcam effects and graphics to your photos and videos!

    A unique mix of video editing, visual effects and 3D compositing for filmmakers and professional motion artists. Everything you need in one product. Free edition HitFilm 3 Express also available. From short films to documentaries, commercials to vlogging - HitFilm has features for beginners and experts alike, combining depth and sophistication with an intuitive simplicity. Chief among the advancements are a powerful video editor, greater realism when rendering 3D scenes, advanced animation controls and a refined interface. Also included is HitFilm Ignite (over 140 plugins for all major video platforms), mocha HitFilm and BorisFX 3D Objects to create incredible title sequences.

    3D design, engineering, and entertainment software and services.

    Free and open-source compositing software, available for MacOS X, Windows and Linux.

    TimelineFX can create a full range of particle effects for games, applications and videos.

    Wax is a high performance and flexible video compositing and special effects software.

    3DEqualizer is 3D tracking solution for merging live action footage with digital visual effects. It represents a cornerstone of modern post production business.

    If you are the guys that usually use YouTube, the YouTube Video Effects is a must-have extension. YouTube Video Effects is Chrome extension to improve your YouTube experience. It makes YouTube get more interesting, more useful.

    Jahshaka currently runs on Linux, Windows Xp, Vista, 7 and 8 as well as older Macs.

    The Monsters GT accent to Sapphire adds 59 ultra-artistic effects to your toolkit.

    Everything for pro-quality realtime video in one amazing free app

    Kate from G2 Crowd

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