The Best VFX Software for Adding Visual Effects to Videos.

Aesthetic appeal and engaging narratives are the basic requirements of quality video content today, but they aren’t always enough. Your video needs visual effects to cut through the clutter and hold viewers’ attention.

Visual effects, or VFX for short, is the integration of live-action footage with other footage or CGI elements to create realistic output. With multiple visual effects software available, both beginners and seasoned creators can improve their video content and create the best video playback experience.

If you want to edit YouTube videos or films with VFX, this article is for you. Read through the list below to acquaint yourself with the best visual effects (VFX) software available today.

Best VFX software

Our top picks for VFX software include:

  • Adobe After Effects
  • Maya
  • Natron

Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is powerful post-production software. It’s supported on Mac and Windows operating systems and used across industries for high-quality filmmaking, video games, and television production.

Adobe After Effects Ndiwano

It’s an Adobe product, and is highly compatible with the rest of Adobe’s editing suite software (e.g., Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop). After Effects can help you improve transitions, graphics, titles, and animation with its effects library and editing tools.

Learning to use Adobe After Effects is a good investment in your creative future due to its many benefits, including:

  • Great effects library. After Effects boasts an extensive effects library. Instantly bring your videos to life by changing a scene’s setting, making selective color adjustments, or choosing from hundreds of presets and special effects. You can also use numerous plug-ins to improve the software’s functionality.
  • Useful tips and guides. As the software is an industry standard, many interactive tutorials and guides are available to help you navigate it. You can also complete full-fledged courses to establish mastery over the tool.
  • Professional tools. With After Effects, you can perform complex editing actions like adding 3D elements to scenes, tracking, keying, and separating foreground and background.

Pricing: Seven-day free trial, then $20.99 per month


Maya is Autodesk’s 3D animation, simulation, and rendering software. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems and is primarily used by 3D artists.

Maya Ndiwano

Autodesk Maya is known for its realistic rendering quality, making it a favorite for lifelike characters, avatars, and assets. Create detailed simulations, add movement and life to 3D characters, or add effects similar to Hollywood blockbuster movies or TV shows to your videos.

Maya is used by both industry veterans and beginners, building a robust community of users who actively participate in forums and groups. This network can guide beginners.

Some pros of using Maya are:

  • 3D animation tools. Maya equips you with various tools to design and create 3D assets. From 3D modeling and motion capture to rendering, the software gives you control over the complete 3D animation pipeline.
  • AI assistance. Maya also offers AI assistance to your workstation, which can help you streamline your workflow and steer your projects through complex editing processes.
  • User experience. Maya offers users a great experience. It’s widely used in the industry, letting users collaborate with others more easily.

Pricing: $225 per month or $1,785 per year; Flex package for $1,500 for 500 tokens


Natron is one of the few free and open-source compositing programs available today. It can help you work on 2D and 2.5D videos. Natron is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS, with a uniform interface across all operating systems.

Natron Ndiwano

Natron seems like a simple digital compositing software; however, you’ll find layers of complexity in the node-based engine. Use multi-layered rotoscoping, powerful tracking and keying tools, curve and dope sheet editors, and various community plug-ins to enhance the software’s utility.

Some advantages of Natron are:

  • Free version. Natron is one of the few programs that gives users access to a free version. As a creator, you get access to free editing tools and effect libraries, making it the perfect option for beginners.
  • Intuitive interface. With an intuitive interface, Natron streamlines projects and simplifies complex editing processes.
  • Big effects library. With various plug-ins and tools created by its active open-source community, Natron’s effects library is large and worth exploring.

Pricing: Free

Other VFX software worth considering

Take a look at these other VFX software programs that can work for you:

  • Blender
  • HitFilm Pro
  • CyberLink PowerDirector
  • Fusion


Blender is a free and open-source software program that its contributors own. Using Blender makes you part of a growing ecosystem of developers and designers.

Blender Ndiwano

Use Blender for tasks of varying complexity, including rendering, texturing, modeling, 3D compositing, sculpting, animating, scripting, and coding. In addition, Blender gives you access to sophisticated tools that you can customize once you’re comfortable with the interface.

Blender is suitable for small studios and individuals who work in VFX and graphics. As it’s a public project, you can expect frequent upgrades and exposure to a network of artists, engineers, and designers.

Blender also helps you limit the number of applications you use for each project with its built-in compositor. The compositor allows the post-production of renders without forcing you to leave the application.

Some major benefits of using Blender are:

  • Totally free. The biggest advantage of Blender is that it’s a completely free VFX software. The software will never charge you for its service because it’s a public project created to ensure free access to 3D CG content.
  • Recommended for beginners. Since it’s free and powerful, Blender is recommended for beginners as a good introduction to VFX and motion graphics.
  • Big effects library. With constant additions from a worldwide community, the effects library and plug-in collection for Blender are extensive. Apart from a full-fledged compositor and motion-tracking, you also gain access to an impressive library to create camera effects, vignettes, color grading, and much more.

Pricing: Free

HitFilm Pro

HitFilm Pro is video editing software that offers a large toolkit for VFX. It covers 3D modeling and layering, lighting effects, Chroma key, and other popular effect presets that help you achieve professional-quality output.

Hitfilm Pro Ndiwano

The software gives you access to award-winning 3D camera tracking and rotoscoping tools like Foundry and Boris FX. Another benefit of using HitFilm Pro is its compatibility with other software like Video CoPilot, Red Giant, and Boris FX Suite.

Novices and industry professionals use this project for smaller films and projects like promo videos.

Some pros of HitFilm Pro are:

  • Affordable. HitFilm Pro has a free version with certain limitations, like a watermark on its edited videos. Most users start with the free version and gradually add paid features. This payment plan personalizes the software and makes it affordable.
  • Complete plug-in support. The software features a collection of plug-ins to maximize its utility.
  • Motion tracking support. HitFilm Pro has Foundry’s 3D camera tracking software fully integrated within the software. You can benefit from using two tools for quick 3D camera tracking and configuring ground planes, saving your shot, and generating previews.

Pricing: $349, but you can add features like colors and other visual effects from $9.99

CyberLink PowerDirector

CyberLink PowerDirector is robust 3D scenes editing software powered by AI. It offers the latest VFX features like mask design, color matching, and sketch animation. Moreover, PowerDirector’s simple user interface makes it a good starting point for individuals who aren’t comfortable with complex 3D software.

Cyberlink Pro Ndiwano

Some pros of CyberLink PowerDirector include:

  • Video editor. At its core, PowerDirector is video editing software. It houses a large library of video effects, presets, titles, and music that can freshen up any video content.
  • Easy to use. As the software doesn’t have the same features as a full-fledged VFX software, PowerDirector is comparatively easy to use and doesn’t require previous editing experience.
  • Large image, music, and video stock collection. While using PowerDirector, you get access to over 8 million videos, images, and music tracks from Shutterstock and iStock by Getty Images libraries.

Pricing: $69.99 per year for PowerDirector 365 or $129.99 per year for the Suite, which includes PowerDirector. You can also purchase PowerDirector Premium for Mobile (Android) for $27 per year.


Fusion Ndiwano

Fusion is DaVinci Resolve’s proprietary compositing software for visual effects, motion graphics, 3D animation, and virtual reality. Created by Blackmagic Design, DaVinci Resolve started as software for color grading but has since evolved into one of the most powerful editing software available on the market.

Fusion is built right into DaVinci Resolve, so you don’t need to download separate software if you’re doing VFX.

Fusion 18 is the software’s most recent iteration and has all the latest features, including motion-tracking, keying, rotoscoping, 3D modeling, scripting, deep pixel compositing, and more.

  • Affordable. Blackmagic Design offers two versions of DaVinci—Resolve and Resolve Studio. Fusion is built into both, but you must pay a relatively modest one-time fee if you want to use it.
  • Modern, intuitive interface. Fusion’s user interface is clean and easy to understand, making it an excellent option for beginners and smaller studios.
  • Packed with features. Fusion offers everything from basic editing and sound design to complex VFX and motion graphics.

Pricing: You can download DaVinci Resolve for free, while DaVinci Resolve Studio and Fusion cost $295 each. Both are one-time purchases.

Benefits of using VFX software for improving videos

There are numerous benefits of using VFX during video production.

  • Makes a bigger creative space. VFX tools allow YouTubers and video content creators to expand their creative vision by eliminating the numerous barriers to shooting live-action and real-time video content for social media.
  • Corrects mistakes. Visual effects also give creators increased control over the output. Mistakes that would otherwise require re-shooting can be fixed quickly with a few clicks.
  • Prints the director’s or writer’s vision. Conveying a story is a complex task that’s made easier with VFX tools. Recreate and layout exact stories, events, and locations with the right VFX software or app.

Hire VFX artists for the best results

With so many types of software at your disposal, you’re spoiled for choice. However, choosing the right software depends on your needs, skill level, and budget. Some software programs have a steep learning curve and may require a significant amount of time to master.

Consider hiring an independent VFX artist for your VFX and video editing needs. Platforms like Ndiwano.com simplify this task and help you find and collaborate with top independent talent in any industry. With transparent billing and payment terms and negotiable timelines, working with independent VFX artists through Ndiwano.com can be more efficient than using VFX software.

Collaborating with independent professionals from Ndiwano.com is simple and hassle-free. It only requires you to post a job, review proposals, vet the candidates, and launch projects with your chosen freelancer. Sign up with Ndiwano.com and become a part of the largest work marketplace.

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