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Best Sources of Free Video Effects for PC and Mac

Last Updated on Aug. 4, 2023 – by Jayed Miah
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Video effects can serve as a powerful tool in the arsenal of any content creator, elevating the visual storytelling experience of personal or home projects. But the question is - where can quality video effects be accessed for free?

Given the many options available, it can be challenging to discern which free software would best meet your requirements and personal aesthetic.

This is precisely where our guide comes in. We're here to provide you with an understanding of various types of video effects and a comprehensive rundown of the best free visual effects software on the market. Equip yourself with this knowledge and you'll be on your way to crafting a video that's not only visually compelling but also resonates with your audience.


Snapshot of Our Top 3 Sources of Free Video Effects

PowerDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector - Best Overall

PowerDirector stands out for its comprehensive suite of effects and easy-to-use interface. Perfect for both beginners and seasoned editors, PowerDirector provides a wide array of options, from basic color grading and transitions to more advanced 3D elements and CGI effects.

Footer Create

2. FootageCrate - Best for VFX and Motion Elements

If you're looking for high-quality visual effects and motion elements, FootageCrate is your go-to source. Offering an extensive library of free and premium effects, FootageCrate allows users to enhance their videos with professional-looking graphics and animations.

Pixaboy Logo

3. Pixabay - Best for Stock With Video Effects

For those in need of ready-to-use clips with pre-applied effects, Pixabay is a valuable resource. Alongside its vast collection of royalty-free images, Pixabay provides a substantial library of stock videos that include effects, enabling users to add flair to their projects easily.

Types of Video Effects

Video effects encompass a wide array of visual manipulations that can enhance, stylize, and transform your video content. These effects can create a specific mood, emphasize a point, or add a touch of artistic flair to your videos. Here are some key types of video effects:

  1. Changes in Speed: This includes slow-motion and fast-motion effects. Slow motion can be used to emphasize a particular moment or action, whereas fast motion can help you quickly transition through less crucial parts of your video or to achieve a comedic effect.
  2. Distortions: These effects manipulate the image in a way that changes its original shape. Distortion effects can be used to create a dreamy or nightmarish atmosphere, mimic the effects of a fisheye lens, or simulate the view through water or glass.
  3. Reflections: This effect adds a mirrored image of an object or scene to your video. Reflection effects can be used to create an artistic, dreamy, or surreal look and can also be useful in creating the impression of water or glass surfaces.
  4. Artistic Filters: These effects can give your video a particular aesthetic, like making your footage look like an old film, a cartoon, or a watercolor painting. This can add a unique twist to your video and help it stand out.
  5. Stylistic Color Grading: This involves changing the colors in your video to create a specific mood or look. It can be as simple as changing the video to black and white, or as complex as mimicking the color palette of a particular movie or time period.
  6. Animated Transitions: These are effects used to move from one scene or clip to another smoothly. Animated transitions can be simple fades, wipes, or more complex 3D animations.
  7. 3D Elements and CGI: This is where you introduce elements that weren't originally in the shot, from simple text or graphics to complex 3D models and environments. These effects can be used to add titles, animate infographics, create special effects, or even construct entire scenes.

Understanding these types of video effects will give you a good starting point for exploring what's possible in your own video projects. Keep in mind that effects should always serve the story you're trying to tell, enhancing rather than distracting from your video's message.

Best Sources of Free Video Effects

1. PowerDirector - Best Overall

pdr

Types of Video Effects Available:

  • Drag and drop video effects
  • Glitches, distortion, and stylized effects
  • AI video effects - sky replacement, body effects, style transfer
  • Particles
  • 3D Elements
  • Mask Designer
  • Color match and adjustment tools
  • Customizable objects and keyframe controls
  • Animation templates
  • Green screen video editing tools
  • Advanced title animation and reveal capability
  • Frame-by-frame motion tracking
  • Video speed adjustments
Pros
  • Comprehensive and user-friendly interface
  • Extensive collection of easy-to-use features
  • Wide variety of professional-grade video effects
  • Robust and reliable
Cons
  • Use of built-in Getty Images stock library requires subscription

Key Features

  • Easy customization of promotional videos
  • Platform is easy to learn and use
  • Broad spectrum of special effects and precision video-editing tools

Who It’s For

PowerDirector is an excellent choice for anyone, regardless of skill level or video editing experience, who requires a comprehensive tool to enhance their clips and turn everyday videos into professional-quality masterpieces.

Why We Picked It

We chose PowerDirector because it offers an extensive collection of professional-grade video effects in an easy-to-use and reliable platform. Additionally, users can easily add and customize video effects in a matter of minutes, making PowerDirector one of the most efficient video effects and editing products available.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a robust, reliable, and comprehensive video effects and editing tool, PowerDirector is a solid choice. While it offers an impressive range of features for free, advanced features require a monthly subscription.


2. FootageCrate - Best for VFX and Motion Elements

screenshot of the FootageCrate website

Types of Video Effects Available:

  • Thousands of searchable HD visual effects
  • Professional-quality motion graphics
  • Plugins and scripts for creating stylized shapes, text animations, and hologram designs
Pros
  • Offers a variety of high-quality free video effects
  • Easy signup process
Cons
  • Free membership includes just five downloads a day
  • Limited access to all ProductionCrate assets

Key Features

  • Access to thousands of video effects across various categories with free membership
  • Offers up to 20 daily downloads for a $10/month donation

Who It’s For

FootageCrate is ideal for those who need specific video effects like weather, sci-fi, fantasy, magic, military, and more. It's a great tool for enhancing product tutorials or behind-the-scenes company tours.

Why We Picked It

We picked FootageCrate because it offers a wealth of high-quality video effects and motion graphics. Even though it's not as comprehensive as PowerDirector, it still provides a robust selection of free assets.

Bottom Line

If you're seeking high-quality free video effects, transitions, and motion graphics, FootageCrate is a worthwhile resource to consider. However, keep in mind that the free membership has some limitations.


3. Pixabay - Best for Stock With Video Effects

screenshot of the Pixabay website

Types of Video Effects Available:

  • Thousands of pre-produced, sound-free video clips
  • Animated, slow-motion, and time-lapse productions
  • Multiple video categories, from animals to music, sports, travel, and more
  • Videos in both HD (1080p) and 4K (2160p) resolution
Pros
  • Extensive selection of high-quality clips
  • No membership or signup required
Cons
  • No custom effect creation tools
  • Not focused on motion graphics or special effects

Key Features

  • Easy-to-search library
  • Videos are free and licensed for commercial use

Who It’s For

Pixabay is suitable for those seeking a wide variety of pre-produced, royalty-free video clips and animations. It is ideal for creators who need stock footage or background videos.

Why We Picked It

We chose Pixabay due to its massive library of free, pre-produced video clips and animations across various categories. Its clips are royalty-free and licensed for commercial use, making it ideal for business or commercial projects.

Bottom Line

If you're after a wide variety of pre-produced, high-quality video clips that can be used royalty-free, Pixabay is an excellent resource. While it lacks custom effects creation tools, its vast library makes it a go-to for stock footage.


4. Videvo - Best for Stock Video and Audio Content

screenshot of the Videvo website

Types of Video Effects Available:

  • Background clips, including drone-filmed landscapes
  • Green screen videos for overlaying customized footage or graphics
  • Time-lapse, fast-motion, and slow-motion videos
  • Stylized 3D clips
  • High-quality looping animations
  • Motion graphics
  • Free sound effects and short music clips
Pros
  • Wide variety of free video effects
  • Easy search function
Cons
  • Premium videos require a subscription
  • Free account requires an email address

Key Features

  • Vast collection of footage
  • Easy-to-download content

Who It’s For

Videvo is a perfect match for those in need of an extensive variety of free video effects, motion graphics, and sound effects.

Why We Picked It

We picked Videvo due to its expansive library of free video effects and easy-to-use search function. It provides a great variety of options for enhancing your videos, making it an excellent choice for video editors.

Bottom Line

Videvo is an excellent resource for those in need of a variety of high-quality, free video effects. Keep in mind that while most of their footage is free, they do offer premium content for a subscription fee.


5. Videezy - Best for Stock Footage and After Effects Templates

screenshot of the Videezy website

Types of Video Effects Available:

  • Royalty-free video backgrounds
  • Special effects, including transitions, slideshows, 3D animations, lens flares, and more
  • After Effects templates for incorporating customized graphics and text
  • Videos available in SD, HD, 4K, and Ultra HD resolution
Pros
  • Thousands of free, production-ready videos, animations, and After Effects templates
  • Easy and free signup
Cons
  • Higher-resolution videos require a paid membership

Key Features

  • Wide selection of video effects
  • Offers both free and premium content

Who It’s For

Videezy is perfect for those seeking a vast collection of clips, After Effects templates, and special effects to enhance their video content.

Why We Picked It

Videezy made our list due to its extensive library of free and high-quality video effects. It stands out for its selection of After Effects templates, making it a great tool for adding a professional touch to videos.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for an extensive library of video effects, Videezy is a solid option. Although most of its content is free, access to higher-resolution videos requires a paid membership.

Download the Best Source of Free Video Effects

Whether you're a beginner looking to delve into video editing, or a professional seeking to enrich your toolkit, PowerDirector can be your go-to resource for free video effects. It's not just a software, it's an essential tool for enhancing your videos and telling compelling visual stories.

Video Effects FAQ

1. What are video effects?

Video effects are visual alterations made to a video segment or clip. They can include things like color correction, transitions, overlays, special effects like explosions or light leaks, and animation. Video effects can enhance storytelling, create a specific mood or atmosphere, or add visual interest to a video.

2. How can I add effects to my videos?

Video effects can be added using video editing software. Some software is more advanced, offering a wide range of effects and the ability to customize them deeply. Examples include PowerDirector, Adobe Premiere Pro, and After Effects. There are also simpler options like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, which offer basic effects and transitions. 

3. Are there free sources for video effects?

Yes, there are several free sources for video effects. Examples include PowerDirector, FootageCrate, Pixabay, Videvo, and Videezy. These platforms offer a wide array of effects, ranging from simple transitions to complex animations. 

4. Do I need professional software to use video effects?

Not necessarily. Many basic video effects and transitions can be accomplished with free or low-cost software, like PowerDirector. More advanced effects, particularly those used in professional filmmaking, may require professional software. 

5. Do I need special skills to use video effects?

Some video effects are simple to apply and require little knowledge or experience, while others are more complex. Many video editing software platforms, like PowerDirector, offer tutorials to help you understand how to use their effects. As with anything, the more practice you get, the better you'll become at applying and manipulating video effects.

6. Are video effects only for professional use?

Not at all. While professionals certainly use video effects, they can also be used by anyone looking to enhance their videos. From YouTube content creators to hobbyist filmmakers, anyone can benefit from understanding and using video effects.

7. Are all video effects digital?

No, not all video effects are digital. Some, known as practical effects, are created physically on set during filming. These might include things like makeup, prosthetics, and mechanical effects. However, in modern filmmaking, digital effects created in post-production have become increasingly common.

8. Can video effects improve the quality of my video?

Video effects can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your video and contribute to storytelling. However, they cannot improve the fundamental quality of your footage - for example, if the footage is blurry or the lighting is poor, effects will not correct these issues. It's crucial to start with high-quality footage as much as possible.

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