How To Download After Effects For Free [2024] - Legal, No Crack!

To sign up for the Adobe After Effects free trial, first visit Adobe’s official website, navigate to the Creativity & Design section, and select After Effects under View all products. Once on the After Effects page, click the Start Free Trial button, sign in or create an Adobe ID, enter your billing details, and proceed to download and install the software. Remember to cancel the subscription in your Adobe Account settings if After Effects does not meet your needs to avoid being charged after the 7-day trial.

July 2, 2024
How To Download After Effects For Free [2024] - Legal, No Crack!
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This Is The Only Way To Use Adobe After Effects For Free!

Adobe does not offer a completely free version of After Effects as it is a professional-grade tool meant for commercial use. However, they do provide a free trial, which is a fantastic way for you to test out its capabilities.

In this article, I will guide you through the detailed steps to access the free trial version of After Effects. By doing so, you will be able to explore all the functionalities of the software and determine if it meets your creative needs without any initial investment. Whether you're looking to animate intricate sequences, craft sophisticated visual effects, or simply add a professional polish to your video projects, this trial period is your ticket to test driving this leading software.

What You Will Learn:

  • Navigating the Adobe Website: How to find the After Effects page on Adobe’s official site.
  • Initiating the Free Trial: Step-by-step instructions to start your 7-day trial, including signing up or logging in with an Adobe ID.
  • Understanding the Subscription Process: What information you will need to provide and how to handle it securely.
  • Maximizing the Trial Period: Tips on exploring After Effects' features thoroughly within the trial timeframe.
  • Cancellation Process: How to cancel the subscription effectively if you decide not to continue post-trial.
  • What To Avoid: Disadvantages of illegal copies of After Effects
  • Limitations: Things that don't come with the After Effects trial.

How To Sign Up For The Adobe After Effects Free Trial

Just like the Premiere Pro free trial, to get started with After effects or any creative cloud product for that matter, you need to go to the particular product's page on Adobe's website.  The URL might vary based on your geographic location, but you generally won't need to navigate away from the main site because they will redirect you automatically. Here's how you do it:

  1. Open your web browser and go to Adobe's official website.
  2. In the top menu, hover over or click on “Creativity & Design.” From the dropdown menu, select “View all products.”
  3. Scroll through the list until you find After Effects. Click on it to go to the After Effects page.

Initiating the Free Trial

Try After Effects with a 7-day free trial

Once you're on the After Effects page, the process to start your free trial is straightforward:

  1. Look for a blue button that says “Start Free Trial.” This will be prominently displayed on the far left of the page.
  2. Click on this button. You will be prompted to sign in with your Adobe ID. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, you will need to create one at this step. The creation process involves providing your email address and setting a password.
  3. After signing in or creating your new Adobe ID, you will be asked to enter your personal information and billing details, including your credit card information. Don't worry; you won't be charged during the 7-day trial period. Adobe needs this information to manage the subscription process if you decide to continue after the trial.

Important Considerations

After Effects sign up page.
  • Trial Period: You have exactly 7 days from the time you start the trial to use After Effects for free. Make sure to explore all its features during this period to get a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities.
  • Cancellation: If you find that After Effects does not meet your needs, remember to cancel the subscription before the trial ends. To cancel, you must go to your Adobe Account page, navigate to the 'Manage plan' section for After Effects, and select “Cancel plan.” You need to do this before the 7-day trial is up to avoid being charged.

Final Step

After completing these steps, the download should start automatically. Follow the on-screen instructions to install After Effects on your computer. Once installed, launch the program and start exploring the powerful tools and features that After Effects offers.

Is It Safe To Download A Cracked Version Of After Effects?

No! Any pirated software including After Effects should be something you shouldn't consider.

Legal Issues

Illustration of someone getting caught using an illegal version of after effects.

Downloading and using cracked software like After Effects is illegal. I remember when I first started exploring video editing tools, the temptation to save money was real. However, the legal risks associated with using pirated software quickly deterred me. It's not just about the potential for fines or legal action; it's about the integrity of your work and respecting the creators of the tools you use. Software companies often monitor for pirated versions, and getting caught can lead to severe penalties.

Viruses and Malware

A user has three monitors. Two contain cracked after effects and the third is showing a malware warning.

Another major risk with cracked software is the high likelihood of downloading a file infected with viruses or malware. I've heard countless stories from peers who ended up compromising their systems after installing a cracked version. These malicious files can lead to anything from annoying adware to severe ransomware that locks you out of your own projects. It's a risk that's simply not worth taking, especially when the health of your computer is crucial for your work in visual effects.

Feeling of Guilt

This editor is feeling guilty after using a stolen version of After Effects

Using pirated software can also bring about a feeling of guilt. Personally, I've always valued the hard work that goes into developing such complex software. Knowing that you’re using a tool without supporting the developers can weigh on your conscience. This guilt is magnified if you’re creating commercial work, earning revenue from projects made with stolen software.

Features Of After Effects (Free Version)

The free trial of Adobe After Effects provides the full version of the software, identical to the paid version. This means during the 7-day trial period, you have unrestricted access to all the tools and features that make After Effects the industry standard for video compositing. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced editor, this trial offers a comprehensive look at what the software can do. And yes, this means you can export too!

AI-powered Rotoscoping

One of the standout features in After Effects is its AI-powered rotoscoping. This tool automatically tracks the movements of subjects in your video clips, allowing you to apply effects or isolate elements with much less effort than manual methods. It's especially useful for creating visual effects where precise subject separation is necessary. For someone like me, who values efficiency in my workflow, this feature is a huge time-saver.

Creating Cinemagraphs

After Effects also excels in creating cinemagraphs — still photos in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. These are fantastic for capturing the viewer's attention in advertisements or social media. The software provides the tools needed to seamlessly blend motion and stillness, creating captivating visuals that look professional.

Applying Advanced Video Effects

The range of video effects available in After Effects is extensive. You can add everything from simple color corrections to complex visual effects like light leaks, weather effects such as rain or snow, and stylized looks such as old film or glitch effects. These tools are crucial for filmmakers and video editors looking to elevate their footage beyond the ordinary.

Limitations of the After Effects Free Trial

The most significant limitation of the free trial is its duration—just 7 days. This time constraint means you need to dive in quickly to explore everything the software has to offer. For someone exploring After Effects for the first time, this might feel a bit rushed. It's crucial to plan what you want to test and learn during this period to make the most of the trial.

Additional Benefits of Your Creative Cloud Membership

With the trial, you also get access to Adobe's extensive library of tutorials, which cater to all skill levels. This is a valuable resource for beginners who need guidance and professionals looking to sharpen their skills with new techniques.

Regular Updates

Another perk of using the official trial version is the access to the latest updates. Adobe frequently adds new features and improvements, and these are immediately available during your trial. Keeping the software updated ensures you are working with the most advanced tools and security features.

Creative Cloud Extras

Lastly, the trial gives you a taste of the additional benefits that come with a Creative Cloud subscription, like 100 GB of cloud storage, access to free mobile apps, file sharing capabilities, and 500 monthly credits for Firefly-powered content creation. These extras enhance your ability to work flexibly and collaboratively.