Are you looking for a free download of Adobe After-Effects? There is a very high likelihood that you made it to this page from a google search.

Free Download - Adobe After Effects (PC/MAC)

Are you looking for a free download of Adobe After-Effects? There is a very high likelihood that you made it to this page from a google search.

Did you know this is one of the highest ranking google searches related to Adobe After Effects? Look no further.

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The Consensus

Downloading software illegally is illegal. You know it, Adobe knows it, and the truth is that there is no way around it. However when we come back to real life, do users actually pay for Adobe Software? It seems like the answer is no, at least not at first.

This clip is taken from the Corridor Cast, a weekly podcast created by Corridor Digital, a production studio known for their online short films. They have been creating VFX related content for youtube since 2010. They are also known for their Youtube series called “VFX Artists React”.

In this clip, Niko (one of the founders) says: “It’s okay to pirate when you’re really young and trying to learn software, I’m just gonna say it, it’s okay it’s totally fine”.

It’s hard to disagree with this take, especially when it comes from one of the biggest VFX related personas on the internet. But to truly understand why a person like Niko is feeling comfortable saying such a thing publicly, one must ask the question: Is it realistic to expect kids and youngsters to buy software when they are starting out?

To answer that we need to do some math. As of today, the yearly price of an Adobe After-Effects subscription is 239.88$. Adobe software is subscription based, which means that if you are planning on learning the software and developing your skills over time to build a portfolio and get ready to participate in the job market you will quickly find yourself paying around 700$ for the next three years.

700$ for three years may sound manageable for some, but for many, including kids and teenagers this amount is out of reach and will have to be paid by their parents. When you are a parent and you are confronted with a 700$ purchase, it's very reasonable to ask questions such as:

How much food 700$ could bring to the table?

How long it took you to make those 700$?

Can this money be better spent? This is not a small amount of money, after all.

What kind of sorcery is this? 🧙

Follow the Good Boy Ninja on Twitter for After-Effects tips and tricks

But it gets even pricier than that…

Sadly, I was too kind when I said 700$ is the amount you’re gonna spend just to get into Motion Design / VFX. The truth is that After-Effects alone just isn’t enough.

Adobe has been strategically limiting their software to do very specific things very well, and intentionally opted out of including useful features in favour of having a wider echo system. This means that while After-Effects is capable of many design related things, it is mostly an animation and compositing software and lacks serious retouching / vector graphics tools.

Adobe wants you to pay the “All Apps” plan, which goes for double the price. This plan gives you access to additional software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, as well as Animate etc...

Using all these software in conjunction with each other is, fortunately and unfortunately, the way to go. It’s important to note that as of today we have yet to witness one big software that does anything and everything and does it well, so while Adobe is taking a strategic move here it’s probably also a logistic one. Adobe treats each software as a package, which is why they can excel in delivering useful and meaningful features. Each software has its unique set of tools.

This is painful for the end users (and their pockets).

The “All Apps” subscription is 479.88$ a year, which is two times more expensive than paying for After-Effects alone. When we take into account the our three years timeline of learning and building yourself up, all of the sudden you (or your parents) have to say goodbye to a whooping 1440$.

Is 1440$ is a realistic price tag for starting out?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

Adobe knows you are cracking its software

At least according to this Quora thread.

While publicly Adobe discourages cracking their software (and so do I), many believe that these statements are a part of a bigger, underlying strategy. It is simply unreasonable to expect kids to pay 1440$ for creative software they do not yet use to generate revenue.

“Well then, so adobe software is meant for adults only” one may say. But is this truly the case?

Fun fact, when I started using Adobe Software I was around 7 years old. Whether I was using genuine or cracked versions at the time is TBD. However, as a person working in the motion design industry I am paying for Adobe Software and you should too. Software does not come out of nowhere and should be paid for. The money you pay for it puts food on the table of the developers and truly contributes to future improvements and bug fixes.

Now, would I be an adobe user if I didn't crack Adobe Software in Minecraft when I was 7 years old? It’s safe to assume that the answer is a big no.

Adobe, unlike many other software vendors, does not offer free versions of their software for personal use (rather a useless 30 days trial, as if 30 days are enough to understand any of it). Therefore, think about all the 7 years old children today who will grow up to be motion designers, illustrators, image retouchers, animators etc etc. These are not only the artists of the future, they are future Adobe customers. It would be incredibly dumb for Adobe to crack down on all those kids who are willing to go to the extent of learning how to pirate software just to use their products.

Adobe gains a lot from this model.

Imagine how rewarding it is to feel, especially as a kid, that you got a hold of something very pricey for free. Suddenly all you want to do is to learn it and use it as much as possible. You are blinded by the fact that you are now participating in creating art the same way the biggest studios and Hollywood filmakers do, let alone your favorite online creators. Even Corridor Digital which I mentioned above has a lot of young audience who want to learn how to be VFX artists just like them. Cracking Adobe software allows them to participate and develop their skills until they are big enough to start generating revenue from it. By that time, they are already used to the Adobe ecosystem and are less likely to try and look for alternative solutions. They are already proficient in Adobe software, they are ready to turn into paying Adobe customers.

So while Adobe does not discuss this in public, it is very safe to assume (if not by me, at least by Niko and the Corridor Crew) that under the hood this is part of Adobe’s strategy, a strategy that turned me and many of my artist friends into paying Adobe customers.

Cracked Software = Viruses?

Unfortunately, cracking software does not come without a price.

Regardless of the legal consequences (which are very real, despite everything discussed in this article), cracked software is a huge niche for computer viruses to thrive. Hackers and other developers with malicious intents can often use cracked software as an opportunity to install harmful software on your machine by silently integrating it to your download links. By the time your cracked After-Effects is up and running your computer may already be infected.

This leads us to an important question we should all ask ourselves: why doesn’t adobe offer an easy free educational license for individuals?

As of today, other software vendors rely on interesting business models that are designed to encourage beginners and new users to learn how to use their software until they can generate income from it, and only then pay for it. Here are a few examples:

Unreal Engine - a popular game engine widely used in the industry is free to download and use. In exchange, you pay 5% royalty after your product makes 1 million dollars. This helps make sure bigger studios and successful projects contribute to the development of the engine by paying their share, as well as encouraging individuals to use this engine for free.

Unity - similar to Unreal Engine, unity offers a free version to welcome newcomers. You need to upgrade your plan depending on your annual revenue.

Houdini - While houdini is very pricey it offers an indie license that is substantially cheaper than the original price, which helps newcomers to opt in and learn the tool. They also offer a free version for non commercial use, which is perfect for kids and teenagers who cannot yet pay just for learning the software.

Affinity - Affinity decided to not go with a subscription model, and their software is a one time purchase, which makes it very appealing for teenagers and kids who can afford it.

Davinci Resolve - The popular editing software which competes with Adobe Premiere is free for most users. It offers a studio version which lets you unlock certain features that are missing in the free version. Each feature can be unlocked for around 360$, which can creep up on your wallet rather quickly, however this is still a great way to make it possible for users to opt in, and only pay when they can.

So what we learn from all that is that Adobe is possibly harming its users by not offering a proper free to use versions of their products. Their model forces kids and teenagers to look for illegal solutions, and theoretically is also pushing them to break the law by downloading illegal software, which also increases their chances to contaminate their machines with malware.

For many, cracking Adobe software is a necessary evil. While this is not Adobe’s responsibility, many would agree that this is a direct result of their business model. It’s also reasonable to believe that sooner or later Adobe will have to find a better, more welcoming solution. Today’s landscape of creative software is more promising than ever, and free pieces of software (or free until you can pay) are increasing in popularity and quality. It’s safe to assume that as long as Adobe is offering one of the most popular and capable software bundles out there this model will last and thrive, but this too may come to an end because:

Empires fall...

We have seen what Blender has done to the 3D industry. Embracing free and open source software has made 3D popular amongst younger audiences, which will hold gratitude to Blender as they grow up. Blender managed to create a snowball that keeps on growing, a community of happy customers who can expect a virus free model to get them started, and a seat in the industry in the future as they grow old.

If you made it to this article in the hope to find a free download link for Adobe software, this isn’t the place. However, if you are a kid or a teenager who is starting, be assured that expecting you to pay just to get started is ridiculous. Many kids like you who are interested in digital arts and will eventually find out about Adobe software and try to get their hands on it.

You can start with free tools like Blender, Krita and Davinci, or pay a fixed price for Affinity software. I cannot encourage you to download cracked software but the possibilities are out there if you must. This is not your fault that Adobe does not offer a great solution for you yet.

Either way, good luck with your journey of becoming a digital artist. Don’t forget to have fun (really, don’t forget to have fun).
Good Boy Ninja

Good Boy Ninja
Motion Designer since 2008.
Maker of tools for Adobe After-Effects
Quick jump:
August 11, 2021
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