Movie Editing Software For Special Effects

Many production studios utilize special effects in their post-production workflow.

There are many software programs available for creating special effects for movies, TV shows, music videos, corporate videos and personal video projects. These programs have their own specialties and they are usually aimed at different areas of the production process.

Those who are new to computer arts, graphics and animation may have to learn such programs for weeks or months. To become proficient with the basics of video editing and special effects work, some take paid tutorials and training while others make a dedicated effort toward personal learning.

Adobe After Effects

After Effects is a motion graphics and compositing tool made by Adobe. After Effects features a user-friendly interface for 2-D and 3-D compositing, keying, rotoscoping and many other visual effects tasks. Its workflow allows the merging of moving and still imagery, graphics and text, then animates virtually any aspect of each visual element in a 2-D or 3-D space.

While you can buy it as an independent software, it is also part of the Adobe Creative Suite (CS) Master Collection and Adobe CS Production Premium which supplements special effects work with other Adobe products such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Flash Professional. After Effects’ tight integration with other Adobe software is an advantage to most visual artists and editors as this allows moving between various programs without intermediate rendering requirements.


A flagship product of the company Wondertouch, an award-winning software developer specializing in particle effects for the visual effects industry, ParticleIllusion is a standalone software program that allows users to create all kinds of special effects such as explosions, smoke, fire, sparkles, motion graphics backgrounds, space effects, creatures and abstract artistic effects.

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Aside from the standalone program, there are ParticleIllusion versions made as plug-ins for Adobe After Effects and Apple Motion. With more than 1,500 effects such as puddle splashes, light beams and fireworks, premium users can also take advantage of effects library updates for free every month.


Creating visual effects for hundreds of feature films, commercials and TV shows, Silhouette is a visual effects program created by Silhouette FX, a company with an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement and Emmy Awards under its belt. This software program utilizes rotoscope, paint, keying, Power Matte, visual effects and compositing features for various special effects requirements.

Silhouette now has a stereoscopic workflow, meaning it can be utilized in stereoscopic 3-D movie productions. With its expanded range of file formats, the integrated stereo footage from Silhouette allows integration of stereo footage so that clips can be previewed side by side, stacked or as anaglyphs (watching footage in 3-D using the red and blue glasses).