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Sometime soon The Foundry will be releasing a free non-commercial version of their Nuke VFX software. The program is fairly intuitive for beginners and will let you get started with learning visual effects right away.


In general you can't create visual effects with one single application, because there are too many different departments like: Match moving Keying / Rotoscoping Modeling Texturing Animation Simulation Lighting / Rendering Compositing Some of them are more artistic and other very technical tasks. For every task there are 2+ specific applications to solve ...


After Effects is probably the easiest if those are the types of effects you want. It's not free, but I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than most alternatives for effects or compositing & has tons of online resources to learn with. Premiere Pro has some similar features (masks, shape layers, animation w/keyframes, etc), but not as robust or easy to use. You ...


Blender is now in the actual version of 2.73 a huge competitor to all the big proprietary animation programs. The problem is not even the software, but the budget for employing scriptwriters (most important, because the story is number one of the list for a successful movie), voice actors, designers, matte painters, rigging specialists, animators, ...

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