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9 FREE After Effects Templates

Logan Baker

These templates include hundreds of free elements to use in any project. Combine for even more options, and some you can use in any NLE!

One of the best ways to improve your After Effects skills is by taking apart templates and seeing how other people create projects. Whether you’re seasoned in the program or a beginner, these free After Effects templates are a tremendous asset to your editor’s toolkit.

We previously compiled lists like 10 Free After Effects Templates and the aptly named 10 More Free After Effects Templates. After that, we put together 10 Free After Effects Assets and 10 Free After Effects Templates for Typography! What could come next?

Well, how about nine FREE After Effects Templates for you to use and learn from. Spoiler alert, there are more than nine . . . sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!

1. 9 Digital Distortions

This digital distortions template allows you to simply drag-and-drop your footage into the composition and play with the motion parameters to get Noise, Color Boxes, Flicker, Tuning, Turbulence, Pixel Blending, Rolling Bars, Chromatic Aberration, and Color TV Pixels.

These are nice for any screen replacement in your film, especially televisions and security monitors. They can also satisfy the craving for that VHS vibe you’ve been searching for.

2. The Anamorphic Look

The wider visuals of the anamorphic lens can add drama to your travel video or help draw focus to a character or element of a video you’d like to feature more prominently. This juxtaposition of usefulness has made the anamorphic highly sought after.

In this super-handy video, you’ll find a quick demo of the free After Effects template and how to adjust the parameters to get the exact feel you need for your project.

You can also just drag-and-drop your footage as-is, and you’ll still have a pretty solid and refined anamorphic crop.

Before we move on to the next freebie, I just want to shed light on ANOTHER freebie that, for some reason, I find fits well with the anamorphic look above.

Our friends over at Film Bodega (you’ll see more from them later in this article) created a fog overlay freebie that’s honestly too good to be free.

Here’s the trailer for the freebie. Find the download link below!

3. Free Action Effects

Fire is one of the most challenging elements to pull off digitally. This free Action Elements Pack can be used in any NLE or motion graphics software. It’s better than any fire template I’ve seen.

Adjusting the scale, motion parameters, and alpha channels will provide you with some solid fire and explosion effects. These elements look much more realistic and require much less render time.

4. FREE Ice Effects and Snow Overlays

No matter the time of year, you might have to edit or work on an “inter” inspired project involving snow and ice. This pack of 18 snow and ice overlays is the perfect solution to any VFX or overlay request you might get from production.

If you need a brief overview for applying these to your shot within After Effects, check out the breakdown below.

How to use the overlays in After Effects:

  • Import your folder of overlays.
  • In the composition, you want to add the snow or ice overlays—drag your clip of choice down into the composition.
  • Now, select the blend mode of choice for your particular scene or design. I recommend Add or Screen mode. Sometimes using Overlay or Hard Light can yield an exciting result.
  • If you’d like to customize the color or contrast of your overlay, I recommend using a Curves effect to play with the contrast. This will help with the blending process and overall believability of the effect on your shot. Also, if you’d like to change the color, I recommend the Hue/Saturation effect. You can find both in the Color Correction section of the effects drop-down. A little goes a long way with changing the color of ice and snow . . . that’s all I’ll say.

The team at Film Bodega made this pack, so be sure to check out their freebie page for more gems like this one.

5. Animated Font

With this animated text download, you can incorporate ’80s-inspired neon text into your videos and motion designs.

Whether you use the pre-rendered text elements or customize the elements inside of After Effects, these animated elements look professional and clean, which will wow your clients and audience.

With over 43 unique compositions, this animated font After Effects template can make any information invigorating. This skill is essential for your motion graphics tool kit. You never know when you might need a few animated letters or numbers to spice up your next edit.

You’ll need to have Helvetica Neue installed on your machine to use this free After Effects template.

6. 8 Bit Pixel Art

While this tutorial isn’t exactly one of our freebies, we’ve included a free project file in the description of the tutorial. This will bypass the tutorial and give you the effect right away.

However, if you want to learn how to create this effect yourself and apply these customizations to your own project, be sure to watch the tutorial!

Initially, we included a VHS After Effects template with this section, and just like the digital distortions pack, this free After Effects template allows you to recreate the look of an old VHS tape.

Once again, all you have to do is drag-and-drop your footage. You can even customize the text. This template does require you to download a free font, as well. Check out this tutorial on how to get the most out of this Free VHS template.

Check out the RocketStock freebie we released a few years ago if you want another free effect. Find it below!

7. Free HUD Elements

If you’re looking for that futuristic HUD aesthetic, this free After Effects template is for you. Below is a tutorial for creating a Spider-Man: No Way Home-inspired look, but these HUD elements have many uses.

For any sci-fi scene, you need HUD elements. These are perfect—it’s just about finding the right situation and setting for them.

Now, have fun!

8. Dynamic Car Gauges

Now that so many car commercials have gone digital, as they use computer-generated cars, every video editor needs digital assets for commercial work and promos.

Even if you’re just creating a spec ad or a proposal for a car ad, with these 16 free After Effects car gauges, you can easily create a custom gauge for your car work. The download also includes nine free sound effects.

9. 20 Free Color Grading Presets

If you aren’t a color grading expert but want to add an extraordinary custom look to your footage, these 20 free AE color grading presets are fantastic.

Each color grade adds a unique style and tone to your films and commercials. Check out all twenty presets in this video.

Bonus: Split Layers

See, I lied! We couldn’t just list nine when we have so much to offer! If you aren’t the best with motion graphics, this free After Effects template instantly creates split layers to splice up your images or video.

You just drop your footage into the project and select which of the nine types of layers you want.

As long as you guys love these lists, we’ll keep putting them together. Check out the RocketStock blog for even more free elements and free AE Project Files.

This post was originally published in October 2015. It has been updated to reflect changes in the industry.

A few more filmmaking assets, resources, and advice for you:

Cover image via RocketStock.