If you’re like anyone else, learning After Effects can be overwhelming and time consuming. While it’s a great idea to learn how to create effects from scratch to learn the ins and outs of the program, it isn’t always necessary. The internet is filled with After Effect templates that help ease the workload of motion graphics. We’ve compiled a list of the 12 best free After Effects templates that, to our surprise, don’t have a price tag. From light leaks, to muzzle flashes, to haze, and even futuristic HUDs, let’s take a look at the best free After Effects templates available.

Free After Effects Templates

1. 35 FREE Prism Bokeh Effect Overlays

Let’s not beat around the bush — bokeh is beautiful. The out of focus light elements can create a dreamy, magical effect that can really make a shot stand out.

But what if you’re already in post and want to add a subtle bokeh or light element to your shot? This is where this overlay comes in handy.

35 FREE Prism Bokeh Effect Overlays

As you can see from the sample video, this bokeh overlay template can spice up even the simplest of shots.

Free AE templates for download

2. 16 Free 4K Volumetric Light and Dust Overlays

There are many ways to add life and depth to a shot such as using film grain overlays or even using haze or fog in a shot. However, haze and fog machines can be pricey and not everyone has access to them. Luckily, this light and dust overlay template allows you to add a bit of haze during the Post-Production process.

16 Free 4K Volumetric Light + Dust Elements

If you feel like some of your shots are falling flat or you just want to add a bit more texture and depth, be sure to try out this template.

3. 35 Free LUTs for Color Grading Videos

Next on our list of free After Effects templates is a LUTs package. This free package of LUTs for color grading are 3D .CUBE files. This means that they can work in various NLEs and color grading programs. It contains a variety of LUTs for every visual style you are envisioning.

Whether you want to darken the shadows of a shot for an edgy dramatic film or you want to accentuate highlights and add a bit of softer color to your shot, this pack has it all. This pack makes it easier to create your stylistic movie color palette.

35 Free LUTs  •  Free AE Templates

Color grading can be a tedious task when it comes to commercial or even freelance work. Having a plethora of LUTs to choose from will not only help you achieve professional grade video, but help ease up your workflow as well.

Download after effect template gratis

4. Wedding Tool Kit Template

Are you a wedding cinematographer and editor? This elegant wedding tool kit comes with wedding titles and light leaks. The templates create a light, visual mood that can elevate the production quality overall.

Unity Lite: Free Wedding Toolkit with Free after effects templates

Even if you like customizing your own wedding titles, the light leaks themselves are worth checking out this template. The subtle, yet elegant light leaks add a bit of flare and color that clients will love. If you’re doing wedding interviews for a documentary style video, be sure to check out our list of the best lower third templates for Premiere Pro.

Adobe after effects themes free

5. Text Messenger

In today’s digital world, the use of cell phones has inevitably become more prevalent in both cinema and commercials. This means filmmakers need to learn how to write text messages in a script and how to portray text message exchanges on screen. 

Luckily, this messenger template makes it easier than ever. The download contains free text messaging templates in multiple styles to match the visual look of your project. There are ways to make text messaging work on-screen and this is one of them.

Messenger: A Free Text Messaging Free After Effects Templates

These motion graphics can be more visually interesting than shooting the screen of a physical cell phone. Consider these messenger templates the next time you are shooting anything involving a text message conversation.

AEP Templates Free

6. Fake a VHS Look in After Effects

The look of analog cameras like film stock and VHS tapes has ironically become more prevalent despite the advent of 4K digital cameras. Why? There is a unique nostalgic quality that VHS tapes have. They may not be incredibly sharp or polished, but that’s exactly why people love the look.

If you’re one of those people, check out this VHS template in After Effects that creates the old nostalgic look of VHS tapes no matter what you shoot on.

Create a VHS Aesthetic  •  Free After Effects Templates

This VHS overlay is not only great for creating a home video look, but can be used creatively in narrative projects for flashbacks or found footage. If you’re in love with the analog look of VHS, check out our article on how to add the VHS effect to video with an in depth tutorial.

Adobe after effects themes free

7. Action Pack Lite

Action Pack Lite is a pack of 25 free action compositing elements that contains effects like fire, smoke, explosions, and even muzzle flashes. If you’re an action filmmaker, this free template pack is a must have.

Action Pack Lite: 25 Free after effects templates

Don’t let the idea of motion GFX and compositing hold you back from creating the action project you’ve always wanted. This action template pack will help you create the effects you need to create your vision.

Free after effects slideshow templates

8. Split Layers Effect

The split layer effect is nothing new to anyone with experience in motion graphics. What is new (and truly exciting) is the ease in achieving the effect with this free template.

Split Layer  •  Free After Effects Templates

Without this template, some editors create the split layer effect by hand (which is tedious and time consuming) or they pay a good amount of money for the effect from other marketplaces. Luckily, Rocket Stock has created this free template to give you the split layer effect without the hassle or the money.

Download after effect template gratis

9. 4K Light Leaks

These premium 4K light leaks can create a light and vibrant tone for any video. The pack comes with 13 types of light leaks that add variety and flare to a shot. The light leaks in the pack were actually shot in-camera to create a natural, cinematic effect.

4K Light Leaks  •  13 Ae templates free download

As you can see from the sample video, these templates are great for vibrant transitions and creating a light tone. The pack is full of a variety of light leaks from vintage to modern to futuristic.

Adobe effect template free

10. Digital Distortion

Are you looking to add noise, color blocks, or rolling distortion to your shots? Look no further. This digital distortion template pack has all you need to create edgy, electronic effects to any project.

Digital Distortion  •  Free After Effects Templates

The effects that come with this package are great for science fiction, horror, and thriller projects. The digital distortion can help create an unsettling tone that will help tell your story.

AEP templates free download

11. Spider-Man Inspired HUD

This first person HUD template is a unique and frankly awesome overlay to mess around with. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a futuristic way to shoot a first person shot. And while the HUD may look complicated, it isn’t too difficult to use. Check out this video to see how the HUD template can be put to use.

Create A Spider-Man Inspired HUD  •  Adobe effect template free

While it may be the most niche template on this list, it can add an incredible amount of production value to the right project.

Aftereffects template free  

12. How to Create the Anamorphic Look in After Effects

With so many Hollywood filmmakers opting to shoot in anamorphic lenses for the wide cinematic aesthetic and sexy lens flares, you may want to do the same. However, anamorphic lenses are notoriously pricey and can understandably be out of your budget even to rent. You’re not alone. Which is why this template for an anamorphic look was created for anyone to use in After Effects.

How to Create The Anamorphic Look + Free after effects templates

Although it may not be exactly true to what a shot on an anamorphic lens looks like, it is close and can make your shots look more cinematic. This template is definitely worth testing to see if the artificial anamorphic look will best suit your project


Free cinematic film grain overlays

There are a few templates on this list that aim to mimic the visual style of analog camera technology. Film grain specifically can help bring to life your stylistic, old school vision.  If this is a look that you’re seeking, be sure to check out our complete list of the best places to find free film grain overlays.

Up Next: Film grain overlays →
Solution Icon - Shot List and Storyboard

Showcase your vision with elegant shot lists and storyboards.

Create robust and customizable shot lists. Upload images to make storyboards and slideshows.

Learn More ➜

Tags: , ,
  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

Copy link