Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in 2010 and reflects the opinion of the author at that time.
There are several free special effects software packages available in the market, which can create 3D displays in real time, and do a lot more. Sure, they may not be able to match the capabilities of the premium paid software that produce unparalleled visual effects, but many of them succeed in replicating major portions of the functionalities of the premium ones.
ArcSoft Magic-i Visual Effects 188.8.131.52 (3 out of 5)
ArcSoft Magic-i Visual Effects 2 is remarkable free special effects software, which can enhance video chat experience of the users by means of advanced effects, frames, themes, and a number of features.
It is basically a webcam application for adding spice to a video chat client, and having fun while chatting. It can be launched by default with the launch of a video chat program, and it works with most of the popular video chat clients.
ParticleIllusion (by WonderTouch) (4 out of 5)
Coming to the standalone programs, ParticleIllusion is a highly powerful special effects software that helps you in creating all kinds of special effects ranging from smoke, explosions, sparkles, fire, down to creatures, abstract artistic effects, space effects, motion graphics backgrounds, and much more than whatever you may dream of.
ParticleIllusion is basically a premium special effects software that is available as a free trial with limited functionality. But, even the free trial version is lot more powerful than many of the freeware program available online.
It is fast, easy, and powerful, featuring out-of-the-box special effects, thanks to its huge library featuring 1500+ effects. What’s more, a new library gets released every month, and all the premium users get free access to it.
So, whatever be in your mind, you can visualize it with the help of particleIllusion; explosions, waterfalls, fireworks, rain, sparks, sparkles, snow, puddle splashes, lava, flocks of birds, motion graphics backgrounds, waves, rainbows, light beams, and magic effects, are just few amongst them.
Zwei-Stein Video Editor 3.01 (4 out of 5)
Zwei-Stein 3.01 is freeware non-destructive, non-linear video editing software that isn’t too popular in the market yet. But, what sets it apart are some of the highly advanced features, which aren’t available elsewhere (on other free special effects software).
The program allows you to edit 256 video, still image clips, audio, and add up to 64 effects serially! It provides automatic key frames that make panning, cropping and custom effects a cakewalk.
To download a copy of Zwei-Stein Video Editor 3.01, click here.
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