There are now two free Video Editors available for Linux – OpenShot and Kdenlive – that are good enough for most home users but what about a Compositing Software similar to Adobe After Effects? Here is what I found.
The best compositing software for Linux is probably NUKE, a commercial software from The Foundry. It has been used in many Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar or Harry Potter but costs 4900 USD (8000 USD for NUKEX, a version with additional features). There is a 15 day trial available if you want to test it and also a Personal Learning Edition for personal non-commercial use that will display a watermark on images but is otherwise fully functional.
Blender is an open-source 3D application licensed under the GPL software license. Mainly known for its 3D editor it also features a compositor that can be used stand-alone for video compositing. OpenCL support to accelerate compositing is currently in the works and will soon be available in a future release. But of course it’s not a dedicated compositing software but more of a 3D software similar to Autodesk Maya (which is also available for Linux).
Jahshaka (also called CineFX for a short time) is a free open-source 2D and 3D compositor but the last release was in 2006 and won’t work on most modern Linux distributions (it was not very stable back then either). The project has been relaunched in February 2012 and promises to release a new 3.0 beta version soon. Let’s hope they will make it, unfortunately I have some doubts after watching this project for a long time.
There is a lot of commercial special effects and compositing software available for Linux like Nuke or Eyeon’s Fusion. Unfortunately there is currently no open-source alternative.