7 Best Natron Alternatives to Use in 2021

By Eva Williams 13 days ago, Software reviews

If you need to find software with extended 3D features, a node-based engine, digital VFX compositing and animated graphics support, take a closer look at the best Natron alternatives. On this list, you will find open-source, professional programs that meet all the recent requirements and allow you to create visual effects. They will come in handy for studios, artists, and developers.

Top 7 Natron Alternatives

Natron is a free, open-source, cross-platform compositing software. However, it has limited 3D support. Besides, you might face some issues with integrated plugins.

It might be difficult to find group nodes created by the community without extra skills. This is why many people use other third-party software. In this article, I will tell you more about the available Natron alternatives so that you could find a solution that suits your budget and needs.

Top 3 Natron Alternatives

  • Free and open-source 3D creation suite: Blender
  • Industry-standard compositing, review and VFX editorial: NUKE
  • The industry-standard motion graphics and visual effects software: Adobe After Effects

After analyzing the market, I have hand-picked the best professional solutions that have free trials versions or can be used for non-commercial purposes. They are based on smart engines, have advanced tracking options, support pro-level GPU rendering and compositing, which accounts for their high effectiveness.

Also, the Article Considers:

On this list, you will find professional programs that support compositing, VFX creation, 3D and video editing as well as advanced VR effects. All of them have basic versions with limited functionality. Besides, pricey programs have trial versions.

1. Blender

Blender is an open-source program for 3D projects that is considered to be the best motion graphics software. It was developed by thousands of experts that specialize in visual effects. This software has a powerful toolkit for modeling, rendering, compositing, animation, motion tracking, and video editing.

You can use it for creating blockbusters, games, or animated graphics with amazing visual effects. It supports 3D and 2D animation and has modeling, rigging, simulation, rendering, and compositing tools.

natron alternative blender
Pros
  • Free, open-source, cross-platform
  • Helpful community
  • CPU, GPU support, realistic VR rendering
  • Exports files to various formats
  • Many 3D tools
Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • High hardware requirements

Main Features of Blender:

  • In-built Cycles Render Engine
  • Integrated compositing tools
  • Python scripting for custom tools and add-ons
  • Unified production pipeline, OpenGL-based UI
  • No need to switch between programs

Unlike other similar software, Blender remains free of charge regardless of the purpose you are using it. Thanks to regular updates, community support, and huge repositories, Blender receives many donations. A team of developers updates it with new features. They use API Blender for writing Python scripts, adjusting settings, and creating specialized tools for future versions.

2. NUKE

NUKE is a powerful digital compositing, video-editing, and node-based processing software for visual effect creation, 3D, drawing, and animated graphics. Being mostly used for post-production, it supports various resolutions and allows you to solve many tasks quickly. It can easily beat its competitors in terms of functionality. Natron’s developers are believed to have copied many NUKE features.

natron alternative nuke
Pros
  • Collaborative tools
  • Multi-pass rendering row-by-row
  • Many in-built tools
  • GPU acceleration
  • Doesn’t overload your hardware
Cons
  • Costs thousands of US dollars
  • Steep learning curve

Main Features of NUKE:

  • Machine learning
  • Advanced node technology for simple 3D model creation
  • Pro-level image compositing tools
  • SDI broadcast monitor support
  • Project previews in VR

NUKE has created a variety of solutions for industry professionals. This software can be used at every stage of the animation pipeline, which makes it the best Natron alternative at this price range. You need to purchase NUKE Studio to seamlessly combine visual effects, use a video-editing scale and various post-processing features. However, you can use all the packages for free for non-commercial purposes.

3. Adobe After Effects

After Effects is one of the best hybrid animation software for animated graphics, compositing, and digital visual effects.

Adobe has developed this software to help users create an intro, transitions, and cinema frames. With it, you can remove objects from clips and apply natural phenomena effects. It’s widely used in post-production.

natron alternative after effects
Pros
  • Explosion and natural phenomena effects
  • Powerful object animation, text options
  • Great technical support
  • Access to Adobe Spark, Portfolio, Fonts
  • 100 GB of cloud storage
Cons
  • Monthly subscription
  • High hardware and network connection requirements

Main Features of After Effects:

  • Collaborate with 300 + software / hardware partners
  • Full compatibility with Adobe products
  • Rotoscoping powered by AI Sensei
  • Allows removing moving objects with the help of content-aware fill
  • Several 3D Transform Gizmo modes

This program has a speedy performance thanks to the JavaScript engine. With it, you can create high-quality opening video frames and audio visualizations. You can open your object in After Effects and make it move in a 3D space. Start your project from scratch or use the available presets.

4. Apple Motion

Similarly to other Natron alternatives, this powerful animated graphic software is used for creating and editing video credits, 2D and 3D visual effects and compositing. It is a part of a post-production Final Cut Pro X suite.

With Motion, you can create cinema credits in 2D and 3D, add smooth transitions, and real-time realistic effects. You can create animated graphics using the available templates and adjust their settings to your liking.

natron alternative apple motion
Pros
  • Preview projects without performing rendering
  • Free as a part of Final Cut X Pro
  • Thousands of plugins and templates
  • Modern Metal architecture
Cons
  • Not available for Windows or Linux
  • Doesn’t support advanced compositing

Main Features of Apple Motion:

  • Smart Motion templates with 3D-objects USDZ
  • Keyframe editing
  • Python scripting for custom tools and add-ons
  • Pre-installed Gravity, Throw, Vortex behavior models

Motion allows you to use a huge collection of third-party plugins. You can upload plugins for tracking and 3D object creation or use thousands of customizable templates with stunning transitions, titles, and effects. Use it for free after downloading a free trial version of Final Cut X Pro.

5. Blackmagic Design Fusion 17

Blackmagic Fusion is widely used in post-production for visual effect creation and digital compositing. With its advanced tools, you can create movies and ads. It has a node-based UI, which gives you full control over each element. You can use a 3D workspace to work on your projects, create and visualize frames, add 3D models to 2D frames, and edit graphics.

natron alternative fusion 17
Pros
  • A bin server and shared access features
  • Powerful node-based interface
  • Open architecture for Lua and Python developers
  • For creating movies and games
  • Affordable price, has a free alternative
Cons
  • A limited choice of plugins
  • Single-frame-based compositing

Main Features of Fusion 17:

  • GPU Accelerated Resolve FX
  • Metal, CUDA and OpenCL GPU acceleration
  • Unlimited network rendering
  • Delta, Ultra, Chroma, Luma and Differential keyers

If you don’t need unlimited or remote rendering or other advanced features, you can take a closer look at DaVinci Resolve 17 which is pretty similar to Fusion. This is a popular free software for adding visual effects, video editing, animated graphics, color correction, and audio post-production.

6. Autodesk Flame

This advanced software is perfect for adding 3D visual effects, finishing, and color correction. You will get the latest version of the software, full support, updates, licenses, and extensions. Flame comes with pro-level 3D compositing and video-editing tools. It has a quick performance, advanced graphic and color correction features, etc.

natron alternative autodesk flame
Pros
  • AI-based tools
  • File sharing options
  • Editorial timeline
  • Perfect for educational purposes
Cons
  • Supports only Mac and Linux
  • Expensive, has a convoluted interface

Main Features of Autodesk Flame:

  • Human face and body extraction
  • Automatic camera motion MatchMove
  • Cryptomatte render pass support
  • Image Timeline FX and Batch node

If you don’t need to use the Flame version with extended functionality, you can install a more affordable Flare version that will help you streamline your VFX workflow. Unlike some other Natron alternatives, this node-based compositing software has collaborative features. Besides, you can use the Smoke version for creating video effects and using a variety of VFX editing tools.

7. FXhome HitFilm Pro

Here, you will find anything that you need for editing videos, 3D compositing, adding subtitles and visual effects. This is a perfect option for professional animators and beginners alike. There is no need to switch from video editing to VFX software.

HitFilm Pro is one of the best movie trailer makers since it has all the tools you need for compositing and animation creation. You can use its powerful rendering and texturing tools to create realistic 3D models.

natron alternative hitfilm pro
Pros
  • Multi-core rendering with GPU acceleration
  • Supports most media file formats
  • 880 + VFX and presets
  • Suitable for beginners
Cons
  • Layer-based compositing
  • No XML or AAF support

Main Features of HitFilm Pro:

  • Leading Chroma Key technology
  • Academy-award winning Mocha HitFilm plugin
  • Integrated Video Copilot and Red Giant plugins
  • Linear color space

If you are still wondering what software to choose, Ignite Pro has a collection of 190 professional plugins for After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc. You can experiment with more than 565 visual effects, presets and 360-degree filters without paying a dime.

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