1. Photo & Video
  2. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve vs Adobe After Effects (Which is Best for 2023?)

Scroll to top
Read Time: 13 min

DaVinci Resolve and Adobe After Effects. Both are powerful software suites for video projects. But which should you choose? Which app is right for you? 

In this tutorial, we'll explore the advantages of DaVinci Resolve vs After Effects. By looking at the key features of each, we'll outline their place in your creative toolbox.

Intro DaVinci Resolve vs Adobe After EffectsIntro DaVinci Resolve vs Adobe After EffectsIntro DaVinci Resolve vs Adobe After Effects
Let's explore the choice of After Effects vs DaVinci Resolve, and which one is right for you.

In many ways, you'll find that both apps share the same critical tools for postproduction. But each one has a specific focus, and they differ in significant ways.

By exploring After Effects and DaVinci Resolve, we'll help you decide which one to use. You'll choose with confidence and be able to get to work editing in no time. 

What is DaVinci Resolve?

DaVinci Resolve is a robust editing app for video creators. It combines multiple powerful features that let you create video projects. There are many editing apps to choose from, and it’s easy to lose sight of what makes each stand out. With DaVinci Resolve, the advantage is the ability to work with all needed features in a single app.

DaVinci Resolve interfaceDaVinci Resolve interfaceDaVinci Resolve interface
DaVinci Resolve is a total package for producing video. (Template source: Envato Elements.)

Think of DaVinci Resolve as a “one-stop-shop” solution for post-production editing. Imagine that you have audio and video that you want to use to create a finished project. With DaVinci Resolve, you can merge these inputs together into final form. You can perform edits, corrections, and changes to create a finished whole. 

As you work, you won’t have to employ additional apps. All the features that you need are found right inside DaVinci Resolve. 

With DaVinci Resolve, you can make edits and corrections to footage and audio alike. Plus, you can add and manipulate motion graphic effects, visuals, and more. In essence, it captures the major ways to edit and compile video projects together. In doing so, it gives you full control over your audiovisual projects in one single software app. 

What is Adobe After Effects?

Adobe After Effects is another powerful postproduction tool for audiovisual work. It has a sharp focus on one part of video production: effects and motion graphics.

After Effects is often used for animated graphics, titles, and stunning visual effects. For example, it’s a powerful tool that you can use to create lower thirds, overlays, and moving animations. 

After Effects templateAfter Effects templateAfter Effects template
After Effects is ideal for graphics, animation, and motion graphics. (Template source: Envato Elements.)

Don’t think of an app like Adobe After Effects as a single-source video editor. In other words, it's best paired with a secondary app like Adobe Premiere Pro. Take its name literally. After Effects is the app you use to add effects after finishing your initial production work. You’ll add these effects to videos that you’ve already edited and corrected. 

Now, let’s dive in and explore the benefits of DaVinci Resolve vs. After Effects. We’ll explore the advantages of both, and help you decide which app to use! 

DaVinci Resolve vs After Effects: Which is Right for You?

After Effects vs DaVinci Resolve. Which should you choose? With the array of editing suites available today, it can be tough to decide. And remember - there’s no single right answer. It all comes down to the needs of your project.

What are you working on? What key features do you need to bring your production to a successful conclusion? Evaluate the features of both apps, match them to your needs, and you have your answer.

After Effects vs. DaVinci Resolve: Side-by-Side

  Adobe After Effects DaVinci Resolve
Creative Focus Video effects and motion graphics Effects, graphics, and full video editing capabilities
Price Starting at $20.99 / month Resolve is free; Resolve Studio is a one-time $295
Compatibility Windows + macOS Windows + macOS, plus fully featured iPad app
Software Family Adobe Creative Cloud Standalone suite

Let’s take a closer look at both Adobe After Effects and DaVinci Resolve to learn even more. 

Why You Should Use DaVinci Resolve 

DaVinci Resolve is a fully-featured platform for post-production. It’s used by creative pros the world over, and you can add it to your own toolbox today. DaVinci Resolve is a solid choice if you need to make complex edits all in one place.

1. One-App Flexibility

DaVinci Resolve offers a full array of tools for video editing. Plus, it supports color correction, audio editing, and visual effects, all in the app. The convenience here is hard to beat.

If you want to complete your entire post-production process in one place, it's a winning choice. You don't have to switch between different software applications. This saves you precious time as you embark on the often-challenging postproduction process.

After Effects vs DaVinci resolveAfter Effects vs DaVinci resolveAfter Effects vs DaVinci resolve
DaVinci Resolve lets you perform every edit imaginable to video projects. (Image source: DaVinci Resolve.)

Plus, DaVinci Resolve supports a wide range of video formats and compatibility with almost any video file. This gives you the ability to work with footage you've initially edited elsewhere. You won't find yourself having to redo existing work so that it looks its best.

2. User-Friendly Interface

DaVinci Resolve has a user-friendly interface that's simple to work with. It's designed to make video editing and color correction accessible for users of all levels. The interface is customizable, and you can tailor it to your specific preferences. 

It also has tutorials and tips to help you navigate the features and tools. Many video editing apps are very complex, and they're challenging to get started with. DaVinci Resolve stands out because of the less steep learning curve. It's intuitive to work with, and it offers you the help you need if you don't know what to do. 

3. Collaboration Options

Resolve includes collaboration options that make it easier for teams to work together. You can join with your global team on the same project! The app allows for remote collaboration, with users able to work on the same project at once.

Each user gets their own page and workspace where they can perform edits, track changes, and more. This streamlines your workflow and helps ensure edits don't accidentally cancel out.

4. Powerful Color Features

DaVinci Resolve is known for its complete set of color correction and grading tools. It has an advanced color grading panel built in. What this does is allow you to precisely adjust color, contrast, and saturation.

It also has features such as automatic color matching, HDR grading, and more. These let you perform exacting edits on effects and footage alike. It really helps you transform a creative vision from mental image to finished work.

5. Single-Purchase Advantage

Unlike many other video editing software apps, DaVinci Resolve has a single-purchase advantage. The app itself is free for the basic package. For more powerful features, you can purchase DaVinci Resolve Studio.

You'll buy the software once and receive free updates forever. This means that you can enjoy new features and tools - without having to pay for a new version of the software! This makes it an affordable option for individuals and small businesses.

It delivers professional-grade video editing and color grading tools, for a single price. You won't be locked into a subscription that may increase in price over time.

Why You Should Use Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a powerful app for visual effects and motion graphics. It lets you add animations, special effects, and other creative elements to videos. This makes them more engaging and visually appealing!

After Effects is often used in the film and television industry. And increasingly, it's put to good use by YouTubers and content creators. It's a top choice if you're looking to enhance all your videos with unique visual elements.

1. Focused Features

Adobe After Effects focuses on creating visual effects and motion graphics for videos. It's a powerful postproduction app. After Effects offers a range of tools that let you add animations, effects, and features to videos. But don't think of it as a fully-featured video editor. Instead, it focuses on these specific functions.

This makes it highly specialized and efficient in accomplishing its intended purpose. With a focus on these features, they get full attention from the developers. You'll often see updates to expand their functionality.

2. Robust Effects Library

After Effects comes with a full library of visual effects, transitions, and presets. These allow you to quickly and easily enhance videos with various visual elements. Included, you'll enjoy working with particle systems, color grading, and 3D animation.

This saves you time and effort, a precious thing in the production process. That's because you don't need to create these effects from scratch. They're built in to After Effects for you. 

3. Feature Expansion with Plug-ins

Adobe After Effects supports third-party plug-ins, which expand the software's capabilities even further. These offer more effects, tools, and features that aren't included in the software.

This allows you to customize your workflow and create unique visual effects. With these add-ons, you can find your own tools that match your specific needs. It really lets you transform After Effects into a custom workspace. You can tailor it to focus on features that matter most to you.

4. Family Integration

Adobe After Effects is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud family. In essence, that means that After Effects integrates seamlessly with other Adobe products. This lets you transfer projects between other apps in CC, such as Adobe Premiere Pro. 

This helps create a cohesive and consistent visual style throughout your entire project. And remember - After Effects is not a fully-featured video editor. For best results, you'll want to pair it with Premiere Pro. 

5. Subscription-Based Model

After Effects is a subscription-based software that you pay for monthly or annually. This can be advantageous from an affordability standpoint. If you don't need After Effects every day, you can purchase it monthly. That way, you're not paying for an app that you don't use.

After Effects CCAfter Effects CCAfter Effects CC
After Effects is offered as part of a Creative Cloud subscription, which may mean you already have access to it.

The subscription model makes the app more affordable for individuals and small businesses. You can choose the subscription plan that best fits your budget and needs. And again, if you buy the full Creative Cloud suite, you'll gain access to a full array of other apps for video work.

DaVinci Resolve vs. After Effects: Which App Should You Use in 2023? 

DaVinci Resolve and Adobe After Effects are powerful apps for video editing and post-production. Both offer many similar features, but they each have their own unique strengths and use cases. So, which app should you use? What's the right choice for your project needs?

It's all about what you need to do. DaVinci Resolve includes a complete suite of tools for video editing and effects. It also has collaboration options, making it an ideal choice for teams. Think of it as a single app for all of your video needs. If you need to perform a full, end-to-end edit in a single app, DaVinci Resolve is a good choice. You won't need to pair it with other apps to produce a complete video.

Meanwhile, Adobe After Effects is used for creating visual effects and motion graphics. Don't think of it as a full editing solution to work with footage and audio. Instead, it's the final tool that you'll use to craft incredible animations, effects, and more. It's your best bet if you've already edited your videos elsewhere. Going for a cinematic look? After Effects offers all of the tools that you'll need to achieve it.

We've compared After Effects vs DaVinci Resolve. We've explored the key features of each app to help you choose one. Need a single solution? DaVinci Resolve is an excellent option. Prefer a full focus on effects and styles? Give After Effects a try. Either way, you'll enjoy two of the very best video apps that help you achieve stunning results with ease.  

More Resources for Resolve and After Effects

On Envato Tuts+, we produce content that helps you learn more apps - quickly. 

Check out these tutorials for DaVinci Resolve and Adobe After Effects. They'll help you master the learning curve that come with each app.

The Best Source for Video Templates (With Unlimited Downloads)

Video production isn't easy. It takes time to develop your graphics and designs. The best way to save time is to start off with a bit of help in the form of templates. These give you pre-built designs you simply update. 

The best source for video templates is Envato Elements. Evaluating DaVinci Resolve vs After Effects? Elements doesn't make you choose! It includes templates for both apps - and many more.

Elements video templatesElements video templatesElements video templates
Envato Elements gives you unlimited video templates for both After Effects and DaVinci Resolve.

With Envato Elements, anyone can produce professional level video. Simply download a template, add your details, and you're finished. For one flat rate, you can produce unlimited high quality videos.

Final Thoughts / Quick-Fire

DaVinci Resolve vs After Effects: which one is right for you?

  • From a pricing perspective, DaVinci Resolve is your top option. That’s because you pay for the premium version of the app once, and use it forever. While After Effects is inexpensive monthly, you’ll spend more on it over a longer period of time. And remember, DaVinci Resolve has a powerful feature set even in the free version. 
  • Learning curve. Similarly, Resolve's interface is more intuitive to work with. It's especially good for newer editors that don't haven't worked with Adobe apps like After Effects.
  • After Effects does stand out if your full focus is on post-production. If you've already edited your footage, it's impossible to beat the robust features. You can create cinematic effects in moments. 

In essence, DaVinci Resolve is the top value offering for you in 2023. But if your focus is on effects and motion graphics, a subscription to After Effects is worth the money. 

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Photo & Video tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.