10 Cool Special Effects for Videos You Should Try (VFX)

Video Effects March 19, 2019 5 min read

When you’re creating a video, you’ll want to employ all the bells and whistles that you can find to get the feeling that you’re seeking. Special effects for video can add the extra boost that can really grab and hold the viewers’ attention.

In this article, you’ll learn what a special effect is, the top software to start creating your own, plus awesome ones to try out with video tutorials. Find out how to create 3D text, clone yourself, create fire and water elements, and more. Now, let’s dive in and get started!

Part 1: What is a Special Effect (VFX)?

Special effects are applications completed either during the shooting of a video or afterward in post-production that creates an illusion or visual alteration for a particular visual result.

Practical effects, sometimes known as physical or mechanical effects, are done during the shooting phase of a video. This may include a simulation of weather like fog creation, pyrotechnic effects, scale models, or breakaway sets.

Digital effects, also known as optical or photographic effects, are ones that are either created within the camera by changing exposure or matte settings or post-production through software and tools used during the editing process.

Part 2: The Right Software to Create Special Effects

A wide variety of software options are available to help create special effects during the editing phase. For example, Premiere Pro is a non-linear video editing software that can be used to combine different types of media to create a complete project. You can do speed ramping, masking effects, and more using this tool.

On the other hand, After Effects is compositing software that allows you to create and modify the individual pieces of visual media such as motion graphics and visual effects. For more complex effect designs, you’ll want to use this software.

By using either or both of these tools, you can create unique and creative effects that will wow your audience!

Part 3: 10 Special Effects You Should Try Today!

To help you get started making impressive special effects in your videos, here are ten cool ones you should try to master!

Speed Ramping in Adobe Premiere Pro

By Motion Array

This effect can help you change the speed of particular sections of footage. The original speed will show as 100 percent. By increasing this amount, you can speed up your video footage, and by decreasing this number, you can create a slow motion effect.

Speed ramping in Premiere Pro can help you create professional special effects in any video project.

Create 3D Text in After Effects

By Motion Array

If you’re looking for a way to add a modern, sophisticated title by creating a three-dimensional effect in your project, use this special effect tool available in After Effects.

You can add the text right to your footage and even incorporate it into the scene. For example, your title can appear as if it’s skirting across a body of water with realistic shadows on the water’s surface.

Get started faster by using one of these After Effects templates to make 3D text.

Simulate a Car Crash in Premiere Pro

By Cinecom

If you are looking for a way to add a car crash scene into your video, try recreating this effect and editing in Premiere Pro CC.

Simply film a person crossing a street and pretending to get hit by a car from a tripod. Without moving the tripod, film an actual car driving down the same street. In Premiere Pro, you can combine the 2 shots to create the effect of a real crash. Amazing, right?

Clone Yourself in After Effects

By Motion Array

In After Effects, you can create a cool special effect of interacting with yourself. The key thing to remember is that you cannot shut off your camera while you’re filming, and you can have no variable light or other factors going on in the shot. Simply create several takes of the first half of the action and then transition to the second half.

Once you have your footage, you can stitch together the pieces in After Effects to create a video of you doing something with yourself.

Replace the Sky in After Effects

By Motion Array

If you have a scene in your video that has a large sky component, but the actual footage is boring, you can spruce it up with this special effect in After Effects. This tool also allows you to create a stunning sky using amazing stock video or an imaginary, virtual world with completely unique scenery.

The important thing to remember when using this effect is that you have to track your footage so that the right things are moving in the final product. The tools in After Effects will help you do this quickly and easily.

Spark Fire in After Effects

By Motion Array

This special effect allows you to create a realistic flame to consume something like a company logo or some other component in your video.

After Effects allows you to create a fire by starting with a simple white mass and then adding a slight feather and a blur map. By combining this created fire with your consumable object, you can create an amazing fire effect in any video project.

Motion Array also has cool fireball effects you can download today. Check ‘em out!

Bend Water in After Effects

By Production Crate

By combining real water footage with digital effects in After Effects, you can bend and shape water to create all sorts of interesting scenes.

After Effects allows you to create a displacement map as well as use footage of how real water behaves when thrown or splashed to complete a water-related scene realistically and professionally.

If you don’t have the time to create this yourself, check out these water effects you can easily download.

Energy Field in After Effects

By RobotUnderdog2

Many of today’s modern videos feature an aura or energy field transporting characters from one scene or world to another.

To create this special effect, you’ll combine actual footage of a person in a scene with wind or a fan generating natural movement. Once you get into post-production, you’ll be able to combine stock energy or aura clips with you filmed footage to create a feeling of energy swirling around your character.

You can also add one of these epic energy balls to your next project from Motion Array.

Glowing Footsteps in After Effects

By Ignace Aleya

If you want to create a popular special effect you see in music videos — where a neon footprint glows in the place of a person’s foot as the individual is walking away — you can replicate this in After Effects.

Using the mocha and tracking tools, simply stitch together the effect in your finished video using these easy-to-use tools.

Venom Face Effect in After Effects

By Film Learnin

Need a roaring, angry character in your video? Incorporating a crazy, evil special effect like the venom face effect. During filming, all you need to do is have your character roar and show anger.

The rest is all done in post-production in After Effects. You can combine a stock venom face video footage, which may include related audio tracks, to start your process. Although the process for this effect is lengthy, it is not difficult in After Effects.


Make dramatic special effects for videos that will leave an impact on your viewers! Learning how to create these effects should keep you busy! In the past, creating sophisticated scenes used to be reserved for the major movie houses. Today, it’s easy to make your own with the tutorials and resources available!