Axogon Composer – FREE Creates many different kinds of effects including lightsabers, chroma key, rotoscoping, etc. NOTE: Link opens download of exe file.
BSOL (Blue Screen of Life) – FREE – A bluescreening/masking program designed and written by Stefan. Contrary to its name, it is far more useful in masking applications than it is in true bluescreening. You can find a tutorial here
Adobe After Effects – A powerful yet extremely costly piece of equipment, Adobe After Effects creates high-quality motion graphics and visual effects. It is highly recommend if you have the cash for it. However, it should be noted that it possesses a rather large learning curve, and may take some messing with to get a feel for it.
Sqirlz Water Reflections – FREE — A simple program that creates bodies of water, rain and snow for your images. You can change the color of the water and you can also make ripples for rain. You can also change how fast and how many drops or flakes of snow and rain there is, plus other settings like the opacity and the direction.
Wax 2.0e – FREE – A relatively unknown program but provides some easy alternatives to certain effects.
EffectsLab Pro – This program is designed with live action home movies in mind, and as such not all of the effects look right when stuck in a brickfilm with plastic, primary-colored actors. The”hey cool look what I can do” factor of this program often leads to abuse of its power and many dozens of dull “no plot just another effects test” films. So if you choose to use, please do so responsibly.