After Effects Plugins and Scripts are a great way to add third-party features to the software and to enhance your workflow, save time, cost and effort.
I have used various plugins and scripts in After Effects over the years to create amazing Motion Graphics for my clients. Also, I saved numerous precious hours which would not have been possible without the plugins and scripts I use.
I have my own list of plugins and scripts that I use almost every day and certainly can’t live without them.
This detailed list consists of 90+ After Effects Plugins and Scripts that made my life easy and I am sure it will take your skills and workflow to another level as well.
True Comp Duplicator
True Comp Duplicator creates a complete duplicate of a composition hierarchy including sub-comps. If a composition is used multiple times, the composition only gets duplicated once and all remaining references point to the first duplicate. If the compositions are arranged in a special folder hierarchy in the Project panel, that folder hierarchy is preserved or duplicated (depending on user preference) for the duplicated compositions.
Malty: Simple Camera Rig
If you ever struggled with your After Effects 3D camera then Malty: Simple Camera Rig is for you. Rig your camera in one click, discover secret techniques used by myself and other artists, and start creating beautiful and stunning animations efficiently. This is more than just a camera rig. This is a totally new workflow for any size project. It’s the only camera rig you’ll ever need.
Rift is an After Effects plugin which provides methods to shift, sequence, stagger or randomize layers properties like in and out points, keyframes, markers, and more. All this is presented in a compact User Interface.
Zorro The Layer Tagger
Zorro lets you group layers in after effects by adding tags to layers. Similar to the way you would tag photos in Flickr, you can tag layers in your compositions and then select or isolate those layers in groups by using the tags.
When you copy a mask from one layer to another it often changes its position. With CopyMask2Laye, you can copy masks while keeping them perfectly in place – even if the layers are moving and if the mask path is keyframed.
Paste Multiple Keyframes 2
This After Effects Script allows you to copy and paste keyframes from multiple layers at the same time.
Hours of animation get wasted repeating tasks, re-timing keyframes, and jumping between windows. Motion 2 gives you 20+ new tools that automate repetitive tasks and enhance your animation. Creating dynamic Motion has never been easier.
Animation Patterns Pro
animationPATTERNSpro is a keyframe-based easing assistant that allows you to edit and create new easing types.
A free After Effects plugin that will save you loads of time while animating keyframe-heavy projects. It comes with over 80 motion presets that you can simply drag and drop in your scene. You can achieve interesting animations without messing around with keyframes and expressions.
Gif Gun is an After Effects Script that allows animated GIF creation super simple right out of After Effects. Read this article for more information on Gif Gun.
Corner Cutters do the donkey work. You focus on the good stuff. A bundle of utility scripts to make your life easier in After Effects. Use the toolbar or use individual scripts in your own workflow.
Quickly and easily crop a composition down to its contents. It can crop based on the current frame, all frames, or a mask you create.
FX Console is a plugin for After Effects that add a hotbox style interface enabling you to quickly find and apply FX and presets. The tool is highly configurable with the ability to give FX custom names, change priorities, add favorites, change default FX settings, and much more.
Element 3D is an After Effects plugin used for importing/creating 3d objects inside of Adobe After Effects. It uses its own render engine to generate high-end quality results.
BG Renderer Pro
Allows you to render your Render Queue in the background while you can continue working in After Effects. It can also notify you via email, SMS or iPhone push notification when your renders are done or have an error.
DIGITAL ANARCHY’S UGLY BOX
When it comes to filmmaking and video editing, people tend to make the actors look good and the scene look as smooth and beautiful as possible but Digital Anarchy’s Ugly box does the opposite! Now, why would people want to make themselves and the scene ugly? We got one reason! TO give the scary effect! Yes, and it’s free as well. It is great for Halloween and zombie-related content!
We are all big fans of transitions. Transitions are a set of effects that stretch, blur or dissolve or pan from one clip to the next with timing control. It also works with premiere pro and consists of a swish dissolve and swish pan that would make your video editing easy. The best part about all this is that these won’t cost you a dime!
PAN AND ZOOM
It gives us some powerful still image pan and zoom animations. They work in Final cut pro, motion, and After Effects as well. They are found in the generator’s browsers and give your photos and videos classic “Ken Burns” effects. Add motions to your images and videos in After Effects without having to create keyframes.
COVER FLUX 2
Have you seen those cover flow look in iTunes? It looks cool and if you are wondering how to get that done, here’s a plugin for you. CoverFlux just allows you to create a cover flow style slideshow – which is perfect for showcasing images or creating a highlight video!
RANDOM TEXT GENERATOR
You might be wondering – Why the hell would I require a random text generator?! Well, these are used to create cool visual effects to get that sci-fi or business projects that high tech feel! With proper background music, you can pull off a cool scary sci-fi effect easily with this plugin.
LIGHT SABER PLUGIN
Lightsaber plugins are cool as they create effects that blow the viewer’s minds. They allow you to change colors, perspectives, add motion, blur, and even the ability to simulate the saber firing up and shutting down. If this isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is!
Do you love animated colorful fractals? With options for color, intensity, density and so on they are also highly customizable to enable you to get the precise effect, you are after. If you are wondering where these can be used, it has a spectrum of usefulness from creating a cool introduction to finishing off in style! This plugin is completely free to use as well!
VIDEO COPILOT FREE PRESETS
Video copilot has sent out a list of 15 free After Effect presets that go from film grains to reflection plugins for logos. Each preset comes with a tutorial video to help you install and use them. Do check them out.
CINEBLUR’S INSTAGRAM PLUGIN
Ever since Instagram came into this world, a lot of people are addicted and hooked on it. And Instagram has loads of filters that give out a set of unique looks that people have become so familiar with. Now, this plugin can apply those looks to your video and will be great for experimenting with your footage.
This is a Mac-only free bundle that has an abundance of resources which includes 44 plugins. This will be extremely valuable for anyone who is looking for a general package of plug-ins to increase their options! This is a professional product that comes for free!
This plugin as the name suggests: creates reflections even at arbitrary angles and the result we can expect from them is simply stunning and amazing to implement! They come with a video guide and I recommend you to go through it to get the best out of them.
As the name suggests these give you a great-looking glow straight out of the box! It is said to have a glowy punch when compared to other glow options in Adobe After Effects. You have even stylized your glow with different aspect ratios and have built-in gamma correction!
This plugin comes in handy when you want to induce chaos into your projects. You can create video glitches and blooming effects. It allows you to delete iframes and duplicate delta frames to get some really trippy results!
PINS AND BOXES
This plugin helps us to sidestep writing complex expressions. We can quickly and easily create dynamic layouts in after effects that automatically adjust when we resize text and graphics. This is best for creating motion graphics! It is very simple to use and can create really complex custom designs!
If you dislike the graph editor, you would definitely love the flow plugin! This gives them an easy way to quickly apply animation curves with the flow and you don’t have to worry about adjusting speed curves in the graph editor or writing complex expressions! It comes with 25 most commonly used presets. You can even import custom presets from other animators.
The plugin basically simplifies the workflow between aftereffects and mocha. It gives us tons of extra tools and allows us to create stabilized pre-comps move mask effect points and layers and distort them in perspective! You can improve your tracks with expression-driven tracking data and all the features of mocha import plus work with any version of mocha!
The parrot plugin allows you to dynamically connect layers to a master layer and quickly create offset parrot animations. You can animate motions, effects, mask shapes, and layer styles on your master layer, and then the keyframed animation that you create can then be passed on to the other layers and triggered by layer markers! You can even name markers to assign multiple actions! As you can imagine this can significantly speed up your motion graphic workflow!
ALPHA PLUGINS FIRTREE
In a holiday mood and creating a cool video for your brand? This plugin can be of use to you. It creates Christmas tree leaves and branches for you This might sound simple but it is highly customizable and hence produce very realistic outputs! With a companion plugin called the ornament, the effects can go a long way!
In this plugin, you will find motion, sound, and pre-comps to use for animations. This would be a delight for people who love animation! It is smooth and easy to use. There are also some free sounds that you can use for your video projects and you can even edit and customize the audio resources easily. Do check them out!
QUICK MENU PLUGIN
This plugin is a total time saver! It basically is a launcher that appears over your UI when invoked by a user-definable shortcut. It is smart and intuitive and lets you quickly launch effects, plugins, presets, scripts, expressions, extensions, and most menu commands in After Effects. This lets you stay focused on creating and not interrupt your workflow hunting through menus.
Grid guide is simple and really powerful if you value precision in your designs! It gives the users automatic layouts that improve our designs! They have snappable guide grids and a modifiable shape layer and intuitive alignment tools that allow you to alight scale and stretch layers! They have fully customizable grids and their single lines and crosshairs add even more flexibility to your designs
AEInfoGraphics is an AfterEffects extension that converts your data into amazing and beautiful chart animations. It allows you to import CSV files directly to After Effects. You can also create your own tables in AE using AEInfoGraphics’s easy-to-use interface. Select from twelve beautiful chart templates to generate your chart composition. That is all! Your chart animation is ready to use!
This is your go-to plugin and is a complete solution for counting anything in after effects! Most often we need to deal with numbers in our infographics and videos and we might have to create and add expressions to get the numbers to do what we want! And this plugin makes it very easy. All we have to do is to add a single slider and we are good to go!
This bundle extends Squash and Stretch pro with various behaviors and sounds to give your animations an organic and fun cartoon style. They have 37 behaviors and 242 sound effects for us to use. Watch the video below and you would understand what it is capable of doing.
Most of us like to make texts look cool when it comes to aftereffects. It depends on what we are trying to show the audience. Well, Webster takes this to the next level. Webster is an animated typeface inspired by the proportions Helvetica Bold. It is made out of dots, lines, and faces that give it a technical appearance. You can customize the look and animation with 15 simple controllers. All together it counts 153 glyphs.
UTOPIAN – ANIMATED TYPEFACE
Utopian is an animated typeface.Iy is a highly graphic, modular type with animations to match. Flourishes are kept to a minimum and the focus lies on primary shapes. Each character builds up from a rectangle shape that complements the simplicity and boldness of the typeface while bringing an interesting and surprising way of revealing each glyph.
FLICKER FREAK PLUGIN
If you are a big fan of making horror videos. You can make use of this free plugin. You can make a killer scene by just dragging and dropping the effects! It is very much customizable and you should check them out!
Pubes is basically a spline generator along the edge of the shape or inside the polygon. Now if you are wondering why would you need to use splines inside or around a shape – watch the video down below:
This plugin does exactly as the name suggests! It imports content from social media such as Instagram and Twitter. Into After Effects. They have strongly customizable built-in presets and you have an option to add your own as well!
Adding shadows to your work can be an expensive and slow process and it’s a great way to slow your workflow. But with shadow studio, you can stimulate these effects in a much faster manner! It also comes with a lot of presets for you to get the effects that you are after!
Plexus effect! Everyone knows about it! We know what to expect and with a little manipulation, it is more than just dots and lines! Version 3 comes with even more effects and enhancements. Plexus Object Panel offers an easy way to manage a plexus scene.
PQ FUI TOYS 2
This plugin is all about adding fancy UI graphics to a project quickly! This offers a great range of small motion graphic elements you can use to enhance your UI design. Now you might not want to use pre-made comps, you need to note that each of these can be edited to the very base level and hence is a massive time saver!
MAGIC BULLET COLORISTA IV
It’s one of the old plugins and is one of those color and grading tools for After Effects. But version 4 has taken it to a whole next level! Now this is a plugin for colorists at all skill levels. It’s suitable to say that you are two clicks away from brilliant results. This forms a good basis for coloring workflow
Duik is seen as the animation backbone by so many people! After Effects generally has a strong rigging system but this plugin takes it to a whole new level! And it is totally free for you to use!
Are u a big fan of creating advanced 3D UI elements? Which can be customized, manipulated, and navigated through 3D space? Nodes 3 is the place to plus. With this plugin, you can create endless beautiful imagery that would just take your projects to the next level.
With sapphire 11, we can expect to see a whole range of motion graphic tools that can be very useful for creating textures, overlays, and cinematic lighting effects that allow you to easily add flares, glints, and glows. If you want to create your own effects and transitions to have a very attractive video this is the place as you have up to 300 presets to choose from. It is also optimized for CPU and GPU performance so it’s gonna be a hell of a ride!
MOTION PULSE SOUND DESIGN
If you want an all-in-one sound pack, this is the plugin for you. They got over five-sound libraries and 2000 sounds to choose from. So whether you need a glitch, swish, or splash, you can find them here. You can even create your own custom sounds with layering and all you have to do is simply drag and drop them!
HORSE ANIMATION COMPOSER
Animators generally have a bundle of tools at their disposal. Because animations have a spectrum of applications and that tool kit of yours should have this plugin in it. So, Horse Animator gives you a simple way to animate your layers and an easy way to add, remove and adjust objects and animations with a click of your mouse! It even gives us the tools to take care of audio! Go check them out!
If you are one of those graphic artists who find it hard to encode footage to the right format, AfterCodecs provides you with a solution. AfterCodecs makes ProRes encoding possible on windows, as well as offering extra goodies such as the ability to export H264s larger than 8K. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.
Lenscare consists of two plugins put together: FL Depth of Field can use depth data from a 3D render to create a realistic depth of field in CG, without the overhead of rendering DoF in CG. With this plugin, the focus point and depth amount can be animated.
If u want to create particle systems and new looks with 3D models, u would probably be using Red Giants. But now we have stardust which takes it to another level with its node-based workflow! This means you can create motion graphics like never before. It is stocked with a range of presets and it will blow your mind!
Watch the video above and you would understand exactly what this plugin is capable of doing! It provides you with an endless supply of FX to get your project to life! With 12 lenses and 50 custom lens objects, you get plenty of options to choose from! When you use this plugin there’s literally no limit on how creative you can get!
This plugin will rock your world as it has so many applications! This software lets you create your own particles such as rain, smoke, snow, and clouds! You can even create particle-based shapes, patterns, and lines in 3D space! You can even combine multiple FX!
ELEMENT 3D V2.2
This plugin lets you import 3D objects and animate and give life to them! This would look so professional and you can give life to your own characters and create beautiful cinematic videos!
It is GPU Accelerated and it even has Group symmetry creation mode. Here’s a demo for you.
TRAPCODE FORM 3
This plugin allows the user to create 3D particle grids and objects in 3D space. You can work with multiple particle systems in 3D space. It even gives you the power to quickly dissolve text and logos into sand particles. Isn’t that cool?! We have more than 130 presets. It is GPU Accelerated. You can use a library of over 60 OBJs!
If you are a designer, this is a must-have plugin for you. This plugin lets you move the layer’s in a realistic way as everything is calculated for you. It’s like 2D physics integrated into After Effects. What it means is that you can easily create complex motions. Whether you want to show density, friction, bounciness, velocity, or gravity, Newton3 does it all.
Pastiche allows you to move, regroup and place those layers into a single shape. It also provides intuitive controllers to fine-tune the position, scale, rotation, and opacity of the collage layers. Combine this with Newton 3 plugin and you got yourself a hell of a tool!
As the name suggests this plugin lets you build particles. There are so many presets to choose from and the features consist of 16 fire particles, 3 sand particles, 9 smoke particles, 16 Sparkle particles, 4 magic particles and you can customize the size, color, direction, and amount! Check them out!
Twitch is a plugin to add to your visual effects and graphic toolbox. It has so many effects like glitch, blur, scale, color, and time and you can play with them to take your video to the next level. Feel free to experiment with them – they have 25 effects presets.
If you are looking for a way to create kinetic typing – this plugin is the way to go. It basically Creates random kinetic type layouts based on parameters entered into the control panel. Features a wide range of type transitions randomly selected by default, but can be specified as well. This might be a plugin that would answer your writing problems!
Do you have problems with your editing in After Effects? Some of you might have been so used to Premier pro that you might find After Effects a little hard to use. This plugin solves your problem. It gets you all the Premiere Pro inspired editing tools for your needs!
AE PIXEL SORTER
AE Pixel Sorter was the first tool to bring the pixel sorting glitch effect available for motion designers and video editors within After Effects. Experimenting with Pixel Sorting just became so much easier! Since its launch, AEPS had a huge success in Broadcast TV, Live performances, VJs, Music Videos, Video Games, Photography, and even Apparel!
This is a plugin that would help you with your audio. They have more than 1000 useful sounds and would come in handy for almost any motion designer project! They got high definition audio files and you can even preview them inside after effects! You would love it once you start using it!
Label Maker analyses your selected layer’s pixels and automatically sets the label color to match! Now why would that be needed and how exactly do we pull that off? Watch the video down below!
Monkey suite is like an all-in-one package! A wide range of practical tools for AE is designed to save you hours, days, or even weeks of work on your next project. A perfect blend of power, speed, stability, and simplicity all one low price. You can create, edit, type, layer, animate objects with them!
Voyager typeface is a contemporary geometric, versatile, modern sans-serif typeface. Highly legible across a variety of sizes. Included in the family are uppercase, lowercase characters, numerals, international characters, punctuation marks, and ligatures. The animated version sports the bold weight, but the static version includes five weights plus the matching italics!
As the name suggests this plugin wraps precise layers and sculpts them. Distorting in After Effects is usually a brute force affair. Not anymore. BAO Layer Sculptor allows you to draw masks exactly where you need them, then simply animate them to warp the layer with perfect precision. Welcome to tailored distortion!
Using lines as animation might seem like an old trick but it would still work great if you make them creative! And if you wish to play with them, this plugin can help you achieve just that! Watch the promo down below:
I guess you would have figured out the purpose of the plugin by its name. Super Liquids helps you create frame by frame style liquids trail animation!
Projection 3D is an advanced tool for camera projection mapping and photo parallax animation in After effects!
Auto Crop allows you to instantly crop a composition down to the size of its contents. Crop a composition at the current frame or analyze an entire composition’s content and crop without cutting off any animation. Auto Crop 3 now even allows you to crop the current comp without it needing to be a pre-comp. In the newest version, Auto Crop has been rebuilt from the ground up as a native plug-in to provide new features and better results.
A lot of us have a problem with lip-syncing and it can be really annoying. The LipSyncr plugin would totally help you. It combines a number of audio files and mouth compositions. They have three different mappings and 21 illustrations! You should check them out!
TV DISTORTION BUNDLE
This bundle comes with a bunch of plugins such as Data Glitch, Bad TV, TVPixel, Dot Pixels, and Separate RGB. These plugins help you to create Analog Distortion, Digital Image & Satellite Distortion, Digital Pixel Simulation, and Chromatic Aberration with ease!
PQ GRIT KIT 2
Looking for real photographed, animated, royalty-free high-resolution textures designed just for blending in After Effects? This is the plugin for you. They even work in Adobe Premiere. Use as interesting luma mattes for type, shape layers, or anything you want. Add real noise or grunge to footage or get crazy with displacement in Cinema 4D.
Hooker harvests new After Effects CC 2018 features by accessing path points and hooking them to layers providing a more robust experience for animating shape or mask paths Select a path point in the Hooker panel, click a button, and it will follow the layer it is hooked to. Even if you rotate, scale, skew or otherwise transform the path, the hooked points’ positions will stay intact. For final tweaks, use the Coordinates tab to set path point positions in both composition or shape layer scope.
Voronoi is a procedural texture generator that can be used as all sorts of textures, from terrain maps to water caustics to abstract backgrounds. By layering different Voronoi patterns, variations in complexity can be achieved. Voronoi provides a way to generate Voronoi diagrams in After Effects, with extra options to control animation, shape, and much more! Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
Topograph brings elevation maps and topography to After Effects! This effect lets you create unique designs and animations from your footage. It can be used for animating and for designing on one frame with interactive feedback. Do check them out!
If you are searching for custom brushes to use in your After effects, this is the right place to be! You can do this in 3D space with motion blur and Squash and Stretch! Motion blur is computed per brush, including mask path and parameters animation. Switch between 2D and 3D modes. 3D responds to cameras and has per-vertex 3D control.
Tired of wrestling with the default AE camera? HandyCam simplifies every aspect of animated cameras in AE. You get full orbit controls! You have intuitive lens control, one-click dolly zoom, and wiggle controls to simulate handheld looks!
BUENA DEPTH CUE
Control the Worlds Between 2D and 3D – Includes the World Renowned Camera Mapper. Buena Depth Cue is a collection of plugins that are designed to handle a variety of factors surrounding common sense manipulation of the critical half-dimension.
Talking Head takes the tedium out of facial animation in After Effects. No more digging through stacks of layers and keyframes to make adjustments. Escape the nightmare of last-second VO changes. Finish the job on time with enough mental stability to enjoy your success! And it is extremely easy to use as well!
This plugin is a quick and simple way to create animations and distortions! They have fewer layers and have an entire keyframe workflow! Setup and animate with just 3 clicks!
Harness the power of After Effects expressions without writing or reading a single line of code. More than 125 ready-to-use (and customizable) expressions, each of them with an easy and intuitive to use interface.
Shock Ring was designed to be a feature-complete plugin for making rings. Blend modes, thickness, feathering, opacity; YY_ShockRing has it all. Use it for shockwaves, motion graphics, or anywhere else you need rings!
This plugin will create seamlessly-tileable textures for other plugins which require them like CC Sphere, CC Cylinder, Polar Coordinates, etc., or any 3D program. It works by creating a copy of the texture offset by 50%, and smoothly interpolating between the offset and the original texture.
Generate random patterns of vector tiled rectangles in After Effects, simulating the data visualization method also known as treemapping!
Paint Out is a script that allows you to control, manage and visualize a large number of Paint Strokes easily and intuitively. In many situations, a few clicks can eliminate tracking markers, dirt, or other unwanted features from a scene that would otherwise take many hours of manual paintwork.
Paint Out uses tracked nulls to manage paint strokes. Tracked nulls can be the nulls created by After Effects’ 3D Camera Tracker, the nulls created by importing match-move data, or nulls generated by Paint Out itself from 2D trackers.