Updated: Jan 6
Plugin creators from around the world are consistently putting out new tools to make both your life and your After Effects workflow easier. Let’s take a look at what the current marketplace has to offer. FYI many of the tools on this list are brand new, while others have received recent updates. The rest are just some of my personal favorites.
How do you install an After Effects plugin?
The term plugin is used broadly here, and can include both extensions and scripts. The key takeaway is that not all of these tools are installed via the same method. Be sure to follow each tool’s corresponding instructions.
The aescripts and aeplugins website allows you to download trial versions of all plugins, and they even have an installer to help get you up and running. Now onto the list.
*Affiliate links below. Thanks for the support! It really does help me out.
by Motion Land
If you’re a Mogrt-maker, this will definitely speed up your job. With Aep to Mogrt you can easily convert After Effects compositions to Motion Graphics Template (.mogrt) files. Use the sleek interface to quickly add properties to active or selected compositions, add media replacement with one click, and even image/video previews. This tool has a slimmed down free version as well, so be sure to follow the link and check it out.
by Battle Axe
Isn’t it annoying how you can’t directly export H.264 from Adobe After Effects? And don’t even get me started with that pesky Adobe Media Encoder. Ain’t nobody got time for that. With Anubis you can sidestep all of these headaches and export MP4s directly from AE. Bitrate smit-rate.
Adobe After Effects has always been lacking the tools for a proper color workflow. With Coco Color Coworker you get access to thousands of ready to use color palettes. Explore the latest palette trends, or create a new palette from an image. Search any color and quickly get work-ready results. There’s a contrast check feature, as well as a library of gradients, and other handy features.
by Plugin Play
The latest and greatest of the glitch art tools received a big update in late 2021. It was essentially rebuilt from the ground up for the specific purpose of an enhanced moshing experience. Datamosh 2 brings 60+ moshing algorithms, 16x more precision, 6 new parameters and a new marker workflow. Remove frames, hijack motion and swap motion from other clips.
by Motion Design School
Deekay Tool is an all-new game-changing extension for character animators in After Effects. It allows you to create and save characters with a simple click. The new Animate feature gives you the possibility to create and customize your animations with intuitive controls. If you want some positive vibes, be sure to follow DeeKay.
The Trim Paths animator is one of my favorite tools inside of Adobe After Effects. foxReveal takes trimming paths to the next level. It allows users to create complex path reveals without adding and moving hundreds of keyframes. With foxReveal you can reveal complex path structures from any point with one click. And you can control the reveal with two simple keyframes and it's curve. Not too shabby.
from Davey Studio
It’s time to get your Freq on. With FreqReact, you can drive animations via specific audio frequencies. Use the integrated FreqView to switch between frequency presets and heights to find the range you’re looking for. Create new ideas by slapping a controller on any property that can be animated. Turn on the Additive Mod to make your reacting effects increase over time. Create infinite rotations, shapes growing beyond the bounds of the screen, or starships flying through space. With a clean and intuitive interface, FreqReact plays well with other plugins.
from Markus Bergelt
One of my personal favorites, GEOlayers gives users the power to design and animate maps directly inside of After Effects. It renders custom maps from different online sources, providing direct access to extensive databases of geospatial features of the world. You can easily highlight country borders, streets, lakes, rivers, places, regions, animate driving routes, and even extruding buildings.
If you have Trapcode Mir 3, Mettle FreeFormPro, or Rowbyte Plexus 3 installed you can create gorgeous 3D landscapes setups in one click based on real elevation data.
by Plugin Everything
HandyCam simplifies every aspect of animated cameras in AE. Taking inspiration from 3D apps like Maya, it was crafted to make animating AE cameras as painless as possible. With HandyCam, users can target layers whilst moving in world-space, create a dolly zoom with one click, and easily emulate handheld movement with DoF wiggles. Use the bake feature to send your project to another animator and open it on a computer that doesn’t have HandyCam.
Helium is a new 3D toolset for Adobe After Effects. From adding a single 3D model to your scene to creating beautiful complex animation, Helium is a simple yet sophisticated way to add depth to your work inside After Effects. Operating entirely within After Effects, it has many advanced features and tools such as 3D Models, 3D Animated Text, Splines, Terrain, Mirror, Primitives, Scroll, Cloners, Light Effects, and much more.
by Romain Cousin
Working with keyframes can be quite tedious, so why not check out Keystone, the essential keyframe toolbox. With an icon-based interface, essential tasks are now just a click away. Flip, align, stagger, duplicate, stretch, group, copy/paste, shift and smooth animation curves with simple cl