It’s no secret that After Effects is heavily relying on external scripts and Plug-Ins for a productive workflow. With a huge amount of paid Plug-Ins, the ecosystem around After Effects also offers a number of very useful free plug-ins. Ben Marriot is giving us a quick rundown of his top 5 of the most useful Plug-Ins for AE.
The text animation workflow in After Effects is definitely not the most intuitive and you will find yourself twirling submenus all day when trying to create a halfway decent text animation. Text Evo will give you are very clean and simplified panel to create cool looking animation with just a few clicks.
Talking about sub-menus, hidden deep in the settings of a shape object, you can control the ends and corners of a stroke with a specific setting. However, it’s again a very tedious task to get there. Butt Capper is a very simple script to control the look of your stroke.
One of the less known Videocopilot Plug-Ins but not less useful is Color Vibrance. You can recolor assets like stock footage very easily and focus on your overall design work, rather than tweaking color effects. Another very handy feature is Matte Alpha. If you want to knock out the black area of stock footage, you might set the layer mode to ‘screen’. The Matte Alpha function in Color Vibrance however, will let you work on that asset or layer, as if it comes with true transparency (no change in the layer mode). Trust me, this is incredibly useful. Basically works like the Red Giant unmult effect. Definitely something you want to have in your script collection.
Ease Copy will let you do exactly that: copying the easing of your keyframes. Let’s say you aminated the scale with a custom bounce effect and want to match the animation of the position of another object to that animation. Just copy paste with Ease Copy and your animations will blend together just perfectly.
Here is the thing: if you ask 10 different motion designers about their favorite plug-ins, you will get 10 different lists. With one exception! All of them will agree that Videocopilot’s FX Console is the No.1 must have plug-in! It’s a quick way to access your effects with just a hotkey from anywhere on the screen. No need to twirl endless folders in the effects panel. Just like Color Vibrance this comes with another nice side feature. It will let you snap a screenshot of your canvas to the clipboard or save it as a PNG file. Super handy to quickly send moods to the client or other artists, rather than using the export frame dialog from the menu.
This list could go on forever, but it’s a very clever collection of free plug-ins to enhance your workflow and just work smarter. What is your favorite plug-in list? Do you agree with this list or maybe know of a new secret killer script that nobody knows of? If so feel free to leave a comment.