Hey guys. Today I’m going to show you Videvo’s top 5 recommended After Effects Plugins.Ãƒâ€š After Effects is an incredible piece of software for creating motion graphics; the level of control given to the user is second to none. Although After Effects can be put to use creating motion graphics and animations right out of the box, over the years lots of clever people have been working hard to extend the functionality of After Effects to even greater heights.
After Effects Plugins (add ons to the original After Effects software) allow users to enhance their creativity and scope, often greatly simplifying the amount of time needed to accomplish certain goals. Each plugin is different, and the areas they address are vast.
Here is a list of the Videvo top 5 recommended plugins for After Effects. Have a read and see which ones spark your interest!
01. Element 3D
Price: $149.95 – Plugin Website: https://www.videocopilot.net/products/
After Effects’ support for 3D is limited, so you typically have to pre-render your model in your preferred 3D software in order to undertake complex 3D work. Luckily, Element 3D is a fully 3D particle system that allows you to import 3D models as well as textures. BUt it doesn’t stop there! Element 3D renders in real time within After Effects which is a revolutionary feature and one of my personal favourites.
Andrew Kramer has also developed a whole host of high quality 3D model packs which you can purchase individually. The current model packs are Money & Casino, Sports, Fresh Food, Motion Design, Sound & Music and Projectile Weapons.
02. Optical Flares
Price $124.95 – Plugin website: https://www.videocopilot.net/products/
Another Videocopilot one this. Optical Flares is a lighting plugin that has taken the After Effects community by storm. It enables you to introduce a vast array of different lighting affects to your compositions, and then animate them to your heart’s content.
Now, this might just sound like an expensive way of adding lens flares to your work, but I assure you it can do much more than that.
You can animate every aspect of every light and can make it pass behind objects, move across images, change size, and much more. You are also able to add color bleeding from a set of high quality lens textures that are designed to replicate the effect caused by dust and scratches on the surface of a real lens.
A graphics card is not required to run this software, which is a big plus for some people — but if you are lucky enough to have a nice card, then you are welcome to use that for processing too. Andrew has made sure that this piece of software is compatible with the majority of graphics cards on the market.
03. Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks
Price: $399 – Plugin website: https://www.redgiant.com/products/all/magic-bullet-looks/
Magic Bullet is one of our favourite After Effects Plugins, simply because it can add a huge amount of production value to a clip with a single click!
Looks is a color grading plugin which combines multiple adjustments together onto a single clip to attain a certain look or style. It comes jam packed with around 100 pre-built color grades that can be applied to your clip with one click.
Looks, like Optical Flares and Element 3D, has it’s own graphical interface which is very intuitive and easy to use. You can select different effects, and then customise every aspect of them which really lets you loose creatively. Coupled with Colorista 2, This is definitely an effective coloring solution for any film maker serious about grading.
04. Red Giant Particular
Price $399 – Plugin website: https://www.redgiant.com/products/all/trapcode-particular/
The Particular After Effects Plugin goes way beyond the basics, with realistic natural effects, lighting control for shaded particles, 3D camera integration, custom shapes, depth of field and physics controls such as air resistance, gravity and turbulence. Particular has been used in a variety of feature films including Spiderman 3.
If you want to be able to use the same effects that the big boys in Hollywood use, then this plugin is for you.
$39.99 (suggested price) – Plugin website: https://aescripts.com/yy_rampplus/
Creating smooth gradients in After Effects can be a real pain, especially when you’re trying to make a batch of them! If the AE built in ramp effect isn’t cutting it for you anymore, consider moving to the YY_Ramp+ After Effects Plugin. It delivers intuitive functionality, such as: adding blend modes; smooth interpolations, ramp noise to avoid banding and a simple invert switch to swap colour selections. The good guys at Ae Scripts have set a suggested price of $39.99, but you can pay what you like (but be nice!) – this is one to have.
That completes this rundown of our favourite plugins – plugins are becoming an essential tool for the budding filmmaker, but which plugins you choose really depends on what projects you typically work on, so have a browse and have fun with it!
Catch up soon,