The 10 Best Plugins for Adobe After Effects
After Effects is probably the best motion graphics and visual effects software, and thanks to the hundreds of plugins available, you can extend its functionalities even more. Let’s take a look at the best 10 plugins for After Effects, and get an even better idea of what you can do with it!
1. Video Copilot Twitch and Optical Flares
The famous "Andrew Cramer here from Video Copilot" has two incredible plugins (amongst others), and it can be hard to pick one. However, we’ll show you both of them! Video Copilot have always been amazing for over a decade now, their plugins have been leading in After Effects industry.
Twitch is more than a plug-in. Its purpose is to synchronise random operators and create stunning glitch effects for motion graphics. It also comes with a few sound effects, presets, as well as tutorials so you get the most of it. Twitch costs only $45, but you’ll definitely get a lot of value with it.
b. Optical Flares
The Optical Flares packs start at $124.95, and you get basically everything you need to add and edit lens flares into your creations. It comes with 3D lens flares, a super-intuitive interface, real texture support, and even chromatic aberrations for when you need it most.
You can even completely customise the flares and remove certain elements if a flare looks too strong. Incredible bit of software.
2. Giant Red Universe
Behind Red Giant, we have Maxon, who’s incredibly popular for the Cinema4D software. As expected, they impressed this time too. Being a subscription-based platform, you can get access to a huge collection of 89 GPU-accelerated plugins, for as little as $16 per month.
3. Reel Steady
For those times when you need the best possible image stabilisation, Reel Steady is the to-go plug-in. Believe us when we say it, this is the best stabilisation software out there. It does an incredible job of removing warp from the shots and gives such a beautiful steady look.
It was specially created for anyone filming with drones, Go-Pros, or even with normal cameras in tough conditions. If you want to add this one to your library, there’s a one-time purchase of $399, and there you have it! Unfortunately this only includes 1 computer to use it on.
4. Neat Video
Neat Video, as the name suggests, is the best plug-in when you need to remove noise or grain from your footage. It can be used to improve any type of video with too much noise. A license starts from $74.90 and it’s available for most video editing software out there.
5. Red Giant Trapcode Suite
Red Giant’s Trapcode Suite is all about particle generators and 3D effects. It’s definitely one of the best out there, and can even handle fluid particles, which used to be a problem in most motion graphics software. An annual license starts from $599, but you can always choose a bundle.
6. Red Giant Magic Bullet
This plug-in definitely has a cool name, but when you find out what’s about, you may have a surprise. Red Giant’s Magic Bullet is the great coloring tool. It helps you stylise and refine your footage, so your videos look great. This comes along with the Trapcode Suite and Universe for $599 per year.
7. Video Copilot Saber
Video Copilot’s Saber plug-in is quite fun to play with. You can create impressive lightsabers, neon lights, energy beams, portals, you name it. The best part is that it’s a new plug-in, and it’s completely free!
8. Video Copilot Element 3D
Element 3D is the ultimate object and particle render engine, and it’s the best out there. It allows you to import 3D objects and textures in OBJ and C4D formats, and you can freely use them in your After Effects projects. This plug-in alone is $199, but you can also check out their bundles.
9. Mocha Pro
Mocha Pro is simply known as a tracking tool, but there’s nothing simple about it. It comes with GPU-accelerated tracking, object removal, advanced masking, and basically everything you need to make the post-production process as creative as possible. A 12-month subscription goes for $295, and if you want a permanent license, you can get it for $695.
Last but not least, there’s Plexus. With it, you can add powerful effects to your footage, such as motion blur, seamless beams and an improved Sound Effector Object. You can get your own license for only $249.
These 10 plugins for After Effects can be considered the standard in post-production, and you’ll definitely need more than one to achieve those impressive videos.