Top 3 Free After Effects Productivity Plugins/Scripts
After Effects can make some amazing motion graphics. As an animator, I know that the pathway to a good looking motion piece is having good tools that allow me to work fast and iterate quickly (and good design, but this blog isn’t about that). Here are 3 Plugins/Scripts that allow me to work quicker and try more ideas.
This plugin is the definition of a productivity tool. Check out the video for a quick explanation. The big time saver here, is the ability to use a hotkey which opens up a temporary searchable panel for adding an effect to whatever layer you have selected. It might not sound that impressive, but once you start using it, you realize how limited and archaic the idea of the After Effects “effects panel” is. It’s the biggest time saver tool out there and my #1 on this list.
Duik is a staple for anyone who is doing any sort of character animation in After Effects. That is NOT how I primarily use it, though. Beyond its character capabilities, DUIK has some awesome features for motion graphics, too. There is an “Animation” tab within the dock that allows you to add different ease values with the click of a button. This is a quick way to add some zip to your graphics without opening the graph editor.
There are a bunch of other automation tools inside DUIK too, including spring effects, wiggle effects, ways to randomize things and more.
This one is kind of cheating. Instead of 1 script, you get a .zip of 51 scripts! But I would like to call your attention to 1 that will make your life a lot easier. The script is called “rd: ScriptLauncher”. Scripts are great, but it’s a pain to go up to the menu, open and run the script. So much so, that before ScriptLauncher, I wouldn’t even use them, though I knew how to and I knew they would make my life easier. ScriptLauncher brings usability to scripts, by creating a dockable panel with all your scripts in it. All you do then is double click the script you want to run, and it runs.
What scripts and plugins do you find essential? Post in the comment below!
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