However, one of the greatest things about the product is the proliferation of free After Effects plugins that can help automate some of those effects or add completely new tools to your arsenal.
Many plugins and filters are available for making your After Effects masterpiece into the next stage, ranging from color presets, transitions plugins, sound effects to complicated lighting, and 3D tracking packs
In this article, we will introduce 15 best After Effects free plugins. Let’s begin.
First on my list is a very simple plugin, however, it is such a time-saver that it is a plugin that should be on any list. Copy-Image adds a single command to the edit menu, that command being 'Copy Image'.
What that command does, in a single click, is flatten and copy the current composition at the time selected to the clipboard, enabling you to paste it into any other program, such as Photoshop, without the need to go through the process of saving a frame to an image file.
Find Video Effects and Templates for After Effects from Filmstock
If you want to make a cool special effect with one click, you should try the special effects pack or set in Filmstock.
Filmstock is a one-stop shop for royalty free video effects, music and sound effects, stock video footage and more stock media. You can download both free and paid after effects templates for Adobe After Effects on Filmstock as well as some free stock video and photos and royalty-free music and sound effect.
Nothing in the world is better than a light saber plugin, and lucky for us, Video Copilot have provided us with a free preset to create them!
Video Copilot produces around 30 free presets covering a wide range of tools, but for the 2nd spot on our list. We just couldn't resist the light saber tool.
It comes with a comprehensive set of options. It allows you to change colors, perspectives, add motion blur, and even include the ability to simulate the saber firing up and shutting down. Just add sound effects!
There are many plugins available in video copilot, including Optical Flares for Nuke, Element 3D plugin for creating Motion Design & Visual FX, and Twitch Plugin for stylistic motion graphics and visual effects.
Besides the plugins, VideoCopilot also provides the tutorials about how to use the plugin in After Effects. Check the VideoCopilot tutorial here for learning how to use it.
This is a lovely effect that generates beautiful colored fractals that can be animated. With options for color, intensity, density, and so on, they are also highly customizable to enable you to get the precise effect you are after.
There are so many uses for these from intros onward that they look stunning and easy to use. While there are plenty of paid-for plugins that can produce a similar effect, this one is completely free.
This is a plugin for lighting and shading your footage, but why this one stands out above other free plugin utilities for lighting is that it is of such a high quality, packed with professional features to create some stunning effects.
Enabling lighting of 3D objects from directly within the frame, which was not too long ago, the domain of expensive packages, can have that functionality and control for free.
Not something you will use every day, nonetheless, it is a great little plugin to have available, and as it is free, why wouldn't you? Typominal is applied to a text layer and creates a computer terminal look for the text.
It contains a choice of two cursor types and is very effective at what it does. Think of that scene at the start of Alien, maybe even Wargames, there are many places to fit that style in, science fiction especially. No, it won't be a go-to preset on every project, but it is a fantastic effect for the right project.
This one is Mac only, but it is such a comprehensive plugin that it has to be included here.
If you have the right platform to use it, there is a whole host of options available within this single pack, with 44 separate plug ins including 10 active text effects, all completely free with no time limits, watermarks or anything.
For anyone looking for a general package of plugins to increase their options, this one is definitely it. Very much a professional product from a professional company for free!
This is another simple one, but very useful. It enables you to mimic the Instagram filters that are so well known, not to mention popular with millions. You can match up with mobile footage in an intro maybe, or just want to give that look to your footage, whatever the reason, it does the job easily and effectively.
Another free plugin that doesn't have a wide range of uses but is very effective in doing what it is designed to do. You want the Instagram look in your video? This does it in one click. For free.
This one does exactly what it sounds like it does. It creates Christmas tree leaves and branches for you. It is perfect for any holiday-themed project.
There is also a companion plug in called ornament that is also free that lets you create beautiful Christmas tree decorations to hang from your newly realized trees. Both products are highly customizable and very effective.
Yes, the subject matter may seem less serious, but these are high-quality products capable of very realistic output, a bit of fun for the holidays and a serious plugin all in one.
Random Text is a new free generator compatible with FCP X, FCP 6-7, Motion, After Effects and Premiere Pro 6. It allows you to use text, numbers and symbols creatively in order to produce styled Motion Graphics plugins in seconds.
You can use this free plugin to make special effects like zombies if you are interested in presenting some engaging yet weird video.
This Ugly Box plugin is designed for After Effects with the award-winning technology, and it has come out four years to make wrinkles in the video, so you don't need to worry about its quality. The loading speed is also fast as it supports GPU rendering.
This free Adobe Effects plugin is mainly about animation. You will love it if you are an animated video lover. In this plugin, you will find motion, sound, and precomps to use both in Windows and Mac.
The working experience is smooth because you can change each element quickly. For sound, you can customize the whole audio resources by changing its pitch. You can also preview the free sound and use it in your video project.
Recently, Duik has been updated this Adobe Effect greatly. It is rewritten at this time and is totally free to use. It includes user guide, tutorial and forum to let you know how to use it in After Effects.
It is easy to use and won't occupy much space while you are using it. It includes manage the interpolations tool, so that you can alter the keyframe quickly.
AEFlame is a resource website that offers various free after effects plugins. You can get free 197 plugins after you search free at the top. You can always find one plugin you like ranging from keyframing, rendering, characters to glitch.
You can preview each plugin before you decide to download a plugin. Now try to browse this site to find the one you like.
If you want to make a horror-like video, you can use this free plugin to make the killing scene by dragging and dropping. You can decide how many flames at one time by changing flame number like 2. You will find there will be two flames in your video. So fast.
Part 2: FAQ about After Effects Plugins
1. What are After Effects plugins?
Plugin is a tool that can be add to After Effects to make editing more easily. The plugins range from color correction, effects to audio. Many third-party company develop plugins for After Effects to serve as a supply chain. After Effects has already an excellent tool. However, plugins can help you move into higher level.
2. Where are After Effects plugins?
You can find plugins on folder C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects\Support Files\Plug-ins on Windows. On macOS, the plugins are placed at Applications/Adobe After Effects/Plug-ins.
There are so many options for plug-ins for After Effects that you really can find a tool to do pretty much anything. Perhaps the main thing we took from our research into this top 15 list is that in many cases, these free products are as competent and professionally produced as any paid for plug in out there.
Check them out before spending your cash. If you want to make a professional video, and think After Effects is too difficult to learn, choose Filmora to start making effects. It includes more than 50 settings for making various effects. Download it to have a try!
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Benjamin Arango
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