Ashley Hyatt
Motion Graphics Designer
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Blog

My top five After Effects plug-ins.

Plug-ins and scripts are such a large part of my workflow, so I wanted to share the top five I use when animating in After Effects. The plug-ins below have been tremendous time-savers and have really helped me, and hopefully, they can help you too.

 

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In fifth place is ‘FX Console’ by
Video Copilot

While FX Console has a number of features, such as creating snapshots and PNGs with ease, I love just pressing 'CTRL SPACE’ to get a handy effects shortcut. You can open the console at any point and apply effects by just typing their names, and you never have to touch your mouse, trackpad or tablet.


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The fourth spot goes to ‘Joysticks ’n Sliders’ which is featured on AEscripts

This is a must have if you plan on creating any facial animations for characters. Rigging a joystick is incredibly simple and can control the whole movement of a characters face. Multiple joysticks can then be built to animate different features of the face, such as eyes and mouth.


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Third place is ‘RubberHose2’ by Battle Axe. 

RubberHose 2 is perfect for creating character animations and building stylised walk cycles. I've used this on many projects and have saved myself many hours using this plug-in.


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For the second position is ‘gifGun’ as featured on AEscripts.

GifGUN really shouldn't exist, but due to After Effects lack of native GIF exports we're really lucky it does! On top of just existing, I've found the compression settings often produce much smaller GIFs than what would normally be possible in Photoshop. This has saved my bacon on many occasions and I can't recommend it enough.


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In first place is the wonderful ‘Motion 2’ by Mt. Mograph. 

Motion 2 was such an easy pick for first place. My main use is it's simplified sliders for controlling ease and velocity on keyframes, and I use this on every single After Effects project I work on. The added bonuses are the additional features, such as Burst, Orbit, Spin, and Warp effects plus a whole lot more. I strongly recommend you watch this overview video (click here) then make a purchase for yourself! 

 
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Well, there you have it. That's my top five plug-ins going into 2018. Over the past year, I have used all of these on a regular basis. While some have more of a learning curve, like 'Rubberhose 2' or 'Joysticks n Sliders', the time spent learning how to use these has far outweighed the time I have gained using them on live projects.

If you'd like to discuss any of these or want to share your own plug-ins or workflows I'd love to hear from you.