October 20, 2011
by Topher Welsh, AE Tuts+
FIRST, 19 FREE AE PLUGINS from AE TUTS…
There are so many plugins that you can purchase for After Effects that allow you to do incredible things. However, with the economy hurting and everybody looking for a little help, Topher has created an AE Plugin Stimulus Package to give your projects a free little boost!
Scott Frizzle’s Quaker
Scott is a great broadcast designer working in the industry for over 15 years for some of the top networks on the air today such as Cartoon Network, TNT, and Discovery Channel. Scott developed Quaker as a plugin to simulate earthquake effects. He also has a ton of project files and presets for Trapcode Particular as well from the days when Trapcode People was around.
Normality 3 is a powerful plug-in that allows CG Artists to light 3D objects and scenes directly within the familiar Adobe After Effects environment through the use of normal passes and advanced relighting techniques. They offer a great FAQ and some great tutorials on how to use the plugin.
Red Giant Unmult and eLin
Red Giant software has a gigantic arsenal of plugins, but there are a few that actually are free to download that can help out some everyday tasks. First they have Knoll Unmult, which is a free little plugin that comes along with Knoll Light Factory to knock out the black on solids with lens flares on them. Red Giant has made this free to download since it is such a simple, yet useful utility. They also have eLin, which is used to help you when compositing 3d elements with live action by simulating real world motion blur, lighting, and can also work with OpenEXR.
Buena’s AEFlame and Swatch Buckler
Buena makes that old AEFlame plugin which kind of doesn’t have that many great uses since all it really does is generate fractal looking flame-ish looks, but Buena has a great little plugin called Swatch Buckler that actually gives you a floating palette that you can grab colors from… a lot easier than trying to remember color codes or eyedroppering every fifteen seconds.
Fnord has a bunch of really nice little plugins that aren’t really effects by any means, but extensions that you can use to get more out of your formats within After Effects. First is EXRDisplay, which gives you more control over the way your EXR images can display by messing with different gamma and exposure options not natively available. Of course you have to have OpenEXR installed on your system to read the images. The J2K plugin just lets you actually read and import JPEG2000 files, the successor to JPEG. SuperPNG is also another extension that gives you more advanced options over reading and writing PNG files, and SuperTIFF does the same thing, but for TIFF formats.
Sadly Noise Industries plugins are all for Mac only, but even though, you should pick up these cool little plugins. CoverFlux is a generator that automatically creates and iTunes style coverflow effects out of images in your project. The Freebies Pack 1 has a few effects like Multispace, Rack Focus, and Opposites that can help you save a minute or two given you are creating the certain effects they provide. Star Titler is pretty good for Star Wars fanboys making their own fan films and they want to make a Star Wars style title crawl. VeeYou can create volume unit meters by listening to specific audio tracks, and lastly Pan & Zoom, well… that one is kind of obvious. All of these require that you install FxFactory Engine.
- Download CoverFlux Download Freebies Pack 1 Download Star Titler Download VeeYou Download Pan & Zoom
GridIron Software X-Factor
GridIron Software, the creators of Nucleo and Flow have a free plugin that can speed up your rendering and preview times by 100%… cut your time in half! That is if you have two additional CPU’s and some extra RAM, but there isn’t a reason why you shouldn’t have this plugin if you meet the criteria.
This is quite handy if you like to preview what you are working on, on a separate full size monitor. This plugin lets you take DV or D1 footage inside your composition and preview that exactly as it would be seen on television on a studio monitor for more precise editing and tweaking. This is quite helpful if you are doing intense color correction or pinpoint precise motion tracking or roto jobs.
The Omino Suite is a collection of basic tools, all of which serve a very unique purpose, and can save you a few minutes here and there. Mino Colorizer colorizes the footage, Diffusion is a color matcher, Feedback simulates bad tv signals, Squares reconstructs your image into a ton of little squares. Sphere Map is designed to help with distant star fields and the like, and Halftone recreates a retro halftone effect.
Obvious FX Copy Image
Lastly, this is a nice little alternative to using the alt+printscreen buttons to get a screenshot of what I am working for to send clients. This plugin copies just the image in your composition window to your clipboard, and then you can paste it into an email, or whatever you need instead of bringing a full screen cap into Photoshop to cut it up, save and all those other annoying steps.
- Download Plugin
NOW 55 MORE FREE AE PLUGINS…
Adobe After Effects Plugins can add even more capability to your AE software. In this feature we bring you 55 plug-ins that along with their cool enhancements, ability to extend your creativity and productivity the have one other great feature, THEY ARE ALL FREE!
AlphaPlugins FirTree is additional module for Adobe After Effects. This plug-in allows create animated fir tree branches. You can use these elements for decorate your Merry Christmas and Happy New Years videos.
New Year Toy is a very simple and helpful plug-in for Adobe After Effects. This filter allows you to create different kinds of New Year toys for decorating of New Year tree. It creates beautiful toy balls which are hanging on amazing pendants. You can use it for decorating of your Merry Christmas and Happy New Year videos.
Free open source plugin for creating abstract fractal images in After Effects. Buena Software helped update the plug-in to work with After Effects on Mac OS X. There is also a Windows version available for download, as well as the full source code to the plug-in.
Conoa FreeStreak is free! Completely Free! Streak any row or column in your image or animation to the top, bottom, left or right sides.
XMult is a freeware plug in for Adobe After Effects. XMult creates an alpha channel based on the highest luminance value of each pixel. A compensation is made to the RGB channels due to the attenuation of the applied alpha channel. It has 8 or 16 BPC
A free plug-in for After Effects to adjust for switching between standard linear gamma displays and OpenEXR formats; a floating point file format developed by ILM and used by products such as Autodesk’s Inferno for working with 32-bit HDR (high-dyamic-range) imagery.
J2k is a free Photoshop and After Effects plug-in set for reading and writing the JPEG 2000 file format, the successor to JPEG.
SuperPNG is a free Adobe Photoshop plug-in for using PNG (“ping”) files. It is faster than Adobe’s own PNG plug-in and saves considerably smaller PNGs.
SuperTIFF is a free plug-in for Adobe After Effects that provides more complete support for TIFF than AE does natively.
Allows the user to correct field problems manually by selecting upper and lower field for the current frame.
Is a stand alone version of the selection method found in Flair and Lenscare. Usage is obvious, hopefully.
The Matrox WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) plug-in for After Effects optimizes the workflow of professional compositors, allowing the user to view the compositing window on a video monitor or TV in both DV and D1 resolution.
GridIron X-Factor is an extension for digital video production software that uses the power of grid computing technology to significantly improve productivity and streamline your creative workflow. X-Factor enhances the performance of Adobe After Effects.
Normality 3 is a powerful plug-in that allows CG Artists to light 3D objects and scenes directly within the familiar Adobe After Effects environment through the use of normal passes and advanced relighting techniques.
Atlas is a port of the pfstmo tone mapping operators to the Adobe After Effects plugin format. This plugin is free open source software licensed under the GPL.
Celulight is my tool designed to automatically generate normal maps from simple outlines or cel drawings. The resulting normal map can then be used by Normality to create realistic or toon shading effects.
This Adobe After Effects plugin is designed to work in combination with Normality and generates squeaky clean cartoon outlines. Edgar uses a novel, proprietary algorithm developed specifically for the purpose of converting normal passes into line art for use in cartoon and anime productions.
Floodgate can be considered an advanced paint bucket or fill tool specifically designed to work efficiently with cel animation.
Generator is a simple and free plugin for Adobe After Effects which can be used to create normal maps from alpha mattes, such as text and shape layers.
The Occlusionist is a spinoff of my Adobe After Effects plugin Normality and is used to generate screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO) and global illumination effects.
This FREE collection of scripts is used to transfer 3D motion to and from After Effects, Maya, Nuke, SynthEyes and Electric Image. Cameras (Orientation and Reference), Objects, Camera Rigs and 3D stabilization, Pan/Tilt, 3D to 2D. (Req: AE 6.5 +, Maya 6.5+, Nuke 4.6+, SynthEyes 2007+, EI 5.0+).
The Star Titler generator lets you reproduce the look of the opening titles first used by the Star Wars movie in 1977. This is a Noise Industries FxPack. It therefore requires the following free download to be installed: Free FxFactory Engine
Free plug-ins with source code.
FreeFrame is the open-source cross-platform real-time video effects plug-in system designed for use in VJing applications. There are over 150 FreeFrame plug-ins available from a diverse range of developers.
CoreMelt VeeYou is a completely free set of four plugins for After Effects and Final Cut Studio which generate Volume Unit level and EQ animations based on the audio in your project.
The Pan and Zoom plug-ins let you create the photo animation style made popular by Ken Burns with intuitive controls and automatic motion control that achieves stunning results without a single keyframe.
The first Spanish-language plug-in by SUGARfx lets you animate a still picture or media using a Pan & Scan effect with drop shadow and customizable interpolation curve.
This plug-in lets you loop through a folder of pictures to create a photo montage Mondrian-style.
Four fun, useful and absolutely free plug-ins: MultiSpace, iSight Live!, Rack Focus and Opposites. Multispace gives you 3D intersecting planes with anti-aliasing in Final Cut Pro.
The iTunes-style scrolling image generator plug-in for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Final Cut Express and Adobe After Effects.
A simple utility that copies the current composition image to the Windows Clipboard, allowing easy pasting into other image applications (such as Adobe Photoshop). It bypasses the task of saving the current frame to an image file and then reopening.
Erodilation is an effect plug-in that erodes or dilates an image, to produce blocky, glowing or hollow effects.
I’ve always thought halftoning was interesting. It is surprising it works at all, of course in this day and age of 128-bits per pixel who needs it. Unless you just like that sort of thing, use any layer as the halftone reference.
This filter was originally intended to help with distant starfields but there are numerous other applications for using spherical projection (sometimes known as a panosphere). Also lots of fun for less optically correct applications via the repeats parameters.
A friendly agreeable geometrical modulation, in which small squares assemble to resemble your source image. What could be finer, for is not the pixel square? As it is in the small, so shall it be writ large. New in this release: special wibble parameter added to the futz section.
A simple rendition of the classic video feedback. similar to echo in some ways, but with scaling and centering. Animate the parameters with bumps and jostles to create wonderful rippling cadences.
An error diffusion applied for the worse. Choose which colors are available and the filter tries possibly in vain to march the image. March up, left, down, or right. Specify fat stripes and exaggerated error propagation. A nice effect is to eyedropper up a few colors from the source image.
This filter merely applies a color across the entire frame. This turns out to be astonishingly useful. But it does a little more, with settings for additive (light) or subtractive (ink), has parameter to choose to draw the result in all remaining colors, just the colorizing color, or greys.
This filter models a kaleidoscope whose mirrors are in any shape you like. Built-ins provide square, triangle, and a few others. but you can also use any mask as the mirror shape.
This plugin RGB? adjust the percentage of the image display.
Plug-odd lines and even lines swap RGB? image.
The image RGB? X plug lines and even lines swap the odd coordinates.
To plug the channel at regular intervals specified by ? horizontal image.
To plug the channel at regular intervals specified by the vertical image ?.
This plugin generates a color gradient relative to the four corners.
This plugin generates a gradient value relative to the ?-? channel four corners.
William Christenson came up with the idea for this nice little filter. This plug-in was originally developed for Photoshop.
What this effect does is a simple ’shear’ Effect. It’s not just performed horinzontal or vertical as usually but along a selected line.
Sinedot was originally developed as a Photoshop Filter then converted to AE.
This is a slightly more advanced version of Sinedots. It’s basically it’s the same effect with a few extensions.
eLin addresseschallenges such as motion blur, depth of field, glows, and basic transformations that appear when you combine 2D and 3D imagery.
A free Standalone that will help Stylize looks to still pictures.
Recreates the opacity or alpha channel of a layer based on luminance also called brightness of the lens flare. Unmult assumes that the lens flare is rendered against black. The image is also adjusted to compensate for the new alpha channel.
Scott is a great broadcast designer working for the Cartoon Network, TNT, and Discovery Channel. Scott developed Quaker as a plugin to simulate earthquake effects.
Customize the look of the reflection in 3D space.
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