Every motion designer should have a smooth and efficient workflow when working in After Effects. One of the best ways to achieve this is through After Effects scripts, plugins, and extensions.
Having a good set of After Effects tools can help automate repetitive tasks, extend the capabilities of after effects, and overall save you a whole lot of time and effort.
In this post, we’ll take a look at 10 After Effects scripts, extensions, and plugins that will transform your workflow, save you time, and help take your After Effects skills to the next level.
Note: a few of the links below are affiliate links.
1. Duik Bassel
Duik Bassel is a comprehensive character rigging tool in After Effects. It has such a vast array of features it really is a one-stop-shop for all things character animation.
Rather unbelievably it’s also Free to download and use, although any donations you can make to help support the development of the script will be much appreciated.
2. RubberHose 2
RubberHose is another great character rigging tool for After Effects.
Similar to Duik Bassel in some ways, although RubberHose really comes into its own when you need to create simple 2D characters with a “rubber hose” style (a style popularised in the 1920s & 1930s).
One of our very own scripts, Telegram automates the laborious process of splitting up paragraph text in After Effects and applying a matte for each line.
A real time-saving script for any motion designer working on explainer videos in After Effects.
Cyclops is great for sharing those behind the scenes videos everyone loves to see. Want to render out all those motion paths and null objects to give people an insight into how your animation was done? Cyclops is your script of choice!
Skew for After Effects brings the timeline window into the 21st century with a wonderfully intuitive system for offsetting layers in After Effects.
Rather than having to manually adjust layers, skew creates a new panel in After Effects that’s much more flexible and easy to use. If you have a lot of layers to offset & move, skew is definitely the tool for you.
If you’re always confused by the archaic graph editor in After Effects then Flow is an absolute must for you. With 25 built-in presets to choose from Flow makes it incredibly easy to apply dynamic easing to your animations in seconds.
But that’s not all, you can create, save, and even import custom easing animations too!
Flow really does make everything super ease-y (I’m not even sorry).
Newton brings a physics engine right into After Effects for creating realistic movement and interactions. Add gravity, friction, even a bit of bounciness to your layers in just a few clicks.
Newton really is a great way to add more life and realism to your animations, and it’s a lot of fun to play with.
Gifgun makes it incredibly easy to create high-quality GIFs from your After Effects compositions. It allows you to export your animations as GIFs with just a few clicks, and it even has a built-in player for previewing your GIFs before exporting them.
No more having to open up Photoshop just to export a gif!
Another super useful time saving script from Battleaxe: the brains behind rubberhose and so many other useful After Effects tools. Buttcapper makes it incredibly easy to change the cap style of your shape layer strokes in After Effects.
Rather than having to manually open up the many options of a shape layer to find the stroke options, with buttcapper, you can simply select the layer and hit a button.
KBar allows you to create customised toolbars for all sorts of functions right within after effects. You can create toolbars full of buttons for menu commands, custom expressions and scripts, pretty much whatever you like! It’s a real boost for any motion designer’s workflow in After Effects.
There we have it! 10 incredibly useful tools for saving time and boosting your workflow in After Effects.
This only really scratches the surface though, there’s plenty more useful after effects scripts, plugins, and extensions out there. You can start exploring by checking out our selection of time saving After Effects Scripts here.