We look at the best After Effects plugins sites out there and how you can use AE templates in your projects to save time!
A little secret about animation is that more often than not, professionals will use After Effects plugins or templates to create the end product. While you may find your moral compass twinge at first, this isn’t cheating, in fact, it makes sense from both a time and cost perspective.
While it’s not recommended that you present these pre-made templates to clients, or use them in their entirety in your work, they can be helpful. After Effects templates can be broken up to use specific effects, transitions, or text elements.
Anyway without any further ado, here are our 6 Best After Effects Plugins Sites to find templates.
Started in 1999, Toolfarm is the leading third-party reseller website for After Effects Plugins and visual effects tools. It’s known as the one-stop shop for the best professional VFX, motion graphics, and plugin tools.
- Free tutorials to help you get started
- Top-notch support
- Simple licensing
- Plugin bundles
- Pre-rendered element packs
Toolfarm is renowned for its distribution focus, high-quality customer service, and training.
FxFactory is an app where you can buy plugins for After Effects, Motion, and Final Cut Pro. When you buy FxFactory, you actually get a large number of free ready-made effects with the application.
- Simply browse, purchase, and install plugins from a huge catalog for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and Avid.
- FxFactory application offers an easy and convenient way to browse products.
- Free trials are available for most products
- Choose from over 100+ free video tutorials
FxFactory powers a vast collection of visual effects, audio plugins, and apps designed for video editors. 👌
Created by one of the champions of After Effects, Andrew Kramer, Video Copilot has been a great resource for top end After Effects plugins.
- Optical Flares plugin is used in Hollywood feature films
- Element 3D plugin is the fastest way to create 3D text in After Effects.
- Wide of 3D and stock motion packs to get you going quickly
- Music & Sound FX
- Free archive of 100+ motion graphics tutorials
- Great support
Andrew isn’t just a great teacher. He’s also a legendary motion designer and VFX wizard. He’s behind the titles of hit TV and Film such as Fringe and Star Trek. If you watch anything he’s done, you’ll immediately get a sense of his passion for motion graphics.
aescripts+aeplugins is a repository and marketplace of high-end tools for many leading 2D/3D software packages such as Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D.
- Affordable After Effects plugin site with prices ranging from $9-279.
- Extensive knowledgeBase with articles that should help answer the most common questions.
- Discussion Forums – leave comments for products or start new discussions to share with the group.
- Templates are simple to understand and provide clear documentation on how to use them.
- Pre-rendered element packs, allowing you to drop them into projects to save time.
- Fast support
aescripts+aeplugins are great as they provide scripts and plugins that help enhance and automate otherwise tedious functions. You will find stuff from the top authors from around the globe.
Videoblocks is a stock footage and After Effects templates website, run by Storyblocks, the people behind Audioblocks and Graphicstock.
- Over $10 million worth of clips are available to download, alongside thousands more from its user-generated Marketplace.
- Unlimited downloads – annual membership gives you access to all their content as opposed to a per asset price.
- Straightforward licensing means anything you download is yours to keep and use forever – 100% royalty-free.
- Templates are simple to understand and provide clear documentation on how to use them.
Videoblocks are also the perfect place for people starting out on their After Effects journey. One of the best ways to learn animation is to play around with remade projects, turn things on and off, move them around, try and change them and see what happens.
Rocketstock is an After Effects plugin site run by Shutterstock. While they do not have a massive collection, the quality of the templates is some of the best we have seen.
- 182 high-quality After Effects templates and 11 video packs.
- Affordable templates with prices ranging from $39-99.
- Stunning titles and dynamic video slideshows.
- Creator pack offers over 250 AE assets, including animated social media icons, lower thirds and title cards, perfect for any online content creator.
- Sumi pack offers 65 ink transitions, and Illuminate offers 125 light leak elements.
- Super simple Licensing; once you buy a template, you can use it as many times as you like for as long as you like.
Finally, sign up for Rocketstock’s mailing list, and you will receive one free element a month, straight to your inbox. 😉
Videohive is a part of the Envato collection, which includes Theme Forrest, Audio Jungle, and Graphic River. With over half a million film based assets including Motion templates, After Effects plugins, and stock footage, there is a wide selection.
- Elements start at just $5, so you can find some real bargains on the site if you’re willing to spend the time looking.
- The site boasts nearly 50 thousand different After Effects plugins and templates.
- Pre-rigged characters, ready to animate which is a real-time saver on projects.
- Pre-rendered element packs on VideoHive, allowing you to drop them into projects to save time.
Videohive is a marketplace, so many different users are selling their projects, and the quality of each can vary but is generally pretty decent.
Pond5 is similar to Rocketstock in both pricing and selection, but with a significantly larger catalog of After Effects plugins and templates.
- 10,000+ logo reveals, video slideshows, 3D models, and elements packs to faun over.
- Movie Trailer templates to look through if your passions lay with more creative endeavors.
- Offers an annual membership, which also covers their stock footage, music, sound effects, and graphic design.
Annual membership is £385 a year (or £165 per month), obviously this isn’t one of the cheapest membership packages. But for a videographer, it might be all you’ll ever need.
9. Red Giant
Red Giant is best known as the creator of Magic Bullet, a plug-in that makes digital video look like film. Also, Knoll Light Factory adds 3D lens flares like those seen in the films of director J.J. Abrams. The company has since added dozens more After Effect plugins, sold individually or in affordable bundles.
- More than 60 GPU-accelerated plug-ins for real-time playback, rendering
- New preset browser available with 22 updated plug-ins
- Logo Motion makes animating logos or text a breeze
- 100+ free tutorials on 3D motion graphics, color correction, compositing, visual effects, transitions, and much more.
Red Giant knows how to make great After Effects plugins. They have been doing it for a long time, however, they tend to be more expensive than other brands.
10. Mister Horse
Unlike the other sites, Mister Horse offers no templates, but it is without a doubt the most versatile of all the After Effects plugin sites listed here. The Mister Horse animation composer is a plugin that no animator should be without (yes it’s really that good!).
- Animation composer adds over 1000+ transitions, effects, and titles.
- All available from its own workspace window, this After Effects plugin can literally save you hours of keyframing.
- Simple drag and drop function includes a range of 2D and 3D rotation, scale, and position transitions that work with text or graphics.
- Prebuilt lower thirds that are easy to customize and rearrange.
- User library. Now you can add your own stuff!
If you are looking to do infographic style animations, this After Effects plugin is a must-have and the additional paid version is well worth the money!
How Do You Install After Effects Plugins?
Luckily for all of us, this process is pretty simple. The details for installing a plugin can vary depending on the developer, so always be sure to check the documentation.
After Effects will usually load plugins from a default folder within its core software directory. This is where you can drop your purchased and downloaded plugins as long as they don’t come with a specific installer. Default locations for Windows and Mac are as follows:
- (Windows): Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects <ver>\Support Files
- (Mac): Applications/Adobe After Effects <ver>/Plug-ins
To sum up, whether you’re looking for a particular project or just want to increase your After effects capabilities, these sites can really help you create a more polished production.
Templates and plugins can also teach even the most experienced animator new tricks when using them as the building blocks. If you have no animation experience, but it is something that interests you, learning how to use After Effects plugins is a good place to start.