The Best After Effects Plugins for 3D Animation
The Best After Effects Plugins for 3D Animation
Adobe After Effects is a fantastic software that makes awesome motion graphics and visuals. It’s a versatile software for filmmakers and animation specialists that continues to upgrade over time. As After Effects evolves, more plugins are readily available which enhances the user experience for all kinds of developers. Today, we are checking out the best After Effects plugins for 3D animation. These plugins help make After Effects a premiere choice for animation developers at all levels.
RowByte – Plexus 3
Plexus transforms After Effects into a hybrid 2D and 3D experience. Plexus is a unique plugin in the way that you can easily turn 3D shapes into motion graphics. Your animation workflow is boosted thanks to the smooth operating UI. You don’t have to scroll through as you render objects, and look after geometry and effector objects. Plexus recently added motion blur effects that you can add to animations along with custom camera angles for precise effects.
RainBox – DUIK
Animators know that rigging avatars could be a tedious process. With DUIK, it’s pretty easy to use and offers a vast amount of rigging features. DUIK has bone layers, stretchy dynamics, and auto rig bipeds and quadrupeds. Additionally, you can manage keyframes and use traditional animation. Overall, the goal of this plugin was to make tools as easy as possible to use. Most tools only take one click to access. Two clicks in, and you can have a fully automated character already.
Video Copilot – Orb
Orb is a GPU accelerated planet-generation plugin. With Orb, you can create detailed spheres with some outstanding effects. For example, there’s an atmosphere design feature where you can add layers of clouds, storms, and vapor. Planets could also have loaded texture with advanced bump maps and the lighting tools are suburb. With the physically based shader, lighting and shading change as your planet moves. Luckily Orb comes with presets so you can jump in quickly and learn as you go.
Animation Gym – Pixy Halftone
If you feel incorporating some nostalgia in your animations, Pity Halftone is the perfect plugin. Pixy Halftone allows you to add retro video game-style elements to any animation or video. You can easily composite layer after layer with real images. The controls are simple so it’s not difficult to play around with lighting, shadows, opacity, and the size of shapes. With one click, your real-life image is turned into the feel of a classic video game which you can apply to just about anything.
Red Giant – Trapcode Particular 4
A giant takeaway from trapcode particular 4, is the fluid dynamics equipped with this plugin. It’s a new model that uses fluid physics that enables users to build things like tornados, smoke, and other organic animations. Animators benefit from a timeline where you can press pause or play and pinpoint exactly how the motions run.
The interface is clean with a composition window on one side including settings, and a panel at the bottom. There’s a library with hundreds of shapes just to get started. Afterward you can combine preset elements such as fire to shapes before jumping into physics such as swirling effects.
Plugin Everything – Deep Glow
Something that we didn’t cover so far on this list, is a plug in that specializes in text animation. Deep Glow is a plugin that simulates physically accurate glows including AE, deep, and universe settings. Not only is Deep Glow good for motion graphics, but it’s also good for aligning your digital assets to recorded footage.
Using tools such as tint, blur quality, blending mode, and angle controls, you’ll have glowing colorspace in no time. The plugin is GPU accelerated for speed and has impressive controls with everything laid out in one window. From effects and presets, to render queue and glow comparison, it’s all managed in organized sections.
Boris FX – Sapphire
With ultra-fast render speeds and multi-frame rendering, Boris FX doesn’t disappoint with this plugin as it offers functionality at its finest. The layout is designed to be simple so you can spend less time searching, and more time creating. Sapphire can create stunning organic animations by providing nearly 300 effects and thousands of presets.
With Sapphire, you can use atmosphere and highlight features to create sparkles, light sweeps, smoke, and mist effects. The plugin also unveiled Ultrazap, which is an electrifying bolt system that creates realistic bolts and fields with minimal effort. The smooth animations autoloop and don’t even require keyframing.
BorisFX – Mocha Pro
You might have heard of the popular Mocha Pro which is powerful for video effects. Mocha is fantastic with planar tracking and removing objects which seamlessly cleans up your animation work. Mocha uses suburb camera stabilization so animators could insert realistic-looking effects. The insert feature could render precise match moves with a lens correction and motion blur.
Mocha’s removal features expand to unwanted shadows and pixels with minimal steps. It’s easy to use rather than using clone effects and could get rid of layers even on moving objects. For example, you could smoothly take out a logo on a moving truck with this slick interface.
PluginPlay – Datamosh
When you compress a video, individual frames are stored as either delta frames or iframes. Datamosh causes an overlay of pixels and creates a warping effect during motion transitions. The manipulation of iframes and delta frames looks like a twitchy or glitchy visual effect. Datamosh lets users set durations with a simple timeline and go frame by frame.
You should also be aware that Datamosh is not just visually affecting footage on an external level. The plugin works internally to make some stunning visual glitch effects. Make your videos look trippy, melty, or whatever style that you want to accomplish.
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