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Top 5 time-saving Extensions for After Effects

February 14, 2020
Maksym Marakhovskyi
Maksym Marakhovskyi Motion Designer at Motion Design School

If you animate your works in After Effects and still don’t use the extensions I’m both happy and sad for you. Read this short article till the end and your life will never be the same again.

1. Overlord

Preparing source files for animation is one of the most time-consuming phases of the animator’s work. Cutting characters into parts, decomposing a scene into separate layers, and converting it all into Shape Layers… You could spend this time with your family. Fortunately, Overlord, an extension for Adobe After Effects and Adobe Illustrator, resolves these issues. It creates an invisible bridge between the programs, allowing them to share graphics. Everything is processed directly, with no separate files saved!

By the way, in our studio, we were experiencing a special kind of pain when we had to convert illustrations with gradients. If you have ever faced the challenge, you know the pain when you have to manually recreate each gradient in After Effects and compare colors with the help of the color-picker. With Overlord, these problems fade into history.

2. Kbar

Close your eyes, imagine that you can apply all your favorite expressions in one click or assign a button to an effect or a whole set of effects. Have you imagined it? Now, open your eyes and watch this video about the Kbar script:

This script enables you to create custom toolbars with any buttons and After Effects functions. You can even paint these buttons in your favorite colors!

3. Pseudo effect

If you are busy preparing projects for stock platforms like VideoHive or Motion Array, you will probably want to hide all unnecessary effects under the hood. You never know what the future buyer of a project might click. With the Pseudo Effect extension, you will be able to easily create your own custom effects and controllers.

4. After Ease

After Ease helps you to forget about tediously setting up a bounce and elastic animation leveraging its intuitive UI to set up a curve and apply it via expressions or bake keyframes onto your timeline. You can use it for selected numeric properties, mask and shape paths.

5. Bodymovin

Bodymovin is a perfect After Effects solution to export Lottie animations. Useful for both motion designers and developers, it by default exports your animations as .json and as a result, you get small-size animation of high quality. Basically, JSON files contain the animation you’ve created in code. Bodymovin supports quite a number of After Effects features. Your animations can be rendered in the browser on svg, canvas and html. Moreover, animations can also be played natively on iOS and Android using Lottie

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