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40+ Free Plugins and Filters for After Effects

Build up your post-production library with the best free plugins, scripts, and presets for After Effects! And use them in your next project.

Take your After Effects work to the next level with these free plugins, scripts, and presets. We gathered a gigantic list of the best After Effects freebies that can enhance your visuals and optimize your workflow. Each is complete with download links and video tutorials!

Take a look at some of our favorites . . .


1. Saber

Saber from Video Copilot has to be at the top of the list for free After Effects plugins. This feature-rich plugin allows you to create light and energy beams with realistic glow options.

It also allows you to apply the energy beam looks to text or mask outlines, and comes with fifty different presets! We’ve even used Saber in our own tutorials, such as How to Create Retro Horror Movie Titles in After Effects.


2. Quick Chromatic Aberration

Quick Chromatic Aberration from Plugin Everything allows you to easily add chromatic effects and color fringing to your footage. It’s perfect for adding a subtle amount of realistic imperfection to any shot, especially motion graphics.

We use this plugin all the time (literally). Check out how we used it to Create Realistic Glass in After Effects.


3. Orb

Orb is a free 3D sphere plugin designed for creating realistic planets. It includes advanced features for illumination and reflections, and you can light your planet with the lights in After Effects.

Orb is a must-have for any space projects you’re working on! Need more space stuff? Check out our Free Space Texture Kit.


4. LimberLite

LimberLite is billed as the “quickest and easiest way to get started with character rigging and animation in After Effects.” This plugin makes animating characters simple and fun with just one click.


5. FX Console

FX Console is a free plugin that helps you speed up your workflow in After Effects. It effectively works like a pop-up search bar that allows you to apply effects quickly, presets, screenshots, and more.

It also offers a ton of customization to tailor it to your own needs!


6. Displacer Pro

Displacer Pro is a juiced-up displacement effect far superior to the default displacement effects included in After Effects. It has displacement options for scale, rotation, chromatic aberration, anti-aliasing, etc.

It was vital in helping us create our Free Holographic Loops Pack!


7. Dojo Glitch

Dojo Glitch from Creative Dojo helps give you complete control over realistic glitches and artifacts on your footage. You can easily control settings like glitch intensity, RGB separation, flicker, lens distortion, and more.


8. gridRig

gridRig is a free script from Ordinary Folk that allows you to create stunning grid animations with just a couple of keyframes. To learn more, check out John Rodriguez‘s article Take a Look at gridRig.


9. AEJuice GIF

AEJuice GIF is a plugin that allows you to export GIFs from After Effects in one click. This free plugin dramatically speeds up exporting your own GIF animations, which was previously a tedious process.

It also includes a plethora of basic and advanced GIF settings you can customize.


10. Color Vibrance

Color Vibrance is a free colorization plugin. It allows you to easily add vivid color to any black and white elements you’re working with. This makes it ideal for colorizing stock elements, like bursts of smoke.

It also includes a host of matting options to help with compositing.


11. Thicc Stroke

Thicc Stroke is a variable-width stroke plugin that works on masks and shapes. It includes several customizable settings and even allows you to create loopable color gradients along the stroke paths.


12. Long Shadow

Long Shadow is a preset that allows you to create flat, long shadows in After Effects easily. You can adjust the shadow angle, add gradient colors, and fall off to the shadows.


13. TextBorder

TextBorder makes it easy to add a customizable border around your text layers. You can easily adjust the border expansion, thickness, roundness, and color.

You can also keyframe the various settings to animate your text border.


14. BOUNCr

BOUNCr is a free script available from Ukramedia that allows you to easily apply Dan Ebberts‘ Overshoot and Bounce Back expressions in After Effects. The script works as a dockable panel that enables you to apply a bounce expression to a selected property.

It also creates a controller effect, so you can continue to make adjustments quickly. The BOUNCr script was created by Tim Thiessen.


15. Squash & Stretch

Squash & Stretch is a free tool from mamoworld that allows you to apply handcrafted squash and stretch behaviors to your animations. This can help you quickly create some dynamic and fun animations in no time!


16. Duik Bassel

Duik Bassel is a comprehensive 2D animation and rigging toolset. Covering everything from animation controllers to bones, to managing keyframes and automation. This plugin is definitely geared towards animation professionals.


17. Better Bokeh

Better Bokeh is a gamma correction preset that improves the look of blurs in After Effects. It’s ideal for use with the Camera Lens Blur effect built into After Effects.

You can also use it with other third-party blur plugins for better results.


18. Dojo Shifter

Dojo Shifter is a script that allows you to stagger and offset layers in your composition quickly. You can stagger layers linearly or apply easing to the layer offsets.

This is ideal for animating dozens of layers.


19. Numbers+

Numbers+ is “the ultimate preset to create counters, timers, and clocks.” This preset is fully rigged for animation, making it ideal for infographics, currencies, countdowns, and more!


20. Label Maker

Label Maker is a free plugin that scans the colors of your layers in After Effects and then automatically matches their layer label color. This can help make your layers easier to identify in a composition.


21. VHS Preset

The VHS After Effects Preset from RocketStock allows you to instantly apply a retro VHS look to your footage in After Effects.

Check out the full video tutorial for even more VHS tips and assets!


22. ButtCapper

ButtCapper is a free script from Battle Axe that allows you to change strokes and join caps in After Effects easily. Quickly change caps on your selected layers with just one click.


23. KeyMix

KeyMix helps streamline the keying process, allowing you to mix multiple keys on a single layer using masks or a matte layer.

KeyMix is unwatermarked for renders that are 720p or lower, so just download the free trial from aescripts.com. (Renders larger than 720p will require the paid version.)


24. Coco Color Wheel

Coco Color Wheel is a handy interactive color wheel built right into After Effects. It includes a variety of different color harmony formulas.

This makes it easy to discover the perfect color palette for your next project.


25. Easy Bounce Free

Easy Bounce Free makes creating bounce animations . . . easy! Just roughly keyframe out the bounce animation you want, and then the Easy Bounce script will calculate all of the physics and timing for you.


26. Typeflow

Typeflow is a text preset that allows you to create quick easing and overshoot text animations. It’s fully customizable, smooth, and responsive.

It even auto-animates based on the text layer in-point and out-point!


27. Type Array

Type Array is a preset for easy typography and text animations in After Effects. It’s perfect for subtle text animations. It also allows you to control and trigger your text animations using layer markers.

The preset is offered at a name your own price basis from Slemmer Creative.


28. PremiumBeat Presets

At PremiumBeat, we’ve created a variety of popular After Effects presets, too! Easily create stylish looks with our Watercolor Painting Preset, 8-Bit Video Game Preset, and Line Boil Preset. Just drag-and-drop them onto your footage.


29. Crate’s Camera Projection Script

Crate’s Camera Projection Script is a powerful projection mapping tool from Production Crate. Easily turn 2D photos into 3D photos and track in clean plates for VFX compositing.

Register a free account on their website to download.


30. Crate’s 3D Look Script

Crate’s 3D Look Script allows you to set up a custom rig with the “look at” expression so that layers in your composition will face towards a layer of your choice.

It works in 2D and 3D, and you can refine the look even more using the built-in expression controls.


31. Crate’s Hologram Script

Crate’s Hologram Script allows you to apply various hologram effects to your footage with one click. You can use one of the many different included presets, or dial in and customize your own hologram look!


32. Crate’s Heat Radiation

Crate’s Heat Radiation is a free temperature coloring plugin for After Effects. It’s ideal for dialing in intense and realistic colors on fire, explosions, sparks, and more!


33. Crate’s Glow

Crate’s Glow is a free script that creates realistic gradient-based glow falloff, far superior to the default glow settings in After Effects.

You can also easily adjust a full host of glow settings, such as intensity, spread, flicker, and vibrance.

After Effects plugin Crate's Glow in neon
Image via Production Crate.

34. Responsive Auto Scale

Responsive Auto Scale is a preset that lets you define a region on screen, then it’ll contain your layers within the area. This makes it perfect for working with text, in case you have to change the text later.


35. Sure Target 2

Sure Target 2 is a plugin that makes animating the After Effects camera incredibly easy. You just set your 3D layers as targets, then keyframe when you want the camera to jump from one target to another.

You can also customize the movement inertia, auto-focus, camera roll, and more.


36. VC Reflect

VC Reflect is a free plugin that makes it easy to create reflections on your layers in After Effects. It includes a ton of options for customizing the look of your reflections, such as reflection angle, falloff, skew, and blur.


37. deLayer

deLayer is an After Effects script that helps you offset the in-points of selected layers based on their distance from a selected starting point.

You can also set the layers to animate randomly.


38. Bendy Nulls

Bendy Nulls is a handy script that will apply a global CC Bend It effect to a selected layer. This makes it perfect for easy bend animations in After Effects and removes a lot of the pain points of the default CC Bent It effect.


39. AE Viewer 2

AE Viewer 2 is a free media browser for After Effects that allows you to easily navigate and preview the media you want to work with.

Preview, apply, and import projects and media files in one click.


40. Decompose Text

Decompose Text is a name your own price script created by nab, that allows you to break up the text by character, word, or text line in one click. It’s a handy script that’s been around for years!


41. EaseCopy

EaseCopy is a name your own price script that lets you copy and paste your eases without overwriting your values. It’s handy for when you dial in the perfect easing animation and then want to copy it over to other properties.

You can also copy and paste values without overwriting existing eases.


42. Parental Controls

Parental Controls is a free script from AE Screens which allows you to parent layers to an actual path, shape, or text. It makes resizing or rescaling parented layers a lot easier!


43. Create3DShapes

Create3DShapes is a set of name your own price scripts that allows you to create various 3D shapes in one click. Create shapes like a box, sphere, pyramid, and more.

You can even select which layers and comps you’d like to be on specific sides of the shape.


44. Ugly Box

Ugly Box is a free plugin from Digital Anarchy designed to make your actors look, well . . . ugly! It uses the same algorithm as their Beauty Box plugin that smooths skin tones—but Ugly Box does the opposite.

You can adjust the amount of skin damage and the color hue.


45. Glass Eyes

Glass Eyes is a free plugin initially created as an April Fools’ joke from Video Copilot. However, it’s a well-thought-out plugin, perfect for your next gag video.

We’re sure you’ll find plenty of creative ways to use it!

GIF of a squirrel with googly eyes eating a cracker
Image via Jan Stria.

46. Extended Coffee Break

Extended Coffee Break is another free plugin created as an April Fools’ joke, this time from Plugin Everything. Extended Coffee Break allows you to slow down your After Effects renders intentionally, allowing you to take longer breaks at work!


More Free Video Assets

If you’re looking for even more free stuff, check out the PremiumBeat Freebies page! It’s packed with Free Video Assets that can help you on your next project.

Everything from Over 280+ Free Sound Effects to Free Hand-drawn Animated Shapes, and even Free After Effects Templates!


For more PremiumBeat gems, check these out:

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