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10 Underrated After Effects Plugins, Scripts, and Presets

In this video, we’ll look at ten underrated After Effects plugins, scripts, and presets. Includes FREE After Effects presets!

In After Effects, sometimes the most popular effects aren’t always the most used. At least, on a day-to-day basis. Because of this, I wanted to highlight ten underrated plugins, scripts, and presets that I find to be quite useful.

We’ll preview each one, so you can find what you’re looking for on this list. We’ve also incorporated a FREE download that includes four After Effects presets from PremiumBeat!

Download the 4 FREE After Effects Presets Project File

By downloading, you agree not to resell or redistribute these free assets.


1. Diopter

Diopter is a plugin that makes it really easy to create different optical lens effects. You can quickly emulate lens effects like a tilt-shift, macro, and even ghosting effects on your footage. The plugin offers a ton of presets to choose from.

It’s easy to pinpoint where you want the lens effects to occur using position markers. Diopter also works well on text and title cards, to make them more visually interesting.


2. Crossphere Bokeh

Crossphere Bokeh is a lens blur plugin that creates some of the best-looking bokeh effects you’re going to see. It also renders lightyears faster than the native Lens Blur effect built into After Effects.

I use it a lot to add realistic rack focus effects to my shots. There are a ton of options for customizing the bokeh, and you can even use layers to create your own custom bokeh shapes.


3. Neat Video

Neat Video is a de-noising plugin that I’ve been using for years. I like it because it’s simple and works phenomenally well. You just highlight an area of your footage that has a lot of noise, and Neat Video will automatically create a noise profile that filters it out.

Neat Video is also good at retaining image detail while still removing noise. Some plugins tend to muddy up the fine details when the noise gets removed, but that isn’t the case with Neat Video.


4. TextBox 2

The next plugin is TextBox 2 from Plugin Everything. TextBox 2 helps you create boxes and shapes behind your text.

It has a ton of smart features and automatically updates the box size when you change your text. You can tell a lot of thought went into all of the customization settings they’ve added into this one.


5. GifGun

GifGun is a script that allows you to export GIF animations from After Effects in one click. I can’t emphasize enough how much time this script will save you.

Not only is it faster than exporting GIFs from Photoshop, but it compresses the file sizes better, and they look better. It also has plenty of GIF export settings you can customize as well.


6. DOJO Orbit

DOJO Orbit is from Creative Dojo, and this script allows you to easily arrange layers in a circular formation and animate them.

If you’ve ever had to make objects orbit around each other in After Effects, you know how much of a pain this can be to set up. It often requires linking a bunch of different layers together. This script simplifies all of that. It has three different orbit modes and easy-to-use setting controllers.


7. Color Vibrance

Next, is a FREE plugin from Video Copilot called Color Vibrance, which is a handy colorization plugin. Out of all the free plugins from Video Copilot, this one I probably use the most.

The color results you get from it are always pleasing to the eye, and it’s fantastic for colorizing stock elements. It also makes it easy to add an alpha channel to footage using the Matte Alpha option.


8. FXAA

Plugin Everything has a FREE plugin called FXAA, which stands for: Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing. This plugin can help remove the jagged pixel edges, or stair-stepping edges, that you might encounter on lower resolution images, logos, or renders.

It’s a nice plugin to keep in mind and try anytime you see some distracting jagged edges.


9. Decompose Text

Decompose Text is a simple script that allows you to break up text layers into individual characters. This makes it so much easier if you need to animate characters of a word individually.

You can also break up your text layer by word or by text line (if needed), as well. I’ve been using this one for years.


10. Presets from PremiumBeat

Finally, we have the FREE After Effects presets from PremiumBeat. These allow you to easily create effects like a Watercolor Painting, 8-Bit Video Game, VHS Look, and a Line Boil Effect.

We do have tutorials for creating all of these presets, but if you want to hurry up and start using them, you can quickly download all four presets from the project file. Just drag-and-drop them into your User Presets folder to install them, then drag-and-drop to apply them!


Interested in the royalty-free tracks we used to make this video? Give them another listen:

A few more freebies for you: