55 Free After Effects Plugins

Adobe After Effects Plugins can add even more capability to your AE software. In this feature we bring you 55 plug-ins that along with their cool enhancements, ability to extend your creativity and productivity the have one other great feature, THEY ARE ALL FREE!

To continue your “indie stimulus plan,” you should check out our other features “111 Free Filmmaking Tools” and “588 Free Film Contracts and Forms.”

AlphaPlugins FirTree

AlphaPlugins FirTree is additional module for Adobe After Effects. This plug-in allows create animated fir tree branches. You can use these elements for decorate your Merry Christmas and Happy New Years videos.

AlphaPlugins New Year Toy

New Year Toy is a very simple and helpful plug-in for Adobe After Effects. This filter allows you to create different kinds of New Year toys for decorating of New Year tree. It creates beautiful toy balls which are hanging on amazing pendants. You can use it for decorating of your Merry Christmas and Happy New Year videos.

Buena AEFlame

Free open source plugin for creating abstract fractal images in After Effects. Buena Software helped update the plug-in to work with After Effects on Mac OS X. There is also a Windows version available for download, as well as the full source code to the plug-in.

Conoa FreeStreak

Conoa FreeStreak is free! Completely Free! Streak any row or column in your image or animation to the top, bottom, left or right sides.


XMult is a freeware plug in for Adobe After Effects. XMult creates an alpha channel based on the highest luminance value of each pixel. A compensation is made to the RGB channels due to the attenuation of the applied alpha channel. It has 8 or 16 BPC

Fnord exrdisplay

A free plug-in for After Effects to adjust for switching between standard linear gamma displays and OpenEXR formats; a floating point file format developed by ILM and used by products such as Autodesk’s Inferno for working with 32-bit HDR (high-dyamic-range) imagery.

Fnord j2k

J2k is a free Photoshop and After Effects plug-in set for reading and writing the JPEG 2000 file format, the successor to JPEG.

Fnord SuperPNG

SuperPNG is a free Adobe Photoshop plug-in for using PNG (“ping”) files. It is faster than Adobe’s own PNG plug-in and saves considerably smaller PNGs.

Fnord SuperTIFF

SuperTIFF is a free plug-in for Adobe After Effects that provides more complete support for TIFF than AE does natively.

Frischluft Field Fixer

Allows the user to correct field problems manually by selecting upper and lower field for the current frame.

Frischluft HSL Selection

Is a stand alone version of the selection method found in Flair and Lenscare. Usage is obvious, hopefully.

Matrox WYSIWYG filters

The Matrox WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) plug-in for After Effects optimizes the workflow of professional compositors, allowing the user to view the compositing window on a video monitor or TV in both DV and D1 resolution.

GridIron Software X-Factor

GridIron X-Factor is an extension for digital video production software that uses the power of grid computing technology to significantly improve productivity and streamline your creative workflow. X-Factor enhances the performance of Adobe After Effects.

Minning Normality 3

Normality 3 is a powerful plug-in that allows CG Artists to light 3D objects and scenes directly within the familiar Adobe After Effects environment through the use of normal passes and advanced relighting techniques.

Minning Atlas

Atlas is a port of the pfstmo tone map­ping oper­a­tors to the Adobe After Effects plugin for­mat. This plugin is free open source soft­ware licensed under the GPL.

Minning Celulight

Celu­light is my tool designed to auto­mat­i­cally gen­er­ate nor­mal maps from sim­ple out­lines or cel draw­ings. The result­ing nor­mal map can then be used by Nor­mal­ity to cre­ate real­is­tic or toon shad­ing effects.

Minning Edgar

This Adobe After Effects plugin is designed to work in com­bi­na­tion with Nor­mal­ity and gen­er­ates squeaky clean car­toon out­lines. Edgar uses a novel, pro­pri­etary algo­rithm devel­oped specif­i­cally for the pur­pose of con­vert­ing nor­mal passes into line art for use in car­toon and anime pro­duc­tions.

Minning Floodgate

Flood­gate can be con­sid­ered an advanced paint bucket or fill tool specif­i­cally designed to work effi­ciently with cel animation.

Minning Generator

Gen­er­a­tor is a sim­ple and free plugin for Adobe After Effects which can be used to cre­ate nor­mal maps from alpha mattes, such as text and shape lay­ers.

Minning Occlusionist

The Occlu­sion­ist is a spinoff of my Adobe After Effects plugin Nor­mal­ity and is used to gen­er­ate screen space ambi­ent occlu­sion (SSAO) and global illu­mi­na­tion effects.

Mocon Script

This FREE collection of scripts is used to transfer 3D motion to and from After Effects, Maya, Nuke, SynthEyes and Electric Image. Cameras (Orientation and Reference), Objects, Camera Rigs and 3D stabilization, Pan/Tilt, 3D to 2D. (Req: AE 6.5 +, Maya 6.5+, Nuke 4.6+, SynthEyes 2007+, EI 5.0+).

Noise Industries Star Titler

The Star Titler generator lets you reproduce the look of the opening titles first used by the Star Wars movie in 1977. This is a Noise Industries FxPack. It therefore requires the following free download to be installed: Free FxFactory Engine

Pete Warden After Effects Plugins-Win/Mac

Free plug-ins with source code.

Pete Warden FreeFrame FX

FreeFrame is the open-source cross-platform real-time video effects plug-in system designed for use in VJing applications. There are over 150 FreeFrame plug-ins available from a diverse range of developers.

Noise Industries CoreMelt – VeeYou

CoreMelt VeeYou is a completely free set of four plugins for After Effects and Final Cut Studio which generate Volume Unit level and EQ animations based on the audio in your project.

Noise Industries Pan and Zoom

The Pan and Zoom plug-ins let you create the photo animation style made popular by Ken Burns with intuitive controls and automatic motion control that achieves stunning results without a single keyframe.

Noise Industries SUGARfx – Foto Maestro

The first Spanish-language plug-in by SUGARfx lets you animate a still picture or media using a Pan & Scan effect with drop shadow and customizable interpolation curve.

Noise Industries Mondrianesque

This plug-in lets you loop through a folder of pictures to create a photo montage Mondrian-style.

Noise Industries Freebie Pack

Four fun, useful and absolutely free plug-ins: MultiSpace, iSight Live!, Rack Focus and Opposites. Multispace gives you 3D intersecting planes with anti-aliasing in Final Cut Pro.

Noise Industries CoverFlux

The iTunes-style scrolling image generator plug-in for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Final Cut Express and Adobe After Effects.

ObviousFX Copy Image

A simple utility that copies the current composition image to the Windows Clipboard, allowing easy pasting into other image applications (such as Adobe Photoshop). It bypasses the task of saving the current frame to an image file and then reopening.

ObviousFX Erodilation

Erodilation is an effect plug-in that erodes or dilates an image, to produce blocky, glowing or hollow effects.

Omino Halftone

I’ve always thought halftoning was interesting. It is surprising it works at all, of course in this day and age of 128-bits per pixel who needs it. Unless you just like that sort of thing, use any layer as the halftone reference.

Omino Sphere Map

This filter was originally intended to help with distant starfields but there are numerous other applications for using spherical projection (sometimes known as a panosphere). Also lots of fun for less optically correct applications via the repeats parameters.

Omino Squares

A friendly agreeable geometrical modulation, in which small squares assemble to resemble your source image. What could be finer, for is not the pixel square? As it is in the small, so shall it be writ large. New in this release: special wibble parameter added to the futz section.

Omino Feedback

A simple rendition of the classic video feedback. similar to echo in some ways, but with scaling and centering. Animate the parameters with bumps and jostles to create wonderful rippling cadences.

Omino Diffusion

An error diffusion applied for the worse. Choose which colors are available and the filter tries possibly in vain to march the image. March up, left, down, or right. Specify fat stripes and exaggerated error propagation. A nice effect is to eyedropper up a few colors from the source image.

Omino Mino Colorizer

This filter merely applies a color across the entire frame. This turns out to be astonishingly useful. But it does a little more, with settings for additive (light) or subtractive (ink), has parameter to choose to draw the result in all remaining colors, just the colorizing color, or greys.

Omino Kaleidoscope

This filter models a kaleidoscope whose mirrors are in any shape you like. Built-ins provide square, triangle, and a few others. but you can also use any mask as the mirror shape.

OpenSpace HeboHebo Color

This plugin RGB? adjust the percentage of the image display.

OpenSpace HeboHebo SwapY

Plug-odd lines and even lines swap RGB? image.

OpenSpace HeboHebo SwapX

The image RGB? X plug lines and even lines swap the odd coordinates.

OpenSpace HeboHebo LineX

To plug the channel at regular intervals specified by ? horizontal image.

OpenSpace HeboHebo LineY

To plug the channel at regular intervals specified by the vertical image ?.

OpenSpace HeboHebo 4Color

This plugin generates a color gradient relative to the four corners.

OpenSpace HeboHebo 4Alpha

This plugin generates a gradient value relative to the ?-? channel four corners.

Phillipp Spoeth RetroDots

William Christenson came up with the idea for this nice little filter. This plug-in was originally developed for Photoshop.

Phillipp Spoeth Shear

What this effect does is a simple ‘shear’ Effect. It’s not just performed horinzontal or vertical as usually but along a selected line.

Phillipp Spoeth SineDots

Sinedot was originally developed as a Photoshop Filter then converted to AE.

Phillipp Spoeth SineDots II

This is a slightly more advanced version of Sinedots. It’s basically it’s the same effect with a few extensions.

Red Giant Software eLin

eLin addresseschallenges such as motion blur, depth of field, glows, and basic transformations that appear when you combine 2D and 3D imagery.

Red Giant Software Magic Bullet LooksBuilder

A free Standalone that will help Stylize looks to still pictures.

Red Giant Software Knoll Unmult

Recreates the opacity or alpha channel of a layer based on luminance also called brightness of the lens flare. Unmult assumes that the lens flare is rendered against black. The image is also adjusted to compensate for the new alpha channel.

Scott Frizzle Quaker

Scott is a great broadcast designer working for the Cartoon Network, TNT, and Discovery Channel. Scott developed Quaker as a plugin to simulate earthquake effects.

Video Copilot Reflection

Customize the look of the reflection in 3D space.