These are my top 5 scripts / extensions for 2019. This year has seen me work on one huge project producing educational maths videos from a base template project. Of the five that are paid here I feel they are worth every cent!

Top 5 (Paid)

  • Quick Menu
  • Ray Dynamic Color
  • Overlord
  • Explode Shape Layers
  • Flow

Quick Menu

Quick menu is just AMAZING. Video Copilot have one and I did originally one called DJ commander. I hit a point with After Effects where I know exactly what menu, effect or panel I wanted but it became very tiresome navigating through each menu especially when something is hidden 4 clicks down. If you know what your looking for or even just curious to see if something exists you can just launch it and start typing. You have to be precise as it doesn’t always bring up what you think you are looking for.

Ray Dynamic Color

This is a staple for a lot of After Effects users. AE has never really had a colour palette unlike the other Adobe applications i.e Illustrator and Photoshop. Adobe did introduce the colour theme extension but its not something I ever really paid attention too. As mentioned I have been working from a base template project this year that houses a Ray Dynamic Palette. This is a life saver as I can start with a base palette and add additional colour or even take them away depending on the video.

Overlord

Now THIS extension has to be one of the best in terms of working with Illustrator files and importing them as shape layers in After Effects. In fact I think its the only one!

I still import AI files into After Effects using the file>import menu but when I need to really break a graphic down I’ll use Overlord. It cannot be understated how powerful this is. See the promo below.

Explode Shape Layers

Admittedly I didn’t quite like this when I first bought it. I thought… really what does it actually do? Yes it can explode a shape layer and then merge it. So what.

I worked on one a video that had a world map graphic that was very precise (kudos to the illustrator). I had to break it down into timezones and then highlight each time zone. Sound simple but if it wasn’t for Explode Shaper Layers I think I would still be working on this! I used Overlord to import the timezones and then Explode shape layers to merge the elements into a single shape layer. It is in fact a genius script which at first I just couldn’t see! Giddyup! Well done Zack!!

Flow

Flow has been a great addition to what I do. I’ve spent a lot of time working from templates as previously mentioned. Having some pre defined easing presets are great as it keeps consistency and the guess work at bay. It just means you can work quickly and know that you presets work. Although great for hitting a deadline just be careful not to use the same presets as your project will start to look same same.

Top 5 (Free)

Below is the top 5 free scripts I have been using this year.

  • bq_Scale and Rotate Motion Paths
  • True Comp Duplicator
  • rd: Comp Setter
  • Butt Capper
  • Ease & Wizz

bq_Scale and Rotate Motion Paths

Now if you’ve ever had to match a positional motion path to something else like a mask or a shape layer path… this is the script. So simple in options yet extremely powerful. I originally used this for a freelance gig where I had to take a vector path and paste it onto a position property of a null.

True Comp Duplicator

Sometimes you don’t know you need something until you need it. True Comp Duplicator has saved me a LOT in the past. There are times when a simple duplication of a comp in the project panel just doesn’t cut it. You may need to duplicate the actual composition along with the footage. There are many options to choose from but just having the ability to truly duplicate a comp is brilliant.

rd: Comp Setter

Again this is a script you don’t know you need until you need it. Very powerful and straight forward to use. This has saved me a tonne when working on a project that may have a different frame rate or you just need to change the FPS. Very simple but extremely powerful and really thats what your looking for in a script.

Unfortunately no video but You can view the script HERE.

Butt Capper

This is the second script from the same developer as Overlord I’ve been using. Adam Plouff created this really cool script to take out the tedium of navigating through shape layers to change the default cap option. Butt capper is a must!

Ease & Wizz

This is the official blurb from AE Scripts. I think they do it justice better than I could.

Ease and Wizz is a set of expressions for After Effects that give you more ways to interpolate between values. The obvious use is in motion, but they can be used on animated properties of any kind. They’re applied with an After Effects-ish palette that can be docked, so it’s very easy to use.

Thanks for checking this out and let me know what you think in the comments or you can email me directly – aftereffectsbeginner@gmail.com. If there are any scripts that you can attest for this year let me know.

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