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 Five Paid Scripts:
- Quick Menu 2
- Ray Dynamic Color 2
- Explode Shape Layers 3
Quick Menu 2 – Paid
Firstly, Quick menu in my opinion is just AMAZING! Its a script that lets you search for effects and menu commands to help speed up your workflow and avoid digging through countless menus.
You launch the script and then start typing. If you know what your looking for or even just curious to see if a certain effect / menu command exists you can search. You have to be precise as it doesn’t always bring up what you think you are looking for.
Other options exist (which are free) like Video Copilot’s FX Console and DJ commander But for me Quick Menu is the winner.
Ray Dynamic Color – Paid
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 pre existing palette and add additional colours or even take them away depending on the video.
Overlord – Paid
Now THIS extension has to be one of the best ways to import Illustrator files or specific elements into After Effects. Its the only plugin out there to my knowledge to do this.
What Overlord bypasses is the workflow of bringing a AI file into AE and then right clicking it and creating a shape layer. This worked but sometimes shapes would go awry and gradients wouldn’t appear correctly.
Overlord is the more advanced way to import and move away from the older way of importing.
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. I cant emphasis enough how powerful this is. See the promo below.
Explode Shape Layers 3 – Paid
Admittedly I didn’t 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 Shape Layers… 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 Shape Layers I think I would still be working on this now! 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 – Paid
Flow has been a great addition for 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 to a minimum. It 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 Five Free Scripts:
- Ease and Wizz
- True Comp Duplicator
- Comp Setter
bq_ScaleRotateMotionPaths – Free
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 for you. Very few 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 which was driving a particle animation.
Ease and Wizz (Alternative to Flow) – Free
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.
Note: This is could be used as a slight alternative to Flow. There is a predefined library but no option to save your own presets. I used this a lot before I purchased flow.
ButtCapper – Free
This is the second script from the same developer as Overlord I’ve been using. Adam Plouff created this really cool script that takes out the tedium of navigating through shape layers to change the default cap option. Butt Capper is a must!
True Comp Duplicator – Free
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.
Comp Setter – Free
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.
You can get the Script HERE. You just have to download all of them and its in the set. Lots of other great scripts as well.
Thanks for checking this out and let me know what you think in the comments or you can email me directly – email@example.com. If there are any scripts that you can attest for this year let me know.