Here is a list of the top ten Adobe After Effects plug-ins. (which occur in no particular order)
1. Plexus 2: $199.99
You can purchase Plexus2 here: http://aescripts.com/plexus/
Plexus 2 is a 3D shape and object generator that can be used for both prints and videos. This program can create physical simulations and also has several key components that make the program appear on the top ten list. Some of these features include the ability to, create 3D beams in between objects, to create splines to amp up the look of your piece, to apply facets (triangles) to your media with easy adjustments and finally the program includes a renderer that allows you to render the effects this program provides fast. If you are looking for a program that creates interesting visualizations and structures by creating interactions between shapes, Plexus 2 is the one for you.
2. Nodes 2: $349.01
you can purchase Nodes 2 here: http://www.yanobox.com/Nodes/
Nodes 2 is a 3D motion graphics generator that allows you to make 3D objects and particles that are complex and unique. The software allows you to make custom and outstanding 3D objects and particles using 3D effects like ossilating, noise cooridinate production and morphing to create a truly unique shape or universe of particles. It also comes with 100’s of shapes and particle templates that can be edited and morphed to make your video 10x cooler. The software also allows you to create custom point clouds of your images and videos, and can create complex diagrams and screen graphics to make your video truly unique. Used in a variety of big budget movies, Nodes 2 is perfect for the advanced editor who wants more out of their editing.
3. Ray Dynamic Color: $29.99
You can buy Ray Dynamic Color here: http://aescripts.com/ray-dynamic-color/
Ray Dynamic Color is made to help your life much easier by allowing colour change in each layer to o be much easier than it is now. This powerful colour management tool is made for the colours used in After Effects. This tool allows you to link the same colours used in the program together, allowing you to change that colour to a new colour. Wherever that original colour showed up previously, Ray Dynamic Color will automatically change it for you. This plugin will come in handy when a clients or yourself changes their/your mind and what to change up to colouring in the video or photo. Once you have this luxury you will never want to go back to manually changing it again.
4. Variable Diffusion: $69.00
You can purchase Variable Diffusion here: http://lesterbanks.com/2014/12/variable-diffusion-plugin-emulate-glass-filters/
The Variable Diffusion plugin for After Effects allows you to add millions of colour effects resembling what glass filters would look like. This plugin cuts down the cost of having glass filters, and allows you to decide after shooting what colour effect you would like best in the shot. With the ease of pressing a button, the possibilities of the final shot are endless. Additionally, the plugin also edits and perfects the appearance of skin tones and allows you to manually adjust imperfections. All in all, this program will end up saving you time and money, making your life that much easier and better.
5. Denoiser II: $99.00
You can buy Denoiser II here: http://www.redgiant.com/products/all/denoiser-II/
Now-a-days, the ability to shoot nearly perfect lighted shots in the dark, with only using a camera has skyrocketed. Changing the ISO allows you to shoot in the dark, although it also compensates with the quality of the photo or video. This is where the plugin Denoiser II comes into play. This program is used to “denoise” the shot to make it a crisp and clear resolution shot. Say goodbye to grainy, fuzzy shots and hello to a great looking result. This plugin is ideal for saving low-light shots, making your time and money more valuable.
6. Colorista 2: 199 full, $99 Academic
You can buy Colorista here:http://www.redgiant.com
Colorista 2 is a colour editing software that features precision editing to pin point exactly where you want to change your colour on an object,background or person. It features 3 stages of correction: Primary, Secondary and Master, that let the user edit any object or person to change the exposure, colour balance and image contrast. Like photoshop but for Adobe After Effects, the software is easy to use and lets you pinpoint and edit an object or person with two custom shape power masks that automatically shape around your object/persons/background. Overall it is an easy to use software that comes in at a decent price from a trustworthy company, and is sure to benefit your editing experience.
7. Lipsyncr: $49.99
You can buy Lipsyncr here: http://aescripts.com/lipsyncr/
Lipsyncr is a unique animation software that creates high quality Viseme-based mouth animations that sync to your audio files. The software comes with 3 different viseme maps, 4 illustrations (low quality), 7 illustrations (medium quality) and 10 illustrations (high quality), which means that the the animation comes with 4,7 or 10 mouth movements. The program is available in english, spanish and German, and it allows you to customize the look and style of the ‘talking head’. This plug in is good for intermediate to advanced editors who are looking for something unique and surprising to spice up their video.
8. Lenscare: $199
You can purchase Lenscare here: http://www.frischluft.com/lenscare/index.php
Lenscare is a software that moves the depth of field of the camera to wherever you want the camera to focus on in post production. The software makes it possible to choose anything or anyone in your shot to be blurred out just enough so you can still see the object/person in the backdrop, but be able to see the object, person the camera is focusing on. Lenscare is like an upgrade to the aperture on your camera, with the software getting rid of long 3d rendering times, and making the image look crisp and unique. The software is able to focus on 3d animations, motion graphics etc., perfect for executing any shot.
9. Motion Monkey: $129.99
You can purchase Motion Monkey here: http://aescripts.com/motionmonkey/
Motion Monkey is an animation/graphics software that boosts your layered animation to a whole new level. All you have to do is put your layered animation (made in illustrator or after effects) into the plug in, then you can select a wide variety of effects that makes the animation come alive. Motion Monkey works with most layers including text, video etc., and Kuler palettes are compatible and easy to import and use in your animation. Motion Monkey is a great way to make your animation/logo stand out from the rest.
you can purchase Trapcode Sound Keys here: http://www.redgiant.com/products/all/trapcode-sound-keys/
10. Trapcode Sound Keys 1.2: $149.00
Are you wanting to see the beat? this plugin for After Effects allows you to sync any audio and watch the sound keys flow. Although this effect is not for everyone, it is ideal for music videos. This effect highlights the beat and sounds which will go along with a music video that is telling the story of the song. Trapcode Sound Keys adds a unique feature to videos and can be frankly used anywhere you desire.