4 essential After Effects Plugins for all indie filmmakers

May 26th, 2020  |  by Eva

After Effects Plugins are an incredibly useful tool whether you’re new to filmmaking or a filmmaking veteran. With an array of opportunity to improve your film footage from incredible effects to realistic physics, these plugins have it all. These will transform your footage and help make the intricate tweaks to bring your film to life.

What are After Effects Plugins?

An after effects plugin is an additional component that adds to existing software. These plugins add extra features and dimensions to software to improve functionality or efficiency. In terms of After Effects, these are based around pre-built effects, LUT’s, custom motions, lens effects and other extravagant extras.

Below is our list of must-have After Effects plugins to improve your After Effects experience.

Our Essential After Effects Plugins:

Element 3D

Element 3D is a creation by Video Copilot which essentially turns After Effects into a 3D modelling studio, and its capability is insane. It allows you to edit your 3D models with precision and unrivalled speed. 

The material you can produce with the plugin is exceptional and easy to use. With After Effects smooth compatibility with Adobe Premiere Pro, once you’ve finished editing the final touches you can import quickly into Adobe Premiere Pro to continue editing your film with some cool 3D effects and touch-ups.

Deep Glow

The Deep Glow plugin is a favourite among SCi-Fi fans, it’s physically accurate and incredibly realistic - After Effects has it’s own built-in glow functionality but the physicality and look of it is underwhelming.

This plugin will provide you with a realistic and physically accurate product, as it’s based on the inverse square falloff - ideal when matching digital aspects with physical objects.

Deep glow can be bought here.

Trapcode Particular 4

Trapcode Particular 4 is a plugin that allows you to create and add all sorts of particles to your video. This includes smoke, rain, light and much more intricate effects to increase the production value of your film.

It’s an interesting plugin full of realistic effects with natural-like physics. Other options that are included are Trapcode Lux, Trapcode 3D Stroke, Trapcode Form, Trapcode Echospace, Trapcode Mir, Trapcode Horizon and many more.

Check out more on the Trapcode Particular there at Red Giant.

Optical Flares

After Effects Plugins: Optical Flares

Another on the list created by Video Copilot, but one we cannot ignore. The optical flares immediately add a cinematic edge to any video footage. You can use the flares on multiple different motion graphics footage and really create a spectacle.

It’s an easy to use plugin and brilliant for Sci-fi indie films really looking to create awesome footage on a strict budget. Optical Flares also comes with a preset library full of realistic-looking and intricate flares that require no edits by the user.


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