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15+ Must-Have Plugins For After Effects In 2023 (4 Are FREE)

Here are the most downloaded and BEST After Effects Plugins of 2023! Each with unique functionality, these affordable AE plugins will help you to create the visuals you've dreamed of. The best part is, these plugins for After Effects are easy to use, even if you're a beginner!

March 26, 2023
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If you're considering third party tools to help your After Effects workflow, this list is what you're looking for! We've featured some of the most popular plugins used by 1000s of video editors, motion designers and VFX artists in 2023! Ranging from simple text effects to help editors design typography, to fully fledged themed transition packs. These essential After Effects plugins will help you to create unique effects and visuals in no time! Best of all, they're easy to use, even if you're just a beginner.

2023 After Effects Plugins List

While After Effects comes with a wide range of built-in effects and tools, there are also thousands of plugins available from third-party developers. Whether you're looking for special effects, transitions, or something else entirely, there's likely a plugin that can help you get the job done. And best of all, many of these plugins are available for an extremely low price. So if you're looking to take your videos to the next level, be sure to check out some of these best free After Effects plugins.

What Are After Effects Plugins?

What is an After Effects Plugin? After Effects Plugins (or plugins in general) are small pieces of software that add new features, functionality and tools to After Effects. They can also be used to add text, create animations, perform color correction, and much more. Experienced users of After Effects consider plugins to be an important tool in video creation, as they offer increased versatility and ease of use. In 2023, there will be several new plugins providing more functionality that was previously unavailable in 2022.

Best Plugins For Adobe After Effects (We Mean It!)

These top plugins for After Effects are designed to help you edit better quality videos even faster. If you're having trouble progressing in video editing, try using plugins for after effects and see if it makes a difference. You'll probably notice that you edit your videos a lot faster and the final result looks better too. That's because cheap plugins for after effects can really help to accentuate your creativity by allowing you to apply and form new effects with ease.

1. 4200+ Element Pack - Best After Effects Extensions


This plugin by RoyalPixles let's you drag and drop custom transitions, text elements and titles onto any layer in After Effects! Another bonus of using this plugin is that these presets frequently update, so you'll never run out of new effects to use.

2. "I Want It All Bundle" - BEST Plugin For After Effects 2023

AEjuice i want it all bundle
DOWNLOAD (Includes After Effects Easing Plugin & MORE!)

The I want it all bundle includes absolutely EVERYTHING created by AEJuice. This includes every single plugin featured on this list. Before you say this isn't cheap, keep in mind that this pack includes over $8000 worth of plugins for just $299!

Adobe After Effects Plugins Free

A 100% FREE version of this plugin is also available on the AEJuice website. It includes a collection of 3D devices, sci-fi HUD elements, sound tracking tools and a few other handy add-ons. Find it under the "free plugins" tab on their navbar. If you're interested in more free plugins for After Effects, you should also check out our recent article where you can browse and download some of the BEST plugins by AEJuice. Best part is, they work on almost any computer regardless of low RAM.

3. 3D Motion Photo Animator - 3rd Best Plugin For After Effects


Similar to Volumax or Photomotion, but a little easier to use and less resource consuming for your computer. This easy to use photo animator for After Effects can be downloaded entirely for free with your Motion Array subscription. To use this toolkit, simply use the masking tool to separate the foreground, background and other layers, then use the 3D map tool to animate your own motion into the scene. You also have the option to add additional overlay elements that will embed themselves into the scene so they move correspondingly to camera motion.

4. SonduckFilms Template Pack (FREE)


The 42 FREE template pack by SonduckFilms has helped 100s of filmmakers and video editors worldwide with creating cool motion graphic animations for their videos. These templates by Sonduckfilms lets you create eye-catching graphic animations with a combination of 3D perspective transform animations. Take a look at the demo video to see what it can do and how it works.

5. NFT Constructor - Best After Effects plugins 2023 Winner!

NFT Constructor - Best After Effects plugins 2022 Winner!

One of the most popular after effects plugins, the NFT Constructor lets you convert any pre-existing media file into an NFT! This plugin also provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating cool graphics inside of After Effects. It includes a wide range of features such as text animations, particle emitters, and shape generators.

6. Broken Glass Lens FX

broken glass after effects plugin

This plugin by AEJuice allows you to quickly create realistic broken glass effects. It includes a variety of options for controlling the appearance of your glass shatter, and it supports export to a variety of popular formats.

7. Audio To Markers

after effects audio plugin

Some of the best AE plugins improve the workflow, rather than enable new effect creation. Audio To Markers is a helpful plugin that allows you to automatically convert your audio waveform into markers. It helps you to sync on-screen effects and elements to the beat of the music, making it perfect for gaming montages or edits. This plugin provides a host of useful features for creating sound-synced animations. It includes an interface which allows you to quickly and easily sync music.

8. Add Glow

after effects glow plugin

Similar to the After Effects real shadow plugin, Add Glow is a simple 1-function plugin that lets you add a fully customizable glow effect to your videos. This plugin provides a huge set of effect controls consisting of intensity, threshold and more.

9. Volumax 7


Here's another Adobe After Effects template bestseller on VideoHive. With over 24,000 downloads, VoluMax 7 is a far more advanced version of the 3D photo animator mentioned at point 3 on this list. VoluMax 7 has plenty of essential tools and features to create the most aesthetically pleasing photo animations possible. Priced at only $69, VoluMax is also significantly less expensive than Photomotion 3D; another photo animation toolkit with similar capabilities.

10. Graphics Pack


Motioncan's mega graphic element pack contains 2250 elements designed to make your videos look more interesting. This pack is fully compatible with the free Motion Bro plugin which is included in the download. With over 24,000 users worldwide, this plugin is one of the most popular and versatile for all After Effects users. It doesn't matter what type of videos you create, this pack will definitely have something you'll find useful.

11. Prerender & Unprecomp

prerender after effects plugin

While there are thousands of different plugins available for After Effects, here is an essential plugin that every video editor or VFX artist should have. Prerender is a helpful tool which let's you replace existing clips with rendered clips in just one click. Unprecomp is another helpful tool which unfolds pre-comps in just one click. Un-precomp works great with other plugins such as 'flow' made by AEjuice. The flow plugin for After Effects is another greta plugin by AEjuice which didn't make this list, however it is another one of their popular single-function tools that they have available on their site. If you're looking for cheap after effects plugins, these two for you. Priced at only $9, they provide a lot of value for this low price.

12. Liquid Matte Transitions & Glitch Transitions

liquid glitch transition after effects plugin

The Liquid Matte transition plugin is perfect for creating realistic drag and drop matte transitions. This plugin is essential for creating liquid motion graphic effects with cartoon styling and/or with set matte. Similarly, the glitch transition bundle includes several uniquely crafted glitch effects which can be used on their own, or to introduce/transition between two or more clips in your frame.

13. Digital Screen Constructor

digital screen plugin after effects

Useful for so many different applications, the digital screen constructor plugin for After Effects let's you create and simulate realistic screens for all types of devices. If you want to make a scene where

App developers use this plugin to create promo videos for their apps by creating a video where their app is being used on a screen created by this plugin.

14. Radical Retro Elements

after effects retro elements plugin
DOWNLOAD Top After Effects Plugins 2023

The Radical retro elements pack and the VHS packs work hand in hand with each other. Using both packs, you can easily create 70s, 80s and 90s inspired retro themed videos for anything you like.

15. Cyberpunk Transitions & Elements!

cyberpunk transitions after effects

Search 'cyberpunk' for more related bundles.

The Cyberpunk bundle is a must-have for anyone who wants to add professional-looking cyberpunk elements and color grading to their projects. AE Juice created a series of Cyberpunk themed plugins for transitions, titles and other visual elements. The Cyberpunk packs are some of their most downloaded plugins and it's popular for a good reason. First of all, the effects included in these bundles are extremely difficult to replicate, and with these packs by AE Juice, you can create the same effects for your videos in just one click (or two)!


Why Are After Effects Plugins So Expensive?

Well, not all of them are, take AEJuice for example; they have an entire free plugin collection. But for the plugins that cost $200 and beyond, they're at that price range for a good reason. The pricing of these high-end plugins is determined by market demand and the need to maximize profits for the developer. Good quality plugins take time for developers to create, and they provide plenty of functionality for the user, so the price of a plugin reflects the value it provides and the willingness of customers to pay for it. If a lower price point would result in increased sales and a higher profit margin, the developer would adjust their pricing accordingly.

How Can Plugins Help Improve the Workflow in After Effects?

Like we mentioned a number of times above, adding plugins to After Effects enhances the software's capabilities and customizability, leading to an improved workflow. These plugins provide additional components that allow for greater efficiency and simplicity in the execution of complex tasks. By utilizing plugins, editors can streamline their processes and bring their creative visions to life with ease.

How To Install Plugins For Adobe After Effects?

Wondering how to install after effects plugins? It's simple. Once you download the plugin, simply extract it from it's folder and double click it to install. The installer will run through a few steps which will explain where the plugin will be installed. Just click next unless you want to make any changes. Once fully installed, the plugin will be ready to use once opened inside of After Effects.

What Are Some Of The Popular After Effects Plugins From Previous Years?

This list featured some of the newer plugins which were created in 2022 - 2023. While these plugins are great for improving your editing skills, they aren't the best of all time. Here are some of the most famous plugins for After Effects over the years:

  • Boris FX Sapphire
  • Flicker Freak
  • Video Copilot – Twitch & Saber
  • Ugly Box
  • Boris FX Mocha Pro
  • Pixel Sorter (which is apparently free now)
  • Mister Horse Animation Composer (FREE)

For more great plugins from previous years, check out this list made by a Reddit user:

Final Thoughts On These Paid & Free After Effects Plugins

These plugins can give you an extra boost in your projects. By comparing some of the top ones out there, it's clear that each one has its own strengths and can add a unique twist to your work.

The great thing about these plugins is that they can streamline your workflow and make your life a whole lot easier. Plus, there are tons of options available, so you're bound to find one that suits your specific needs. And let's not forget, many of these plugins are budget-friendly and accessible to all levels of users. So, you don't have to break the bank to level up your after effects game.