Take your compositions to the next level with these high-end After Effects plugins that every AE user should have.

After Effects and the Creative Cloud have made it easier than ever for people to generate the type of imagery they want, especially filmmakers looking to create a specific look for their latest film. With that said, we recently rounded up 5 must-have plugins and scripts for After Effects. Now we’re giving you 5 more must-haves to take your project to the next level.

Trapcode Particular

RedGiant’s Trapcode Particular is the industry standard particle engine for After Effects. It allows you to create a whole host of organic effects (fire, smoke, water, snow, etc.) that will give your project a level of realism that you can’t get anywhere else for the price.

Price: $399 Full Suite

Continuum Complete

Continuum Complete by Boris FX is currently in its 9th version and it’s considered by many to be the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of After Effects plugins. With so many options to explore, Continuum Complete is a plugin cache that will definitely get you rolling quickly.

Price: $995


The Foundry is a staple in the VFX community. They’ve been supplying high-end VFX houses (ILM, Weta DigitalSony Imageworks) with software for years. Without question, The Foundry’s CAMERATRACKER plugin is the best tracker of its kind out on the market.

Price: $280 Node-Locked

Knoll Light Factory

Knoll Light Factory is distributed by Red Giant and developed by Industrial Light and Magic’s Chief Creative Officer and co-creator of Photoshop, John Knoll. Light Factory specializes in generating high-end lighting solutions for photography, film, TV, motion graphics, and VFX.

Price: $199

Plexus 2

Plexus is another particle engine for After Effects that allows the creation, manipulation, and distortion of objects. Plexus also allows for a wide range of setting configurations and has integrated support for .obj file types, which means you can import 3D objects and break those objects up in 3D Space.

Price: $199

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Do you have experience with these plugins? What are some AE plugins that you consider MUST-HAVE? Sound off in the comments below!