Plug-Out?

PlugOut

Recently on Twitter I asked followers which After Effects plug-ins they own but no longer used. I received some interesting responses and thought it would be worthwhile opening up the forum here on Motionworks. Are there plug-ins in your toolkit that have fallen out of favour, perhaps you used to love them but the look got old? Maybe another plug-in or application has taken it’s place? Are there plug-ins you’ve purchased but not even used!? Personally I have found fewer reasons to fire up Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator, with Cinema 4D taking it’s place in my tool kit; and effects like 3D Stroke, which was once all the rage, are gathering dust. How about you?

Discuss
  1. maltaannon
    Reply

    Oh yeah. It’s sad really, but I can’t recall when was the last time I used Zaxwerks Invigorator / ProAnimator. Serpentine is still cool (probably because it runs inside the AE UI), but I still don’t use it as often as I might, and I also find the old LayerTools useful from time to time, but most of the time my expressions and scripts take their place.

    Other than that – Trapcode Echospace – I don’t recall a single time I used it for a commercial project, other than just playing around. Other Trapcode plugs still rock! Oh yeah!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      I always felt that EchoSpace would be useful but so far haven’t found a use either.

  2. Jim Musana
    Reply

    That Question is so on point.Honestly plugins like Boris,Zaxwerks fell out of my favour.On the Trapcode side,the only thing i touch is particular.With products like Optical flares,i also ditched Knoll light factory.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Yes I’m still waiting to see what Red Giant comes back with as far as Knoll Light Factory is concerned! I’ve been a KLF user for years and still like that one can add individual flare elements easily to a comp.

  3. sleepwake55
    Reply

    XD lol… im still using 3d stroke… maybe im still a beginner… that i think it is a cool tools to use it… maybe the cc particles was kinda left out.. as there is trapcode particular… and lens flare that was replaced by optical flare…

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Even the over-used effects like 3D Stroke can be still be very useful if used creatively. @maltaannon used it to create the body of a butterfly in Making It Look Great 5!

  4. Andy Craggs
    Reply

    I love the results I got from my tests with Twixtor, but after installing a while back I’ve only used it on two projects and one was only to change the frame rate! Seems like an age since Ive used it, need to get it in a project somewhere soon!!

      • Andy
        Reply

        I got it for a dance competition that I had to shoot and edit. The results from that were okay, but by far the best results were from stills that I took, and then added particles using particle world over the top to look like dust, which really added to the effectiveness of it.

  5. Pedro Ferreira
    Reply

    Almost the same in my case, I stopped using zaxwerks invigorator some time ago, a year or two by now, replaced it by Cinema4D, i also don’t use Starglow on Shine as much as i used to, but then again it all depends on the project.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      I agree Pedro that it depends on the project. I also think plug-in can look bad when its use is obvious. Effects like Shine and Starglow and even Optical Flares can look cheap and nasty if used without any real purpose other than to look “cool”.

  6. John Stanowski
    Reply

    I usually find a use for all of them at some point. But often I’ll simply forget that have certain plugins. I’ll never find cause to abandon ProAnimator though. Love the interaction with AE’s cameras and lights… for quick titles anyway.

      • John stanowski
        Reply

        Yes, but sometimes I really appease the ability to have 3D interact with AE on the fly like you can with ProAnimator and the BCC 3D plugins.

  7. Christian Dalberto
    Reply

    I think the only time i open AE is mainly for Optical flare – every other plugin has really fell through .
    TO be honest, Adobe needs to bring their game up – AE is good for look and dev but the 3d side of things is really really poor ! i mean come on ! What are they waiting for ????

  8. Pedro Sanchez
    Reply

    light wipe…please…no more!!! so over done!

  9. illd
    Reply

    The whole digieffects suite. Most Plugins let ae crash. And they have a terrible support…

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      That’s surprising to hear that the support is terrible… The folks at Digieffects are a great bunch of people…

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      I’ve contacted DigiEffects and they’d love to get in contact with you… can you email me?

      • illd
        Reply

        I wrote Digieffects and explained my issues (again). I will keep you guys informed on their feedback…

        • illd
          Reply

          Several years ago I bought some Digieffects products and had some big issues with stability and updating.

          Today Brandon Smith of Digidesign wrote me: “Due to the inconvenience you have experienced, I am sending you full licenses of our current line of software.”

          I am really amazed to test out these new versions which look much more “pro” to me (32 bit and better GUI) then the older versions. Also the website and probably the support seems to have improved a lot.

          A big thanks to Motionworks post which helped to establish peace between me and Digieffects ;)

  10. xsid
    Reply

    that will be a big list.
    but on the other side,whats your forecast about the best plugins in future.? do you think mettle is gonna be big?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Good question, there always seems to be at least one “hot” effect… It’s probably Optical Flares right now and most likely will be Video Copilot’s new Element 3D effect releasing soon.

  11. Cameradan
    Reply

    Particle effects in general. I seem to always go straight to Cinema 4d now for better lighting, reflections, and AO. Years ago I asked for 3d stroke on my workstation. Probably used it once!

    • Cameradan
      Reply

      I think I’m going to try out 3d Stroke again and try something new with it.

  12. kwaku nyantekyi
    Reply

    Interesting question My learning cinema 4d over the past year has also completely destroyed Zackswerks from my workflow. The after effects motion tracker is also never used now because of Mocha. Videocopilot’s optical flares has replaced Knoll light factory for me. I used to use Nucleopro a lot as well. I haven’t had a use for it since AE went 64 bit. I’m sure that I have others but I’d have to think about it a little more.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      It sounds familiar Kwaku, thanks for joining the discussion.

  13. Kubrixbeard
    Reply

    Yeah, VC’s Optical Flares has pretty much killed off KLF….you think VC are taking on Particular with the upcoming Element?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      I’m not sure but it definitely will be popular! Hopefully users will be creative with it.

  14. Brett Perry
    Reply

    I really don’t have any particular plugins that I use less by manufacturer, but more by catagory. I use less of the “canned” time saving filters (like background creaters,etc.) preferring to create my own. Maybe I just have too much time on my hands – LOL. I really spend alot of time working with C4D. Before C4D, I couldn’t really grasp some of the other 3D programs. Of course you gotta love Trapcode Particular and Form – Go Norby!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Brett, I guess many effects can look canned but some more than others. It’s great to hear so many users getting into Cinema 4D, it really is a fun place to get creative.

  15. Steve Cardwell
    Reply

    DigiEffects FreeForm AE had a lot of promise when it was announced. I bought it and have never got to grips with it. One of the big selling points was lots of presets but they never materialised. Also, every demo I watched was based on displacement maps or abstract shapes but no easy way to do something simple like a poster peeling off a wall.

  16. Jorge Barrionuevo
    Reply

    I think all that plugin we stop to use, beacouse they are use so easy to recognize.

    most of 3d plugin i stop to use beacouse i learn cinema 4d.
    but now i discover lumion, and this program is make me lazy in cinema.

    i think, i only use after effects to final touch of 3d render…

  17. pepe
    Reply

    I use to use the DigiEffects a lot back in the days, but now I dont use them. There were great plugins that dosent exist any more like the maya paint fx or the camera point o view. I will like to see Knoll Light Factory with a interface similar to optical flares, I still like their flares, but I dont use it as much as Optical flares.

  18. lightningad
    Reply

    Years ag i bought two licences of the Sapphire plugins from Genarts. Amazing as they are, i rarely use more than one or two of the plugins, and its always the same ones too.

    Knoll Lens Flare – bought it, didnt like it, don’t use it!

  19. Mark
    Reply

    They look like nano cogs viewed under an STC.

  20. PT
    Reply

    I’ve found that since upgrading After Effects i’ve just left out plugins until i need them. UI Scripts on the other hand.. most def could use a spring clean!

  21. Mike Tosetto
    Reply

    Where I’m working at the moment we don’t have many plug-ins. I could always budget them in on a job if need be but I’m really enjoying getting my hands dirty with keyframes, the curve editor and a handful of expressions. Amazing what you can pull off with limitations and a bit of elbow grease.

    In saying that though, I couldn’t live without Particular. It’s just the best particle system on the planet (I think).

    Mike

  22. synxmax
    Reply

    For Me Boris Continuum

  23. Joe Mason
    Reply

    I still use Zaxwerks plugins because they are so easy and quick to use. Plus, Zax and Ed are great with support and will even problem-solve when you’ve got an issue. They are great people with great customer service skills, and that’s rare to see these days. Believe me, I’ve gotten correspondence from other software companies who have actually insulted me because I needed help. So I don’t see myself leaving Zaxwerks. This being said, I do like C4D and it can do a lot of things. I think anyone serious about motion graphics will use a variety of tools to achieve the look they are after. But there’s still something to be said about good people and a good product.

  24. Paul K Egell-Johnsen
    Reply

    I’ve found that my initial wish for more plug-ins have been satiated with more experience and knowledge of the ones shipped with AE. I have to work pretty fast with the effects I use, so I think a limited set of plug-ins actually work to my advantage, as I have less options to explore and reject.

    The one thing I miss in AE is a few more presets, like those in Motion. Due to the time-constraints I often work under, it is nice to have something to start off with.

    OTOH, there are so many tutorials for AE, only thing that is a problem is that Trapcode Suite seems to be a staple for many that make tutorials. The fun thing is to replicate it with just vanilla AE plug-ins and features.

    3d, I have yet to try C4D, and it has been a long while since I did any work in 3d studio max. The 3d I do in AE it has adequate tools and functions to fullfill.

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