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Five Amazing After Effects Tools

By Ryan Summers
After Effects

Learn How Professionals Work Smarter and Faster with These Five After Effects Tools

One of the great things about After Effects is the sheer number of scripts and plug-ins available to level up your workflow. So why does it seem that some motion designers have an edge? The truth is, a lot of After Effects Tools end up being a waste of time, computing power, or are just too confusing to be useful.
Professionals know which scripts and plug-ins get the most out of After Effects. Through time and experimentation, they've figured out which tools actually improve their workflow. Wouldn't it be great if you could talk to a professional with years of experience, and they'd just point out the hidden gems?

Ryan Summers, a 20-year After Effects veteran, jams his top-of-the-food-chain industry knowledge into a breezy tutorial. But Ryan doesn't just give a list of tools to go download; he shows you how to use them. Honestly, everyone working on this tutorial is heavily acquainted with After Effects, and we all learned something.
Buckle-up butter cup, your brain lid is about to blow its top! Mister Ryan Summers is here to overclock your mind!

5 Amazing Tools for After Effects

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Some of Our Favorite After Effects Tools

Smart Keyframe Navigator

Keyframes are the heart of pretty much everything we do in After Effects – they are everywhere. But navigating them can be challenging sometimes, right? Keyboard shortcuts are handy, but AE makes you spam the J and K keys something fierce. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why doesn’t AE just predict what I wanna do? Well, slow your roll for a second, that's exactly what Smart Keyframe Navigator does – it lets you move through your Timeline with ease, based on your selections.


If you've ever inherited a messy project or looked up one of your own ancient files, chances are it isn't going to be fun to open it now. No folders, no sense of the project flow, no organization – and no idea where to start. Declutter changes all that by quickly creating folder structures and then sorting all of your assets into the right place.

True-Comp Duplicator

Copying compositions can be tough when you have a deeply-nested hierarchy, or expressions piped between multiple comps. True Comp Duplicator makes a one-button solution, while also keeping everything organized and named for you.

Lazy 2

Essentially a staggering-on-steroids script, Lazy 2 takes a fun to use interface that's reminiscent of another popular script for After Effects called Flow, and lets you offset layers and keyframes with ease.

Render Hogs

Imagine having proxies for time-consuming Effects. Render Hogs gives you the power of toggling groups of slow-to-render Effects with other quick-to-preview alternatives, saving you tons of time when scrubbing the Timeline—and giving you a quick way to restore those expensive Effects at render time.

Become a Master Crafter

Don't get us wrong, we love using tools to enhance our workflows, but at the end of the day they are just tools. They don't equate to skills, and they often leave you struggling to come up with ideas because you may not know the principles of animation.
If you want to step up your animation game, check out Advance Motion Methods, the pinnacle of motion graphics education.
Registration for the Spring 2020 Session lasts until April 5th at 11:59pm ET! We'll see you in class.