After Effects

News: Toolfarm Top 10 Plug-in Awards 2017 – After Effects Results

The Overall Toolfarm Top Ten

This year we had a fantastic voter turn out in the 2017 Toolfarm Top Ten Plug-in Awards. These are the top plug-ins and products of 2017 as voted by our Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, CINEMA 4D, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro X, and DaVinci Resolve Users! We had several ties this year, so we are listing the top products for each host. See all results

If you took the surveys and entered your contact info, keep an eye on your inbox as we will be contacting the winners soon! This year we had a lot of repeat winners from previous years and over multiple hosts. Congratulations to the winning plug-in companies!

Top Ten Adobe After Effects Plug-ins

1 Trapcode Suite

Trapcode Suite

The industry-standard package for motion graphics in After Effects.

Red Giant Trapcode Suite is a set of 11 tools for 3D motion graphics and visual effects. The Suite includes Trapcode Particular 3, Trapcode Form 3, Trapcode Mir 2, Trapcode Shine 2, Trapcode Tao, Trapcode Sound Keys, Trapcode Starglow, Trapcode Lux, Trapcode 3D Stroke 2, Trapcode Horizon and Trapcode Echospace.

Get Trapcode Suite    Try Trapcode Suite

2 Video Copilot Optical Flares

3 Video Copilot Element 3D

And rounding out the Top Ten for 2017:

After Effects

Happy Birthday, AE Freemart! A look back at the last 18 years…

I was getting congratulations on my work anniversary at LinkedIn and was confused until someone mentioned AE Freemart. I almost let the birthday slip by! AE Freemart is now old enough to vote and join the Army! Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

AE Freemart was started by me with the help of content contributions from After Effects artist Roland Kahlenberg. Toolfarm acquired the site and me in 2003, just as big changes were happening at Toolfarm. Here’s a look back at some of the designs and old news from over the last 18 years.

The content available on the current site goes back to 2006, which is 12 years. I’m sure there are a lot of dead links and missing videos that are living in oblivion, but I leave the content up for posterity. I do have some older content on a drive somewhere but I’m not about to add it now.

AE Freemart February 2001

In the beginning, I coded the site by hand. I am not a programmer and was self taught. Here’s a screenshot from February 2001, and I was an affiliate with Toolfarm. I can’t imagine we were giving away Creating Motion Graphics but apparently we did! The AE Freemart has gone through A TON of redesigns over the years. This is not even all of them, just the most interesting. I’ll skip the minimalist designs because they were bland.

And this is right before I got married to Husband 1.0 and became Yamazaki! It’s in the screenshot!

AE Freemart Feb 2001 - Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

AE Freemart June 2004

. Some of the characters are coming up funny on this one and the main ad is missing, but it was for Cinema 4D. I don’t really care for this look but I know (blah!) I had moved things over to Blogger at this point. A bit of a blast from the past with GridIron Software and Support Farm, a tech support service that users could contact for help. It was a great idea but didn’t get it’s legs.

AE Freemart June 2004 - Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

AE Freemart November 2007

I like the colors on this one quite a bit more and Harry Frank was helping with content at this point. We were still using Blogger. It looks like Lightroom was brnad new. What’s funny is that this is pulling info from our current sight in the right column.

AE Freemart November 2007 - Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

AE Freemart November 2010

Another Site redesign, and a bit dark. I think this was still Blogger but this page scrolls forever! It looks like Aharon Rabinowitz had a nice freebie then and Toolfarm was fully active on Twitter. Flash Player required. Zoiks! This may have been on WordPress.

AE Freemart Nov 2010 - Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

Video Copilot August 2012

I have to say, I like this look. It’s “futuristic” in a cheesy way. Element 3D… now that was a big deal and still is really popular! I went to California and visited Video Copilot and talked with the staff. We did an interview for Toolfarm. Below the screenshot is the video interview with Video Copilot.

Also notice the Ad for the Toolfarm Music Store. That was fun while it lasted!

Video Copilot Aug 2012 - Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

Interview with Video Copilot on Element Launch Day with Michele Yamazaki of Toolfarm

AE Freemart June 2016

There were a few other designs between 2013 and 2016 but it was a very blah phase for the AE Freemart. We’re now fully on WordPress and using WordPress templates. I figure that most people are coming for the information, not for the design, so the focus has been more on easy navigation and readability. Boring, but important.

AE Freemart June 2016 - Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

So, Again, Happy Birthday, AE Freemart!

After this, it became what you see now, which you may see a screen shot of for the AE Freemart’s 21st, when it has it’s first beer 🙂

Anyway, thanks to all of the contributors over the years and to the readers! It’s been a fun 18 years.

After Effects CINEMA 4D Editing Featured

Announcing the 20th Anniversary MediaMotion Ball during NAB 2017

NAB 2017: The Official Toolfarm Guide

Learn all about the upcoming NAB event! We cover everything from the Expo and exhibitors, to after-hours events, and survival!

Free Webinars Calendar

Las Vegas, Nevada, March 6, 2017 – Put aside Monday evening, April 24th, 2017 from 5:30 pm for what will be another fantastic MediaMotion Ball! This is the 20th anniversary of this great user event. The MediaMotion Ball will be held at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas strip. The MediaMotion Ball is hosted by the International Media Users Group, an all-volunteer community of video and design professionals, which interacts every day, but one day per year hosts this annual celebration. All are welcome.

This April 22-27, the television, radio, and video production industries will gather in Las Vegas for NAB Show, the largest trade show affecting our industry. The best and the brightest of the production community will be gathering at the MediaMotion Ball. Many returning attendees tell us the number one reason they come to NAB is to attend the MediaMotion Ball!

Sign-ups and advance ticket purchase are NOW OPEN online at our website

This year will, of course, have great prizes, a fantastic meal, live music and the biggest draw: camaraderie with your peers from this great community!

MediaMotion Ball is returning to the Monte Carlo for 2017. The event will feature our gourmet full-meal dinner buffet  Tickets are just $55 (subsidized) by advance purchase only. Sellout Warning: This being our extra special 20th-anniversary event we expect sell-out is quite likely. Purchase your tickets as soon as possible.  The MediaMotion Ball is a first class dinner event, and our reduced $55 ticket price is only possible thanks to the generous subsidy support of our sponsors, and the tireless efforts of our volunteer crew that puts this venerable user event on each year.

The IMUG would like to welcome, who are debuting this year as the 2017 Platinum sponsor of the MediaMotion Ball! Toolfarm is also sponsoring once again.

“ is dedicated to removing obstacles in the creative process so that video creators can do what they do best. Our tools make the review process quick and easy, instead of slow and frustrating” said CEO Emery Wells. “We aim to empower the creative community, however we can, and supporting the 20th anniversary of MediaMotion Ball is a fantastic way to do that.”

Brian Maffitt, Keynote Speaker at the MediaMotion Ball

We are very excited to announce our 2017 keynote speaker, who happens to be a founding member of the community: Brian Maffitt!

Brian Maffitt is still trying to figure out what to do when he grows up. Meanwhile, he has founded a few companies, designed software that was acquired by Adobe and rolled into After Effects, acted on Broadway, taught countless people how to use creative software, produced a few thousand hours of video content, and been an intermittently-famous art photographer. His next project will probably involve designing more software, or something with VR, or perhaps eating ice cream and playing video games.

“Brian taught me After Effects!”  exclaimed Carey Dissmore, IMUG Founder “ I am tremendously excited to welcome Brian Maffitt to present our keynote this year. For decades he has been a presence on our Media-Motion list communities, managing to offer everything from sage advice to a well-timed bit of wit and whimsy. He is an inspiration to us all”

Of course, our generous sponsors are providing us with stacks of prizes to give away…Stand by for prize announcements to flow thick and fast. As they are announced, they will also be updated on the website. We’ve got a great lineup of sponsors shaping up this year from new and long-term MMB sponsors such as Maxon, Red Giant, Video Copilot, Flanders Scientific, Pond5, and much more.

Never been to the MediaMotion Ball event?

Then this is THE year. Experience what previous attendees have raved about for so long. Been before? then you know what to expect and enjoy! Truly, this is the highlight of NAB week for most in this community.

The MediaMotion Ball attracts attendees from countries all over the world: Sweden, The United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, India, Philippines, Singapore, The Netherlands and of course the USA. In addition to all of the attendees from the great Media-Motion lists like the IMUG and AE lists, we and numerous other online forums and Social Media.

Get Tickets to the MediaMotion Ball

Register and purchase tickets at the MediaMotion Ball website.

Come one, come all…to the MediaMotion Ball!


After Effects Plug-ins

What’s new in Plug-ins for After Effects, December 2016

The month of December saw the release of 3 new plug-ins for Adobe After Effects.  These can all be found at

Mettle Skybox Studio v2

Skybox Studio lets you create and edit 360 content entirely within After Effects.  Import stitched 360° footage to add text, logos, graphics and FX, do object removal and motion-tracking.  Work in After Effects the way you know and love. Skybox Studio takes care of all the 360 madness.

Learn More | Upgrade | Purchase Mettle SkyBox Studio

What’s new in version 2

New modules:
  • SkyBox Composer: A new faster easier to work in 360° in Adobe After Effects.
  • SkyBox Project 2D and SkyBox Rotate Sphere support Stereoscopic 1:1 Over/Under and 16:9 footage.
Updated Module
  • SkyBox Creator supports more formats: Fisheye (FullDome), Cube-Map Facebook 3:2, Cube-Map Pano 2VR 3:2, Cube-Map GearVR 6:1, Equirectangular 16:9. As well as Cube Map 4:3, Sphere Map, Equirectangular 2:1.

Learn More | Upgrade | Purchase Mettle SkyBox Studio

Note: If you purchased a new SkyBox Studio v1 license after Nov 8, the upgrade to v2 is free.

SkyBox Studio V1 Compatibility

Yes, it’s compatible with SkyBox Studio version 1. Your project files can be opened in SkyBox Studio version 2. There will be installer downloads available in customer accounts, for SkyBox Studio Version 1 and SkyBox Studio Version 2.

Skybox Studio v2 is also part of the SkyBox Suite

The SkyBox Suite includes: SkyBox Studio v2, SkyBox Post FX, SkyBox 360/VR Tools, SkyBox 360/VR Transitions, SkyBox VR Player.

All for only $499.

Learn more


Silhouette v6 is a fully featured, GPU accelerated compositing system. Its standout features are award winning rotoscoping and non-destructive paint as well as keying, matting, warping, morphing, and a total of 136 different nodes – all stereo enabled.

Marco Paolini, a SilhouetteFX, LLC partner, reflects upon V6’s evolution into a node-based compositor: “Silhouette V6 empowers compositors, rotoscoping and paint artists to crank out complex shots using tools that are similar, and often superior, to more costly solutions. Existing Silhouette owners, and there are many, can step up to a fully featured node-based compositor for the price of an upgrade.”

“For new Silhouette buyers,” Mr. Paolini continued, “the modest price difference between V5 and V6 is dominated by the huge step up in capability.”

What’s New in Silhouette v6

View the what’s new in v6 pdf for all the details

New License – MSRP: $1,795.00  Toolfarm Price: $1,708.10
New License + mocha
– MSRP: $1,994.00  Toolfarm Price: $1,894.30

Learn more | Upgrade | Purchase Silhouette v6

GEOlayers 2 for After Effects – now up to 10 times faster

Browse and animate maps directly in After Effects with GEOlayers. Verison 2 is faster, has customizable styles, direct access to geological features and much more.

GEOlayers 2 lets you browse and animate maps directly in After Effects. Use with Trapcode Mir 2 and create 3D terrains based on real data.

GEOlayers connects After Effects to imagery tile servers for up-to-date maps. It also provides direct access to all kinds of geospatial features of the world. Like this you can easily draw buildings to After Effects shape layers, highlight certain country borders, streets, lakes, rivers, places, label regions, animate routes, extrude buildings… whatever you’ll need.

GEOlayers 2 comes with 14 default Server Profiles each one representing a certain map style. All of them can be used for free! All you need to do is attribute the provider. GEOlayers also does this for you. Thats not all. You can add your own ones. Use the Universal API to connect to common imagebased tileservers or create a map style in minutes with the Stamen Mapstack API. Mapbox is also fully supported. Get yourself an account there and bring all its advantages to After Effects.

Learn More | Purchase GEOlayers for After Effects

What’s new in GEOlayers version 2

Version 2 is rebuilt from scratch. It has been concepted and developed to fit your needs based on user requests and ideas.

  • up to 10 times faster
  • better to control animation engine
  • direct access to geographical Features
  • powerful dynamic Labels
  • customizable Styles
  • Routes
  • one-click 3D Landscape setup
  •  …much more

In order to make all this possible After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) or higher is required. Legacy projects created with version 1 are not supported by GEOlayers 2.

Learn More | Purchase GEOlayers for After Effects