Useful Motion Design Tools – After Effects

As a motion design studio we often find ourselves working with lots of different plug-ins.

These days by far the most utilised piece of software in our studio isĀ Adobe After Effects. In recent years After Effects has become something of a go-to for design studios and 2D animators. This blog post is a run through of tools, plug-ins and workarounds that we find ourselves using daily for Adobe After Effects.

Shape Exploder

Any motion designer working with Illustrator will realise the head-aches that come with converting endless layers into shape and then dissecting them into numerous sub-layers. It can be messy. Shape Exploder is the tool you need. It’s ability to take apart illustrator artwork and distribute shapes over layers will streamline your workflow. You’ll no longer be spending hours layering out your illustrations in Illustrator.
Get Shape Exploder
shape exploder motion design plugin

Motion V2

Matt Jylkka is the brains behind Mt Mograph. An excellent resource for the motion design world. Our favourite tool of his is motion v2. A simple plug-in that enables you to tweak the mograph with the click of the button. Tweening keyframes has never been so easy. This plug-in also came with a centre anchor tool, which was a godsend a few years back but I believe After Effects now integrates it’s own.
Get Motion v2


Character animators delight, this is the original 2D character rigging tool for After Effects. Build bone layers and use inverse kinematics to create joint dynamics to create dynamic character rigs that utilise the flex and bend of the After Effects Puppet Tool. Duik has some more advanced options that we haven’t personally delved into. There are also a ton of tutorials available for this one, which adds to the ease of use.
Get Duik

Rubber Hose

Rubber Hose is a great tool for character rigging, it’s much simpler than Duik but if you can build a character with it the bends and stretches will feel a little easier to control. The rigging relies on strokes rather than puppet tooling.
As well as Rubber Hose Battle Axe have a cool little pay what you please plug-in called ‘Butt Capper’, the stroke capping tool that Adobe forgot about!
Get Rubber Hose
rubber hose motion design plugin

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