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After Effects

6 Free Effects for After Effects & Premiere [Plugins]

On 15, Apr 2013 | 40 Comments | In After Effects, Editing, Premiere Pro | By vashi

Free Effects for After Effects

When editing any project…there are moments when a visual effect can be applied to help the story be told. These effects can emphasis something to make it more evident, subtly isolate a certain element or blend several assets into one shot. Sometimes these effects are added only as eye candy to add production value to a project. Ideally, you are not adding visual effects to hide mistakes or to cover up deficiencies in the story…but this has been know to happen. (Guilty as charged!)

Plugins help us accomplish effects that are often too time consuming or expensive to create from scratch. Free plugins make it possible for everyone to harness their power and apply them creatively.

The task of VFX has steadily fallen more and more onto the lap of editors. It is our job to deliver as much of the final image (within reason) so that the director/client/agency has an accurate assessment of what it will look like. Plugins allow us to create stunning visuals right inside our NLE or one of the numerous VFX programs available. You can deliver broadcast quality footage for a TV show or a feature film right from the confines of your apartment, cave, home, hotel or other dwelling.

Editing in My Dwelling

Editing in My Dwelling

A lot of editors (who enjoy paying gigs) are now expected to be “one-man shops” that can handle picture edit, VFX, sound design and even music/score. It’s not the ideal situation as each one of these elements is their own discipline that takes years of experience to comprehend and master. Add to that an understanding of ever-changing skillsets, acquisition formats and delivery requirements…and your brain can literally overload and shut down.

The dance between creative and technical is one that every editor strives to conquer and make instinctual in their work.

After Effects Plugins

I’ve been asked lately by a lot of fellow editors and filmmakers what specific plugins I use. I wanted to share with you my favorite free plugins for Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects. I use many of these on a daily basis…and because they are free, I can take them with me and install on any system and not worry about serial numbers or registrations or footage not rendering due to missing plugins. The default effects in Premiere Pro and After Effects are the root of most plugins (paid or free) once they are combined, “built” and applied to footage. Custom GUIs, how an editor interacts with them and the architecture of the plugin engine are how they differ from one another.

There is a time and place for complicated or expensive effects but for most tasks…I lean on a core of common and simple effects that do most of the work. Here are 6 of my personal favorites.


Free Adobe Premiere Plugins: 

This plugin has 3 free effects that are powerful and effective. Feathered Crop gives you an advantage over Premiere Pro’s crop effect because you can feather any of the 4 sides. This is essential for split screen effects when you are combining 2 takes of locked-off shot and want to use a different performances on each side of the frame. David Fincher’s editors Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter are both 2-time Academy Awards Film Editing Winners for The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. They utilize an ironclad workflow forged over years of experimentation that obviously works quite well but is also always evolving. The mastermind who keeps their workflow working smoothly is their Assistant Editor, Tyler Nelsen. His knowledge base is as deep as it gets and he is always looking for ways to streamline and optimize the workflow. On every David Fincher project the editors are asked to blend different takes of multiple performances into one shot. They adjust the reactions of the actors’ readings to suit the timing of the scene. When using Premiere Pro, I installed the Feathered Cropfree plugin and achieved the same result of blending shots and hiding the split screen. This plugin created an invisible effect that allowed me to rework performances to fit the scene and cost me nothing. Win-win. Enough said.

Creative Impatience also offer a Power Window plugin and a Vignette plugin that were both updated recently for faster performance inside Premiere Pro. Highly recommended.

Some of My Favorite Free Premiere Plugins

Some of My Favorite Free Premiere Plugins

UPDATE: Creative Impatience has added Temperature – a free plugin that lets you quickly adjust color temperature.


This is a collection of 63 free presets that I use every day on every project. Included is simple color correction presets, LUTs for ARRI or Cinestyle, S-curves or varied intensity and dozens of Looks that can be applied to an adjustment layer and dialed to taste. Something for everyone and a huge timesaver. I’m mentioned them before for a reason…they’re amazing.

UPDATE: JARLE’s PRESET version 3.0 is now available. 98 presets for free!

Jarle's Free Premiere Plugins

Jarle’s Free Premiere Plugins


FILM IMPACT Transitions
This is a free download pack that has 4 free transitions and 6 demos that you can buy later if you want. Premiere has excellent stock transitions (Film Dissolve is my favorite) but for anything flashier or more intricate (some may say cheesy, but I’ve snuck a Star Wipe into a broadcast ad before!) these 4 free transitions give you a nice option to have inside Premiere that saves you a trip to After Effects using Dynamic Link. The key is speed and instant accessibility in one host application. Give it a shot and see if you like it.

Premiere Plugins by FILM IMPACT

Premiere Plugins by FILM IMPACT


Free After Effects Plugins:

Coremelt Free
This plugin set contains 44 effects that include: Light effects, Filmic transitions, 10 text presets and Instant Montage presets for videos. If you can’t find a use for one of these effects then please pour yourself a tall vodka and try again. BTW…these effects also show up in Premiere Pro if you hold the shift button on launch to refresh the effects list.

Coremelt Free Effects for After Effects

Coremelt Free Effects for After Effects


VideoCopilot Presets 
Andrew Kramer has been providing clear, concise tutorials of the highest quality that every filmmaker should use or at least be aware of for almost 6 years. These 19 After Effects presets cover a lot of varied ground and have helped me in both simple and complicated situations. They are an amazing resource.

Video Copilot Presets

Video Copilot Presets


VFXBRO – Camera Shake 
These 2 plugins offer the advantage of using real camera shake that was tracked from actual handheld motion and not a computer simulation. The result is an organic motion that is not random like the wiggle expression…but in fact the motion of a human being. The difference is tangible and feels authentic because it is authentic. In the regular Camera Shake plugin…there are 6 distinct handheld settings that can adjusted to whatever amount you like. I used this plugin on a film I directed and edited that won the 2012 Adobe Film Festival. It turned static, green screen comp shots, into living and breathing, believable handheld footage. The Pro Camera Shake version of this plugin allows for 3D movements that follow the optical physics and science of real motion and parallax when applied to computer-generated assets. For free. Technology…embrace it.





VASHIMORPHIC 40 – Anamorphic lens emulation plugin

I created this free plugin to use on your HD or 4K footage to emulate the look and feel of the Panavision 40mm anamorphic lens made famous by Wes Anderson in most of his films. The plugin duplicates the image warp, blurred corners, 2.39 aspect ratio and slight vignette of the famous lens for a vintage film feel. The included After Effects project is ready to go and all you do is drop in your footage and export.



4K update for After Effects



As an added bonus…I want to include links to several free Light Leak video files I’ve used on several different projects. Light Leaks have been very popular over the last couple years and they add a pleasing vintage and organic feel to any project that could benefit from their use. There are many computer generated Light Leak plugins and presets…but the real deal always feels better. Try them out and let me know how they work for you…


Free Light Leaks




Thank you again for taking the time to visit my blog and read my ramblings. I hope you found some helpful information and some solid assets that you can use to make your projects look more professional and more realistic. Remember…all the plugins above came from the generosity of passionate filmmakers and companies that enjoy in giving back to the community.

Premiere Plugins

Please share this with anyone you think would enjoy or learn something from these valuable filmmaking tips and techniques.


335 Free Filmmaking Tools

121 Free Film Grains and Light Leaks

70 Free Aspect Ratio and Wide Screen templates for Filmmakers

Until next time…

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  1. I can’t believe no one is commenting on these great articles you keep posting.
    I feel special because I among the few with access to these magic post. 🙂

    I would share on my own blog but I don’t want to share! hahahahaha!

    • vashi

      If you build it…they will come! Serge…Your comments and praise put a smile on my face! I just started this blog 3 months ago and will continue to keep sharing all the knowledge and experiences I go through day to day. People like yourself make it all worthwhile…thank you again.

      • Aww thanks Bro!

        Definitely they will come, Your blog is way more informative than some of the current popular ones out there right now from people who just brag about the toys they have and get to play with but become rude when asked simple questions, I commend you for sharing your vast knowledge and for being so approachable and not being so secretive with your tips and trick on how things are done, the community for sure appreciates it I know I do.

        It is only fair that I help push this blog to the masses even though I don’t want to share this great fountain of knowledge, I can’t be greedy. You are sharing with us all.

        Once again thank you!

  2. Vashi,

    THANK YOU! I’m newer to this wonderful world of video, but I’ve always had a passion for movies and movie making. I’m finding that there are endless opportunities to self-teach because of professionals like yourself. My wife and I are making a living off of our passion and it’s thanks to people like you. I hope one day that people will want to read a blog of mine and want to know the steps I took to get a specific look/shot…Keep up the great posts and the amazing work!

    • vashi

      Josh, I can’t tell you how grateful and appreciative I am of your comment. I’m supremely thankful and a comment like yours make me want to work harder and post more articles that people can hopefully gain some knowledge from. Best of luck to you and your wife and stay in touch! All the best…

  3. Hello, I did not have the time to read it, but I will for sure later, I didnt get however where are the plugins available for download? Thx and gratz on the article.

    • I meant read it with care

    • vashi

      Eduardo…thanks for the comments and for visiting my site. If you click on the NAME of the plugin in the article…it will link to the download area of the respective sites that created the plugins. I hope that helps! All the best…Vashi

  4. Thank you very much, very nice Article and I hope to use all those plugins a lot!

  5. Vanlal

    Is there any light streak filter plugins for adobe premiere.. Thanks for the plugins

  6. Many thanks! ALready using some of these but the other ones looks like a great cost-free addition to my plugin “toolbox”. THe real camera shake from Aaron (VFXBro) is really a fantastic addition to any post collection. Gotta make sure I update the Creative Impatience plugins.

  7. lifesaver bro.. thanks !! 🙂

    • vashi

      My pleasure Fateh. Every little free bit helps! Not every solution needs to be super expensive.

  8. Thx bro! do you have useful and easy plugins specific for Adobe premiere Elements 11?

    • vashi

      I’ll be honest and say I’m not familiar with using Elements 11! Shit. Sorry.

  9. Hi Vashi!

    What a killer article, thanks for spending the time to put it together, I definitely found a couple of great tips (Vfxbro’s camera shake is gold).

    Anyway, if your readers are looking for more free light leak effects they can find ’em here!

    Thanks again for the article Vashi, I got a lot of value out of it 🙂


    • vashi

      Thanks for the kind words Charlie! I’m going to grab your light leaks for sure. I’ll update my post with your link as well.

  10. Special thanks for Jarle’s presets, they are awesome. And your blog, too. Subscribed 🙂
    Several free overlay effects can be found here, including 20 free HD light leaks

  11. Un simple bonjours pour vous dire que j’aime bien les plugins , je les partage sur mon blog qui est ouvert à tous! Merci! Thank’s!

  12. Thanks Vashi, You saved me alot of time and imparted real knowledge into the few ones have got, Thanks a bunch,

  13. Howdy :

    I’m actually working on B-SKY PROJECT’s new video – I don’t know what I’ve downloaded coz I’ve haven’t used it yet but all I wanna say is “Thank You Sir”.



    • vashi

      Thanks Bruno! Let me know how your project turns out.

  14. you are amazing!!!!!

  15. You are the editor’s best friend. thank you for this blog and sharing! I look forward to a new year of vashi posts!

    • vashi

      Thank you Rich for your very kind words! Lots of great stuff coming in 2014!

  16. Woow am very greatful for your post vash, u save me and my time thanks once again. Still any contact to reach u plz…?

  17. I do online marketing but also have been playing with video for a while. I’ve gotten to the point where I want to do a little more than just shooting, simple editing, text and transitions. This article, on the free plugins, have expanded my creativity for future projects. Thanks Vashi

  18. Woow am very greatful for your post vash,

  19. Thank you for the great plugins. I have one question however, I’ve properly installed the Filmimpact plugin and I see them in my Premier Pro Media Core folder, but I don’t see them in my effects transition bin in PP. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  20. Hey guys!

    We’ve just put together a massive resource list as well for Premiere Pro effects and plugins. Some of these might double up from what’s in Vashi’s list, but if you’re interested, the link is below 😀


  21. This is good stuff, I know it’s now an ‘oldie’ but the anamorphic 40 is a quick shortcut for doing what a lot of our video production clients want. Thank you!

  22. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this
    onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this
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