After FX Plug-Ins and Scripts
After FX, probably the best investment I've ever made and I'm not kidding. As far as ROI on time and money....I've made more from After FX over the last (nearly) 20 years than any other program. I've switched 3D packages a number of times but I always...always...used After FX. I cannot think of a better use of time for an animator/compositor than learning After FX.
A few months ago I had a large project for a big tech company and a short deadline. The project was going to involve a LOT of text and still image animation. I asked one of my friends if he knew of any plug-ins that may make my life less of a living hell. He mentioned Mr. Horse. Mr. Horse? Never heard of it. So I went over to the Mister Horse website to see what it was all about. A few hours later and I was flying through all the text and image animation on that project. What Animation Composer does is enable you to very quickly iterate through a wide variety of text and 2d (and 3d if you want) layer animation. You can animate text on with a huge variety of options - choosing to do it by character, word or line. It's also very easy to adjust duration and timing without having to manipulate any keyframes. If you want to save time I have 2 words for you: Mister Horse (also, their videos are hilarious).