Critical Animation plug ins and addons that will make your life easier
I wanted to share some of the resources and plugins that we use. They may help you out with your own projects, so here's our top plugins...
I've included this as we've been using this resource for a couple of years now and since it went free, we've chosen to sponsor it. All of the HDRI's are completely free to use and have made our life so much easier. Thanks Greg!
Get free HDRI's here: https://hdrihaven.com/
If you happen to have after effects lying around, a great little plugin for it is Prolost Boardo. Basically it's allows you a quick way to create storyboards and animatics, just import your images into After effects and apply the effect, you have control over pan, zoom, shake and so on.
You can find it here: https://www.proloststore.com/products/boardo
We started off with the Grass essentials plugin for Blender and it works great for some shots, but we soon migrated over to Grasswald. Why? Simply down to the ageing of the elements,
the interface and the detail control.
At the time of writing the $79 price tag of Grasswald is more appealing than the $84 of the essentials pack.
Grass essentials can be found here: https://blendermarket.com/products/the-grass-essentials
Grasswald is here: https://www.blendermarket.com/products/graswald
There's a couple of great resources out there for fully fledged PBR materials and some have plugins to your favourite 3D packages.
First up is a decent library from Poliigon. An ever developing site with materials that support specular and metal workflows. It's a monthly subscription, (found here) but your credits do roll over. A great plus for me is that the image resolution available isn't tied to your subscription option and there is a plugin available for Blender which allows you to import the material very quickly.
Poliigon is found here: https://www.poliigon.com/
Blender plugin is here: https://help.poliigon.com/tools-and-add-ons/poliigon-material-converter-addon-for-blender
Next up is Quixel Megascans, similar to Poliigon, but over twice as large with over 7000 materials at last count. lots of similar materials as Poliigon, but the resolution is tied to your subscription level. Both have some amazing free materials to get you started.
Find Megascans here: https://megascans.se/
A plug in we keep in the cupboard is a great After Effects plugin from Red Giant. Particular isn't cheep ($400), but it's a broadcast level particle system and much better than After Effects own particle system. You can create pretty much anything you like with this neat little plugin.
You can get it here: https://tinyurl.com/ycnf8p7h
If your a user of Blender and ever got frustrated with things like random crowd animation or animating multiple objects as part of a motion graphics project, then animation nodes is for you. It's a complex node system that as the name suggests controls animations.
You can get it here: https://github.com/JacquesLucke/animation_nodes