Authority FX has released its proprietary After Effects plugins for free


Last Updated: February 15, 2016 6:41 am GMT
(February 15, 2016) Authority FX has released its proprietary After Effects plugins for free - no strings attached. The plugins were originally developed for linear light compositing in Eyeon Fusion, and have since been ported to After Effects. In addition to offering free binaries, Authority FX is planning to make the source code available.

Authority FX plugins started in 2012 as an internal project to fill a void in its compositing pipeline. Ryan P. Wilson, owner of Authority FX, and an Eyeon Fusion user at the time, needed some better tools for linear light compositing - namely, a really good glow. Here’s what Ryan said about glow plugins and why Authority FX decided to write its own:

“Every glow tool out there is nothing more than a Gaussian blur with some color, intensity and threshold parameters. Some have more bells and whistles, but they're all just blurs. What is a blur? A blur is a low pass filter. Why should a lens glow be replicated with a low pass filter? Well, it shouldn’t be. A glow is a lens phenomenon which can be modeled as a convolution of the image, with the point spread function of the lens. We developed a point spread function that produces an extremely realistic glow for any application, including light wrap.”

The Authority FX plugins were previously available for purchase at Ryan said the goal was not to profit, but to offset the development cost of porting code to After Effects. Rather than maintaining the licensing, and providing updates and support, Authority FX has decided to release the plugins for free. If there is demand for the plugins’ source code, it will also be made available.

Now primarily a Nuke user, Ryan is in the process of rewriting the plugins. The Nuke plugins will be open source as well and binaries will be made freely available later in 2016.

Below is a list of the After Effects plugins currently available for free download at

Chroma Key: Intelligently analyzes any chroma screen to give amazing results without clicking a single button. With built-in spill control, and matte options including highly accurate anti-aliasing, crisp clean mattes with solid cores are easily achieved. Glow: Generates a beautiful glow with an extremely realistic falloff. Default settings work on almost all shots and applications, from lightsabers to subtle light wrap. Lens Glow: Unlike any other glow on the market. Lens glow simulates chromatic aberration and other asymmetric lens phenomena by approximating the way light bounces inside a lens. Defocus: Extremely fast defocusing filter which generates realistic bokeh. Fully adjustable blade count, iris shape, and blade rotation. Z Defocus: Depth map powered z-defocusing for realistic depth of field approximations. With all the same iris controls as our standard Defocus plugin, the focal point and depth of field can be easily controlled. The tilt shift sliders can be used to rotate the focal plane. Desaturate: Desaturate an image with CIELAB L*, HSI Intensity, HSL Lightness, HSV Value, Luma, and Custom Color. Each mode has Desaturate, Gain, Lift, and Gamma sliders to perfectly adjust the perceived brightness of the image. Clamp: This plugin is essential when working with floating point image. For example, a sharpening operation can result in negative values. These values need to be clamped prior to alpha divides or subsequent filtering. Soft Clip: Floating point images with white values above one, require some form of tone mapping. The non-linear gain adjustment of the soft clip can be used to reduce over-brights.


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