10 awesome After Effects transitions to improve your videos

One of the most common effects used in Adobe After Effects is video transitions. 

Thanks to After Effects’ powerful keyframing and motion graphics tools, you can create an incredible array of motion graphic transitions that will wow your audience. Whether you like to keep it minimal with simple wipes or want to blast the screen with ink-like effects, you can make it happen in After Effects.

While After Effects allows you to build your own transitions, the easiest way to implement After Effects transitions is to use creative transition presets and tweak them to fit your project perfectly. From comic books to logo wipes, there is a preset out there for literally any project, many of them free or low-cost.

We’ve scoured the web for some of the coolest After Effects transition presets that you can use to kick your next video project up a notch. Whether you’re making slick corporate videos or fun travel vlogs, there’s a wide variety of transition packs out there to fit your vibe perfectly.

Here are our ten favorite transitions and where to find them:

1: Liquid Transitions

This is a fan favorite, and for a good reason. Liquid transitions are smooth, swirly, and perfect for everything from travel to sports to advertising. 

2: Transition Unfold

This transition folds and unfolds your images like paper, making it a versatile 3D transition you can use on tons of different projects.

Here’s a quick preview of what these different transitions look like:

3: Ink Transitions

Ink transitions have long been a favorite of travel vloggers and videographer reels because the effect of dripping ink revealing the next clip adds texture and curiosity to your content.

4: Video Glitch Transitions

Are you looking for an edgier transition effect? These glitch effect transitions provide that classic feel of an interrupted video signal and are great for a wide range of projects.

5: Bokeh Effect Transitions

Who can resist the dreamy textures of bokeh? This heavenly transition turns any project into a light-filled dreamscape.

6: Water Wave Transitions Pack

Perfect for travel and sports, realistic water wave transitions are easy to use and provide an exciting 3D transition effect.

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7: Comic Transitions

Ever wanted to be a comic superhero? With comic transitions, you can give your action projects that classic superhero look with fun comic book transitions.

8: Torn Paper Transitions

Torn paper transitions are also a fun way to add 3D transition effects from one shot to the next. This subtly edgy effect is perfect for everything from portfolios to presentations.

9: Chromatic Aberration Transitions

Chromatic aberrations are similar to bokeh, but where bokeh is light and airy, chromatic aberrations are a bit more flashy and modern—another great transition to using when you want to add a futuristic effect to your project.

10: Logo Transitions

The darling of advertising videos, logo transitions allow you to flash a company logo or custom text graphics between each clip. Perfect for corporate videos or any project where you want custom branding regularly flashing across the screen.

How to Add Preset Transitions in After Effects

If you want to use any of these presets, you’ll first need to know how to install animation plugins into After Effects. Follow these steps to install your new plugins:

Step 1: Download your desired preset.

Step 2: Locate your After Effects presets folder.

The location of this folder is different depending on your operating system. Here’s how to locate it:

For Mac:

1. Go to “Documents”

2. Locate the “Adobe” folder

3. Locate the folder within Adobe that is named after your current edition of After Effects (Example: “After Effects CC 2019”)

4. Locate the folder inside this folder named "User Presets."

For PC:

1. Go to “My Documents”

2. Locate the “Adobe” folder

3. Locate the folder within Adobe that is named after your current edition of After Effects (Example: “After Effects CC 2019”)

4. Locate the folder inside this folder named "User Presets."

If you have never created any presets, you may not have a “User Presets” folder. If you do not, simply create one inside of the After Effects folder.

Step 3: Copy your preset to the User Presets folder.

Simply drag and drop your downloaded preset into the folder. Your plugin is now installed and ready to use.

Now that your plugin is installed, here’s how to apply it to your video projects.

How to Apply Preset Transitions to Your Project

Step 1: Open your project in After Effects

Step 2: Select the layer you want to apply your effect to

Step 3: Open up the “Effects and Presets” window

Step 4: Navigate to the User Presets folder

Step 5: Select the preset you want to use and double click

Voila! Your preset will now be applied to your selected layer, and you can edit and tweak it until it's perfectly blended into your project.

Transitions add professional polish to your video projects and can be super fun to play with and manipulate on top of that. Whether you choose to create your own transitions or use presets, After Effects allows you to customize every element of your animations until they're exactly how you want them.

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