Best Addons for VFX artists

fan fact, 3d applications like blender, 3ds max, houdini, maya and cinema 4d are used more for vfx than making cartoon animations, disney releases 3 to 4 animated movies a year but releases more than 10 movies and tv series that take advantage of Visual Effects in the same year.

Visual effects entails alot of things from, rotoscoping, camera tracking, mattpainting and adding alot of effects, we are going to look at addons that will help you give your movie or animation a high budget look.

1 Afx2blend tracking transfer

when it comes to motion tracking, blender comes with an inbuilt motion and object tracker, but you have to manually add tracking points, you need atleast 8 tracking points to have a good track and they should not be obstructed during the tracking process, you have to manually scrab through your footage as you track to make sure that the tracking points stay connected, in contrast, with after effects all you have to do is hit track footage and the program will add handreds of points automatically and ensure the footage is well tracked. this blender addon can transfer tracking results from after effects to blender which saves you all the stress.

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2 Ian Hubert’S Steam Kpack

this addon was a collaboration between Ian Hubert and Chip walters the creator of kit ops, both big names in the blender community, its a collection of animated looped steam textures, they have no background, and can be easily droped into your scene to give it more life. and if you really want to take advantage of this collection, you can use it with the free kitops addon, which will make it easier to import and work with in blender.

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3 Ragdoll Tools

unfortunately its not allowed to throw people around like rag dolls, and sadly insurance companies would not even allow you to film them being hit by fast moving objects like cars for your movie, so we have to settle for digital versions like what this ragdoll addon provides for blender artists, you can set it up to work with any character and time when the rag doll physics can start.

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4 The Particle Library

a simple way to improve the render and production value of your shot is by adding small things like particles, flocks of birds, papers, garbage blowing away and more, this addon is not just a library of such items, but it gives you an easy way to direct and animate the particles in a physically accurate way.

the library is a collection with items like birds, fish, spacks, paper bugs and more, it also comes with over 57 animation presets.

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5 Weatherfx Add-On

vfx is not aways about explosions and adding monsters, sometimes its the simple things like changing the weather, so if you want a rainy day, a snowy day or to make it look windy, this weather fx addon has the presets and tools to make your scene have the weather your director needs.

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6 Rbdlab

No true vfx artists can do there job with out a proper tool for destroying objects, and for blender vfx artists that tool is RBDlab, its a great addon for disintegrating objects, caving in roads, creating realistic sink wholes and more. this addon can also be used for scattering objects so it will be very useful for scattering debris after you make explosions and destructions.

It also comes with constraints supports so you can destroy parts of an objects, and let others stay intact or break if a forces over a threshold is applied

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7 Animax – Procedural Animation System

if the sort of vfx you are doing is more non realistic and more like cinema 4d mograph style then ANimax procedural animation system is going to be your tool, its less physics and more stylized motion, it comes with more than 30 animation presets, 13 fracturing presets and you can make, save and load your own custom presets. what i like most about it is its transition effects.

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8 Texture Stamps: Decal Add-On

if you have live action footage, spicy it up with a new look using texture stamps, this addon has over 50 texture stamps that can be added to objects in your scene, the addon does not do motion tracking, so you have to track it first using blender motion tracking tools or track it easily with after effects and import the tracked data back to blender using the first addon we saw in the list, and now this addon can do wonders for you, you can add water damage decals, warning signs, cracks and more with just a few clicks

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9 Deltaflow – Fast Water And Fluid Materials 

if you are making a rain effect, this flow addon is what you need to sell it, you can use its materials to make dry objects look really wet, you can also use it to make flow maps for rivers, and water streams.

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10 Vdblab

its hard to do vfx without explosions, fire and smoke, blender is capable of doing all this, but you have to do alot of experimentation to make good looking explotions, this is what the artists at Vdblab have done, they put alot of research and development in to making smoke simulations in blender and they compiled their results into an amazing addon called Vdblab, this is truelly an addon for the vfx artist out there, all you have to do is to go through the simulation presets they have made, choose the ones you like, customize it to your liking using the parameters of the addon and you are ready to render.

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11 Citybuilder 3d

when you are done motion tracking your footage, you are probably looking for what to add to your scene to make it unique, or create a different set from what you shot, this city builder addon comes with over 100 buildings to choose from, maybe you want a nuclear plant in your back yard, a castle or modern buildings, this city builder has it all.

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12 Realtime Flame Generator

while the flames generated by this addon look a bit stylized, they also look real enough to work for most shots, you can change the direction of the fire and alot of other parameters, the generator is based on geometry nodes and runs in realtime and as a bonus you can create some amazing slow motion fire shots with it.

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