Authority FX Plugins

Download Authority FX After Effects plugins for free!

These were previously for sale here at They were confirmed working in CS5, CS6 and CC.  Windows x64 only! If you are willing to compile them for Mac, people will thank you.  I will make the source available. Also looking for windows developers.  I have new plugins and new code that could be ported to AE.

Windows x64 binaries
Download: AuthorityFX_AE_plugins.rar 
Creative Commons License

Authority FX After Effects Plugins by Authority FX, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Includes: soft clip, clamp, lens glow, glow, desaturate, defocus, z-defocus, chromakey (old version, missing refinements)

My GitHub account:

I’ve written before about how I got my start in VFX.  Shortly after first dabbling in After Effects, I landed the fan film Return of the Ghostbusters. My proton stream test is what impressed the director.  Animation aside, the key to a really great proton stream is a hot glow with a realistic falloff.  I achieved that by layering up 5 or more glow effects with increasing size—cumbersome, but effective.  Years later when I switched from After Effects to Eyeon Fusion, I wrote a macro to wrap multiple glow tools into a single parameter interface.

The more I dove into linear light compositing the more I needed tools that Fusion didn’t have.  One such tool was a soft clip. So I wrote one using Lua (the horrible scripting language used in Fusion). I wrote a few more plugins that way until I realized Lua was holding me back. Now…I started programming at an early age—mostly with Basic, VB, and VBA. I knew some C, some assembly, some Java, and the principles of OOP, but I had never done any C++. So when I dove into the Fusion plugin API, I was a little lost. Persevering, I successfully built and linked my first few Fusion plugins written in C++.

Everyone at Authority FX (3 people) loved the plugins. With encouragement, I decided to write the ultimate glow plugin. I knew all about 2D convolution via 4th year image processing class in engineering school.  I wanted to use the FFTW library for Fast Fourier transforms but since we intended to release the plugins as closed source the pesky GPL license would not allow it. I decided to use Intel IPP instead. Within a week I had written a fantastic glow.  I figured if it only took me one week to develop the glow plugin, why not write many more?  I decided to hire a full time in-house developer developer to that effect.

There were three BIG mistakes that I regret to say, held the plugin project back from success:

  1. I wanted maximum market acceptance, so we decided it would be best to write the plugins with the OpenFX API. We absolutely despised the clunkiness of that API and it’s lack of flexibility. After spending weeks developing with it, we decided it would be better to develop directly with the compositor API, ie After Effects, Fusion. Moreover, we wasted a lot of time and resources tinkering with OFX.
  2. Originally I wanted each plugin to be $5 per license. Software prices are outrageous and I wanted to change that.  Slowly but surely I was talked into increasing the prices to 30 times what I wanted.
  3. I should have made the code free and open source(See 2 above). We spent at least as much time developing the licensing system as we spent writing the actual plugins. Licensing, as it pertains to hardware dongles, encryption and other means to prevent unauthorized use is a ridiculous concept. Software will be cracked. Software will be pirated. Spend all the money you want writing a licensing system. It will be cracked.  I saw a post on CGPersia requesting that the Authority FX plugins be cracked.  That was flattered honestly.  I would loved to have heard an XForce 8 bit keygen tune.

We sold some plugins. And people loved them. But we didn’t sell many. We were getting lots of requests for Mac OS versions and Nuke versions. Two problems, we didn’t use Nuke, and there wasn’t a Mac to be found. I acquired a Nuke developer license and tried porting the plugins to Nuke. The Nuke API is 10 times as complex as Fusion. Nuke’s row based processing made porting the code written for AE and Fusion very difficult.  I started with just one plugin, the AFXChromaKey. I kept adding feature upon feature until I had the ultimate keyer that pulled better mattes than primatte or keylight with almost default parameters. There was only one problem, the plugin crashed during certain viewport manipulations.  The Foundry support was completely useless and I was never able to resolve the issue. I released a beta and received resounding positive feedback.

What I learned from the Authority FX plugin adventure:

  1. I love writing plugins
  2. I know nothing about marketing
  3. I want to promote open source software

Where am I now?  I’m now using Nuke instead of Fusion. And I’m sad I don’t have the Authority FX plugins available.  Actually, I used Fusion for all of The Property Brothers at Home just so I could use the Authority FX glow.  The glow is THAT good. I simply cannot live without it. I’m currently rewriting all the plugins for Nuke!

I’ve rewritten most of the old plugin code and created classes that are very loosely tied to the Nuke NDK. Not one of my classes includes a Nuke NDK header file. I will be releasing the code as open source, mostly likely under the Mozilla Public License. I’ve developing under Linux. I will make the binaries available for testing very soon. Hopefully a dev or two will come aboard to help write cross platform Cmake.

Also, I have posted ALL of the licensing code to GitHub.
The statically linked library that checks if the license.dat file is valid for the current hardware
C++ console program to generate an encrypted license
The license generator was hosted on the AFX local server instead of the webserver (I was hosting the Turbogears site at Webfaction. I created a subdomain that forwarded to the Webfaction server) This threaded python app communicated with the turbogears site to generate licences upon request by launching license-generator as a subprocess.
This is a fully functional TurboGears2 website I developed for end user license management. New plugin purchases were automatically added to the database and the customer was alerted. The customer could log into the portal and assign their license to a MAC address. If their MAC address changed, they could request the license to be unlocked. I was very proud of this website as it was my very first time writing a TuboGears site. Actually it was my first time developing a website of any kind.
This is a simple utility to help end users identity their MAC address.


It feels good sharing code. It feels better than accepting money for binaries.


Ryan P. Wilson

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