Overlay Presets are a fantastic way of trying out new creative ideas without wasting time and effort. Building a library of these incredible assets is a simple and cost-effective way of increasing your editing and animation techniques. Whether you’re looking for specific effects or to expand your After Effects capabilities, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll show you how to use After Effects Overlay Preset packs, along with 20 beautiful packs ready to download.
Part 1: Create Your Own Style Using After Effects Overlays
The best thing about Overlay Effects is that they can be mixed and matched to create new and unique styles, giving you endless possibilities.
Step 1: Installing your Downloaded Presets
The first step is to work out what type of Overlay Preset you have; some will be installable effects you add to After Effects. Others will be video layers with transparency that you work with as you would any other video. Today, we’ll show you how to install presets, but if you’ve downloaded video files, check out this handy guide.
- Choose and download your preset folder.
- Unzip the folder and have a look through it to familiarize yourself with the folder structure.
- Go to Applications > Adobe After Effects > Presets in another Finder window.
- Copy and paste your presets download folder into either the main Presets folder or one of the subfolders is preferred.
- Relaunch After Effects, and your new presets will be in the Effects Panel.
Step 2: Adding your Presets
While you can add Presets to your clips directly, Adjustment Layers help keep your effects organized and allow you to add them to the whole Timeline in one go.
- Right-click on the Timeline and choose New > Adjustment Layer.
- Search for your Preset in the Effects Controls Panel, and add it to the Adjustment Layer.
- Extend the ends of the Adjustment Layer to cover the clips you want to add the preset to.
- Add new Adjustment Layers for every type of preset you want to use; for example, all Light Leaks can be added to one Adjustment Layer, but a VHS overlay should be added separately.
Step 3: Tricks to Customizing your Preset Effects
Some presets are fantastic as soon as you’ve dragged them to your Timeline; others might need a little work. Let’s look at 4 things you can do with presets to customize them further.
- Check the Effects Control Panel; every preset will be constructed from a range of effects that has additional controls.
- Hit T on your Keyboard to access the Adjustment Layer transparency settings to change the opacity of your effects.
- In the Layers panel, play around with the Blend Mode options to create different looks depending on the color and light in your effect.
- Search for Hue in the Effects Panel and add it to your Preset layer to adjust the Hue and Saturation of the Preset.
Part 2: Top 20 After Effects Overlays
1. 30 Motion Elements Preset Pack
The 30 Motion Elements Preset pack has everything an editor needs to add flashy animated flourishes to their projects. Including circle pops, lines, stars, and scribbles, you can even customize these incredible assets’ size and color.
Download 30 Motion Elements Pack Now
2. Psychedelic Effect
The Psychedelic Effect is a neat preset for your videos that give a prism RGB effect around the edges of whatever is in your shot. The fabulous light show is ideal for music and events videos, showreels, and slideshows.
Download Psychedelic Effect Now
3. Sun Flare Overlays
The Sun Flares Overlays pack includes a variety of light leak and flare overlays, ideal for adding depth and texture to your shots. The stunning light colors are fantastic for transitional effects as well as overlay looks.
Download Sun Flare Overlays Now
4. Dynamic Beat Presets
The Dynamic Beats Presets pack includes 20 stunning looks ideal for music, sport, and fashion-related content. Each preset offers something slightly different, from warp and history effects to scaliness and grain.
Download Dynamic Beat Presets Now
5. Authentic VHS Look
The Authentic VHS Look pack includes 30 incredible Presets, a VHS style bumper-pack for any editor. This retro pack has everything needed to create a retro feel to your projects, from subtle grain and noise to full VHS style overlay text.
Download Authentic VHS Look Now
6. 150 Animated Icons Presets Pack
As you might have guessed, the 150 Animated Icons Presets Pack contains 150 stunning 2D animated icons. The pack includes everything from business to nature, transport to space, ideal for adding to your promotions and topography videos.
Download 150 Animated Icons Presets Pack Now
7. 8-Bit Preset
The 8-Bit Preset is a customizable drag and drop effect that turns your HD footage into a pixelated 8 Bit Rendering of your video. The niche effect is ideal for gaming channels, trailers, and promotions.
8. Light Leaks Constructor 250 Elements
The Light Leaks Constructor 250 Elements pack has pretty much everything an Editor needs to create stunning light leak effects in their videos. The pack includes 103 fractal noise light leaks, 120 optical flares, 40 lens flares, and 10 transitioning effects.
Download Light Leaks Constructor 250 Elements Now
The Gradients Pack includes a range of beautifully designed gradient sheets, ideal for overlays and backgrounds. The stunning gradients allow you to create a range of styles beyond the preset Tints, creating your own grading look.
10. Glitch Preset Package
The Glitch Preset Package includes 40 incredible Glitch Effects to drag and drop to your video projects. This pack has everything you need to get glitchy, from creating a stylistic look to reproducing vintage video styles.
Download Glitch Preset Package Now
11. 70 Color Grading Presets
This massive pack of 70 Grading Color Presets is ideal for any editor looking to expand their color grading capabilities. From subtle gradient styles to over-stylized looks, you are sure to impress your views with this preset pack.
Download 70 Color Grading Presets Now
12. Frozen Overlay Effects
The Frozen Overlay Effects pack includes 20 stunning designs, each with two versions; fullscreen and frames. The fullscreen frost effects are ideal for overalls and backgrounds, and the frame elements work beautifully with sports and seasonal content.
Download Frozen Overlay Effects Now
13. Film Burn Overlays
The Film Burn Overlays pack is a powerful selection of 10 presets, ideal for adding as overlays or as transitional effects. The bright color burns are easy to mix and match, using the transparency tools and blend mode to mix.
Download Film Burn Overlays Now
14. Holographic Foil Backgrounds
The Holographic Foil Backgrounds pack includes 20 stunning designs ideal for background and overlay elements. The dynamic movements and soft colorization offer your projects a smooth, psychedelic look.
Download Holographic Foil Backgrounds Now
15. Night Vision
The Night Vision Overlays pack includes 21 assets for your projects, including 9 colors, 6 viewfinders, and 6 information overlays. The dynamic designs allow you to create realistic night vision scenes with a simple drag and drop.
16. Horror Glitch Shake Presets
The Horror Glitch Shake Presets pack includes 23 incredible effects for your horror films, music videos, and events promos. The various shakes and glitches are ideal for transitioning scenes and creating unique looks.
Download Horror Glitch Shake Presets Now
17. Modern Color Kit with Light Leaks
The Modern Color Kit with Light Leaks pack includes a massive 131 presets for color grading and light leaks. The extensive collection is easy to mix and match, giving you unlimited combinations.
Download Modern Color Kit with Light Leaks Now
18. Northern Lights Effects
The Northern Lights Effects pack includes a collection of stunning rainbow-style gradients, ideal for overlays and backgrounds. The striped look replicated the Northern Lights style color tones and is sure to grab your viewers’ attention.
Download Northern Lights Effects Now
19. Distorted Glass
The Distorted Glass effects pack is a fantastic collection of stylistic looks, ideal for music videos, showreels, and trailers. The effect bends and warps your footage as if viewed through melting glass.
20. Urban Presets Pack
The Urban Presets Pack includes 53 stunning overlays for your videos, including 10 text animations, 10 urban overlays, and more than 30 transitions. The presets are divided into 3 categories for easy selection: twist, distortion, and grid.
Download Urban Presets Pack Now
Whether you’re looking for Light Leaks, Glitch Effects, or Retro styles, Overlays are fantastic assets to keep at hand. Now you understand how to use Overlays in After Effects, start building a library of assets that you can use repeatedly. If you’re looking for more Overlays, check out the Motion Array collection.