I've been experimenting with ways of increasing creativity and saving time when making quick turnaround films. I mostly edit in final Cut Pro X, with some After Effects thrown in. I'm really interested in taking things on from the default FCPX plugins, text transitions and animations, and less interested in faffing with keyframes indefinitely until my thumbs fall off. This encourages me to be more creative in tackling some fun concepts that match the medium to the message in ways that stand out.

I've been doing text message and Facebook-style text animation using this free After Effects plug in from Rocket Stock (and they have other cool textures/plugins and background on their website). 

VideoHive has some cool Motion and After Effects templates, but you have to license them individually for each project (though often only $20 or so).

I used one template to create audio waveform visualisations and turn conversations into characters for this piece for BBC Radio4.

And this one to provide some football themed text animation for a social psychology explainer for the Human Zoo.

These plugins and templates are really good for letting you think creatively to fit your brief on a small budget. I haven't used this '3D' photo animation one, but could see how it might step a photo-based project up a few notches.

This place  - Pixel Film Studios has some Nice FCPX text animation, and effect plug ins and the like. Good if you don't have the skills/inclination to do After Effects wizardry but you want to take the default FCPX effects and animations on a level. 

These kinetic text animations are quite cool and are well worth $20

I have also put a list of cheap/free stock footage in a previous post.

This  Adobe Character Animator is really interesting, but looks a couple years off professional yet... 

How do you find plugins and templates? If anyone has any other favourite things like this and tips that might be handy, do let me know.

Happy making!