What’s the Difference Between Scripts, Extensions, and Plugins?

Nathan Lovell clarifies the differences between scripts, extensions, and plugins in After Effects.

Many Adobe After Effects users will use the terms interchangeably, but they are called different things for a reason – because they are different! If you’ve ever wondered what’s the difference between scripts, extensions, and plugins in After Effects, you should have a look at NT Productions latest video. Nathan Lovell tries to clarify the differences, benefits, and bunk some of the misconceptions between the various types of extended programming After Effects has to offer.

“There are many common misconceptions as to what a script/extension/plugin is, and hopefully today I can help clarify that,” Nathan says. It all breaks down like this:

Scripts are a great way to automate things in After Effects quickly. Scripts use a Javascript language.

Extensions represent the next step up where you can create a web-based UI and run a script from a panel that uses web technology such as HTML.

Plugins are the last level using lower level and compiled programming languages like C and C++ working more on a system level.

Nathan shares a lot of scripting tutorials using extend script and other methods for After Effects. Check out some of those here.