New Ae tool EasyClones allows you to work with instances in After Effects.
Arguably the two great tools that most motion designers work with are After Effects and Cinema 4D. One can’t help but look for similar features in both of those apps, and one thing we look for in Ae is instancing. C4D’s mograph module is simple to work with and offers some fantastic capabilities. There are more than a few third-party developers that had a stab at bringing that functionality to After Effects. A brand new one by Matt Wilson, Easy Clones, might be the ticket.
The tool acts like a cloning system built for 2D artwork. That includes bitmap, vector, pre-comp, and shape layers in After Effects. The tool creates a Clone Control Layer that controls basic properties (position, scale, rotation, and opacity). You can then modify the clones using the controllers within the effect.
Artwork layers change into Clones that reference the Control Layer while remaining completely controllable, allowing you to fine-tune and tailor your animations.
Learn more about Easy Clones here.