I've long been a bit frustrated about the fact that Blender doesn't have more After Effects tie-ins. After Effects has long had more Cinema 4D functionality, even including a lite version of Cinema 4D right there inside the software. Blender users, however, haven't really had many seamless tools to work with.

Now comes BlenderAE, a new add-on for Blender that costs a very reasonable $22.50. This is truly the best thing about the Blender community—everything is so affordable.

The add-on gives you the ability to connect After Effects to Blender with a click, which makes it possible to send Blender lights, cameras, object transformations, and more directly into an After Effects project. This is like someone heard me complaining and went, "Okay, fine, I'll fix it for you." These are things I've always wanted.

You can send vertices into After Effects as a null object, you can even send a face over as a precomped solid. Ahem—you ever need to have a video screen swapped out in a render? I have. It's annoying. This makes it better.

I'm super interested to see what sort of neat things this will make possible. If nothing else, simply being able to send a Blender camera to AE will make my life a hundred times easier, but all that other stuff makes it even more impressive, especially for compositing.

The only step left is to create functionality that can go in the reverse direction, making it possible to send an AE camera to Blender, a feature that I read may be on the way in future versions.