lets take for example Trapcode plug-in.
can I do the stuff that it offers without the plug-in? I mean my question is if plug-ins like borix fx, trapcode are just shortcuts and comfortable way to make things faster and easier in after effects? or they give things that the program doesn't have?
Shine for instance can be recreated using a combination of effects that ship with AE. There are scripts and tricks to doing what Horizon does.
On the other hand, Trapcode Lux(as far as I know) can't be easily recreated in AE. AE also has a few particular engines, that can come close to Trapcode Particular, but you can't recreate Particular completely with the basic AE ship.
Nothing AE ships with can come close to Form, Zaxwerks, Mettle_Shapeshifter or FreeForm Pro or Plexis.
Johnny Cuevas, Editor
"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.