Been doing a lot of After Effects work lately. Mostly for pitch work. It’s been fun since the deadlines are tight and there’s no clear idea of effect direction. You just plow ahead and figure out how to make an effect and composition work on the fly. I think this kind of process really opens up your mind to the different possibilities in After Effects and keeps you fresh for real projects so you don’t do the same “cookie cutter” thing repeatedly.
I’ve rediscovered AE’s basic particle plugins. So many things now have that “Trapcode” look especially from Particular. While a great and nearly essential plugin, its beginning to become the default to use in motion graphics instead of exploring all the different options. AE’s built-in particles can do some great things faster and in some cases better than particular. Sometimes simple tools are better.