Hollywood Illusion has released Magic Nodes 1.5, an innovative After Effects extension that seamlessly integrates node-based workflows into Adobe’s layer-based compositing software.

With Magic Nodes, artists can now enjoy the best of both worlds, creating stunning composites with ease and precision.

In this article, Animost delves into the features, benefits, and recent updates of Magic Nodes and their impact on the compositing industry. Let’s dive into this post!

An Overview of Magic Nodes

Hollywood Illusion, the developer behind the popular After Effects extension, has unveiled Magic Nodes, an innovative tool that introduces node-based workflows to Adobe’s layer-based compositing software. Magic Nodes is for artists working on compositing 3D renders into video.

Thus, it provides them with a flexible and efficient way to build composites by connecting nodes in a graph, which is then translated into standard After Effects layers.

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Magic Nodes 1.5 Updates 

Hollywood Illusion has recently released Magic Nodes 1.5, the latest update to the popular extension. This version introduces new features such as dot nodes, which can be inserted into node-to-node connections to control wire placement, making complex graphs easier to interpret at a glance.

Besides, users can duplicate entire node graphs, streamlining the workflow and allowing for greater efficiency.

Other improvements include a new set of keyboard shortcuts for faster navigation and increased productivity. Magic Nodes 1.5 continues to support After Effects 2017+ and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.

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Features of Magic Nodes

Let’s find out what Magic Nodes can do for you!

Layer-Based and Node-Based Workflows

Traditionally, compositors have had to choose between layer-based workflows, such as those found in After Effects.

Here, composites are built by stacking layers on a timeline, and node-based workflows, as seen in applications like Foundry’s Nuke or Blackmagic Design’s Fusion, where composites are created by wiring together nodes in a graph.

While layer-based workflows are often more intuitive for artists, node-based workflows offer greater flexibility in adjusting shots based on client feedback, especially for complex compositions.

Magic Nodes bridges the gap between these two approaches by enabling artists to leverage both layer-based and node-based workflows within a single application.

With Magic Nodes, artists can create composites by building a node graph, which is then seamlessly translated into a standard After Effects layer stack.

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Streamlining the Compositing Process

When launching Magic Nodes, users are presented with a new interface panel where they can add various types of nodes. These nodes include media importers, solid color generators, merge nodes for combining elements, and nodes for applying effects.

Each added node corresponds to a layer in the Layers and Timeline panels, allowing users to construct their composite by connecting the nodes. Merge nodes offer separate inputs for the foreground, background, and track matte, along with blending mode options.

The Magic Nodes extension also includes a real-time viewer that allows users to preview the output of any node in the graph alongside the main composition panel. This feature provides instant feedback, making it easier for artists to make adjustments and fine-tune their composites.

Eliminating the Need for Precomps and Enhancing Performance

One of the key advantages of Magic Nodes is its ability to eliminate the need for pre-comps, which are typically used in After Effects to manage complex compositions.

By leveraging a custom effect similar to After Effects’ native Calculations effect, Magic Nodes optimizes memory usage on complex composites while maintaining 32-bits-per-channel footage support. This results in improved performance and efficiency, especially for resource-intensive projects.

Pricing and Availability of Magic Nodes 1.5 

Magic Nodes offers different licensing options for users. The Basic perpetual license is priced at $89, providing access to the core features of the extension.

For more advanced functionality and additional benefits, the Premium plan is available for $149, offering sample projects and one year’s maintenance.


What are nodes in after effects?

Nodes in After Effects are graphical elements that represent different components of a composition, such as media, effects, and transformations. They are connected to create a visual representation of the composition’s structure and allow for a more flexible and efficient workflow.

How do I use nodes in After Effects?

To use nodes in After Effects, you can utilize extensions like Magic Nodes or other third-party plugins that bring node-based workflows to the software.

These extensions provide a visual interface where you can add, connect, and modify nodes to build your composition graph, which is then translated into After Effects layers.

Why nodes are better than layers?

Nodes offer several advantages over traditional layer-based workflows. They provide a more visual and intuitive representation of complex compositions, making it easier to understand and adjust the relationship between different elements.

Nodes also offer greater flexibility, allowing for non-linear adjustments and quicker iterations in response to client feedback.


The release of Magic Nodes 1.5 has marked a significant milestone in the compositing world, bridging the gap between layer-based and node-based workflows within After Effects.

This groundbreaking extension empowers artists with the freedom to create complex composites using a node-based approach while retaining the familiar layer-based interface.

Stay tuned for our latest news!

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