Blackmagic Design bought Fusion from Eyeon Software and made it free.
Fusion has been around for more than a decade now, and even today holds clout among many post production houses and professionals. It commands respect as one of the pioneering image compositing and visual effects creation software. Excluding Nuke, Fusion is the tool of choice for compositors who prefer a node-based workflow.
If all of these words sound like ancient Greek to you, you might want to check out our earlier posts on compositing for a quick run-through:
Interestingly, Blackmagic also offers a Studio version of Fusion with some added benefits: Generation – a tool for managing projects across multiple artists, with asset tracking, versioning and task assignment. No resolution restriction. The free version also has an Avid plug-in that allows Fusion integration with the Avid timeline. Other notable additions are optical flow for speed changes etc., remote rendering and Stereoscopic 3D. All this at just $995 is a steal for post production studios, compared to shelling out $4000-$9000 for one license for other software.
This also comes as a godsend for small to mid-level production houses who have tight budgets. And finally, the free version puts a lot of power at an independent filmmaker’s fingertips.
The down side is, Fusion is no child’s play. It is a high-end, complex, and versatile software, so it also requires a proportionate amount of training, especially to those unversed with a node-based workflow. This can serve as an issue for those who want basic titling or motion graphics work to be done on a quick turnaround. But, once unleashed to it’s full potential, Fusion creates magic; several Hollywood blockbusters attest to it. If you want to know how to create those dazzling visual effects and cutting edge compositing, you might want to check out Blackmagic Design’s training videos, or the older Eyeonsoftware Youtube channel, containing tutorials dedicated only to Fusion. Both have tutorials for someone completely new to compositing and Fusion, as well as for the pro who wants to learn more advanced techniques.
Fusion does come with its own set of troubles. Projects cannot be seamlessly linked to Resolve – which is now a powerful editing and coloring app as of version 12. There’s a lot of ground to cover to reach Adobe’s Dynamic Link and the Lumetri Engine. You can work on the same shot in AfterEffects or Premiere Pro at the same time, and you can seamlessly move between grades from Speedgrade to Premiere Pro as well. Still, with both Resolve and Fusion being node-based, it is probably only a matter of time before they are integrated somewhat.
So, Fusion faces tough competition in the market, with big names like Nuke, Smoke and After Effects. But, will Blackmagic Design’s gamble convert After Effects loyalists into Fusion users? Will small independent filmmakers swear by Fusion for their post-production needs in the near future? What do you think?