Blackmagic Design Fusion 8.2 review
Fusion also offers some really great 3D capabilities. Besides being able to import 3D cameras, geometry and data, Fusion also allows you to create 3D text from scratch in your composite. The Text3D node allows you to create some text using any of the fonts you have installed, and then extrude it and give it depth and shading whilst maintaining control over font size, kerning, and font choice. This can be a real time saver when you are creating motion graphics with lots of text. Instead of the normal back-and-forth between a 3D application and compositor, it can all be handled in Fusion.
Shading and lighting are also part of the 3D toolset in Fusion. You can bring in 3D meshes and light them as you like using the various light sources like point, ambient, or spots.
Deep Data, Optical Flow, and Stereo workflows are supported in the Fusion 8.2 Studio version. Fusion 8.2 does not include the Stereo workflow tools, or the Optical Flow toolset.
Effects & Particles
One area that really stood out to me, were the particles tools available in Fusion. Lots of great nodes that give you lots of control over how your particles behave, and react with one another in a scene. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many particles I could have showing in the viewport before my MacBook started to slow down. One thing I would have liked to see, was a folder of presets that one could load, and customize to your liking. Overall though, a really nice set of tools that give you even more control and flexibility in the composite. Creating a little dust hit here, or a colliding rain system there is totally possible.
It would be a nice addition if users had access to a toolset that allowed them to animate and manipulate shapes and text a bit easier. Fusion comes with a great Follower modifier that allows to create text effects with lots of control over per-character text animation for motion graphics work. Animation presets in line with what After Effects has to offer would be a welcome addition.
Fusion 8.2 vs Fusion 8.2 Studio
As mentioned previously, Fusion 8.2 is available in two versions. The main differences between the two comes down to whether; A.) You will be doing stereo/optical flow work or need to use plugins from third party companies, and B.) You work in a studio and need multiple licenses for artists and/or rendering. If the answer is Yes to either A or B, then you will want to look into Fusion 8.2 Studio. Also with Studio, you get access to unlimited network rendering, and scripts that can help automate things on your network. Fusion 8.2 does not come with this customization so you will only be able to render through the compositing interface.
Generation is a project management toolset in Fusion 8.2 Studio that allows for collaboration between multiple artists working on the same project. Supervisors and producers can assign and track shots, keep track of their status, and even review and annotate dailies so everyone is kept in the loop. This is something similar to Shotgun Software which also allows for tracking and reviewing shots.
In conclusion, Fusion 8.2 (Studio) has a lot going for it. It is a really great piece of software that has all the tools any budding or experienced compositor might need. With Fusion 8.2 being free, and the full Studio version coming in at $995, this tool is a steal. It has a nice clean interface that allows you to immediately understand what is going on in the composite, and with the default toolset it can easily keep pace with its competitors. A better method for dealing with multichannel EXRs would be a nice addition, as it would speedup and ease the compositing workflow. Fusion has also been around for many years, so there is also a great wealth of tutorials out there that will get you started in the right direction.
Cover and "Downtown" images are (c) Copyright Blackmagic Design, all other images are property of Joël LeLièvre.
- Blackmagic Design's website
- Fusion's official page
- BMD's Fusion tutorials
- Fusion tutorials on YouTube
- Older Eyeon Fusion tutorials on YouTube