April 4, 2016

You Can Finally Get Blackmagic's Finest VFX Software On Your Mac

Fusion 8 has just been released on OS X devices for the first time ever.

Rejoice, Mac users, for the world's most advanced integrated 2D and 3D compositing and motion graphics software can now be yours.

Blackmagic's compositing software has been used on over 1,000 major Hollywood blockbusters, including Thor and The Hunger Games, and now you can use it at home. It has a ton of great features, but the best part: it's completely free.

Instead of timeline workflows, Black Magic has opted for a node-based platform. The small icons represent effects, filters, and other processing tools which can then be connected to build up larger and more complex visual effects. These nodes are organized on the screen in a tree—similar to a flow chart—that allows you to break down and visualize your scenes. It's much faster than timeline-based tools or non-linear editing systems because you don't need to hunt through stacks on stacks of confusing layers.

The free version of Fusion 8 includes:

  • A massive toolset featuring paint, rotoscope, tilting and animation
  • Multiple keyers including Primatte an amazing 3D particle system
  • Advanced keyframing
  • GPU acceleration
  • Support for importing and rendering 3D models and scenes from other applications
"Avatar" image courtesy of Prime Focus World

If you scroll through the more in-depth list of features on Blackmagic's website and find that the free version just won't cut it, you can always opt for their Studio Version for $995.       

Your Comment

28 Comments

it's also available on windows bruh, mac comps can't touch the performance of a high end modded comp

April 4, 2016 at 1:44PM

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ya dawg, just lettin' those mac users know what up doe

April 4, 2016 at 1:54PM

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Jon Fusco
Producer/Editor
Actor/Writer/Director

shiiiiiiieeeet

April 4, 2016 at 9:01PM

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You do you, boo. You do you.

April 4, 2016 at 2:06PM

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Pc peps reppin hard. Too funny

April 4, 2016 at 5:15PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1028

Where are the best educational resources for fusion? Links appreciated...

April 4, 2016 at 1:59PM

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youtube is where I'm learning right now... Lynda.com very soon

April 4, 2016 at 5:11PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1028

1k, well worth it. I'm freaking stoked about this app!

April 4, 2016 at 5:10PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1028

How does this measure up to After Effects?

April 4, 2016 at 6:49PM

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Paul-Vincent Alexander
Storyteller
161

it's free, different tool

April 4, 2016 at 9:02PM

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I'm keen to learn one of the two but node-based looks conceptually harder to get your head around. What would folks recommend?

April 5, 2016 at 6:09AM

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Guido Gautsch
Education Person
171

Quite the opposite. If you do complex effects, it sooo much easier to track what you are actually doing in a node based editor than it AE.

Each single node can (optionally, if enabled) show an image of what it is currently doing. That way you can quickly understand the "flow". In fact, node based is nothing else than the visualized flow chart of the steps you do to make up your final composited image.

Check out the free edition and see why its such a useful tool. We use it since nearly 25 years over here...!!!

April 11, 2016 at 5:21AM

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Axel Mertes
CTO / Founder Magna Mana Production Bildbearbeitung GmbH
178

Its a very different thing. Your not doing lower 3rd graphics in Fusion.

It's really for high end VFX i.e. compositing, green screen, rotoscoping, 3D integration etc. It's in the same ball park as Nuke and FLAME though not yet as complete, I don't think it has a 3D camera tracker (though most people use something like PFTrack or Syntheyes anyway).

Although people can do that stuff in After Effects it's like drawing on a computer with a mouse, it's possible but a lot harder, for worse results, than using a Wacom pen.

After Effects shines in design and motion graphic uses, way better Illustrator and PhotoShop integration etc.

April 4, 2016 at 9:35PM

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Andrew Stalph
Editor
245

Speed wise:
Multiple times faster on many projects. True multi threading, render farm computing (pro version), GPU rendering for several effects, efficient memory handling.

We have seen projects coming in from customers, done originally in AE. They consulted us because AE told them 500 hours of rendering blowing their deadlines. We rebuild the whole thing in Fusion in a few hours and rendered in 2 hours. Its not always THAT extreme, of course not. But the idication is: Complex stuff is handled way faster in Fusion than in AE.

April 11, 2016 at 5:24AM, Edited April 11, 5:37AM

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Axel Mertes
CTO / Founder Magna Mana Production Bildbearbeitung GmbH
178

um....
I don't mind seeing posts that are in fact advertisements, please just note this at the top as a courtesy.

fusion is a fine application and the fact that there is a free version and is now available on mac is great...but lets not get crazy...
if you want the "...the world's most advanced integrated 2D and 3D compositing and motion graphics software..." you're going to have to get yourself a copy of Nuke by The Foundry, it's the standard, for better or worse, in the VFX industry.
there is also a non-commercial version
https://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/nuke/non-commercial/
Nuke is available on Win, mac, and most importantly Linux.

April 4, 2016 at 7:38PM

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Michael Goldfarb
Senior Technical Director - Side Effects
310

Yeah Nuke is used by like 80%+ VFX companies. Fusion maybe by 10% or even less.

April 5, 2016 at 7:07AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1198

Andy,

Interesting, where do you get those numbers from?

However, with an almost unlimited free edition (most important: commercially useable free edition) Fusion from BMD will quickly gain a lot of additional users/traction in the market. Fusion never existed on MAC and Linux before, so Nuke was the only way to go...

Comparing the pro's and con's Fusion will win over Nuke for most users, especially when considering price/performance.

Clearly there are things in Nuke that are missing or more complex in Fusion. But the opposite is true as well.

Over here we do VFX work in Fusion since nearly 25 years and I have yet to find a job that we can't handle in Fusion but could have handled in Nuke instead. Nukes strongest point in the past few years was the aggressive marketing (due to a lot of investors money). Now with BMD being one of the most aggressively marketing companies that might quickly change. See what happend to the grading industry with the acquisiton of DaVinci.

In a strongly changing VFX world, where cost pressure is often a deciding point on "to be or not to be" - Fusion is currently more appealing than its expensive counterpart Nuke.

And the only reason there is a "free" Nuke was the fact that BMD announced Fusion for free. The tricky point is what one can do with these and if you can use it commercially. For me, Nuke free is nothing else than a limited use "learning edition". Something that Eyeon essentially had since decades before getting acquired by BMD.

April 11, 2016 at 5:50AM, Edited April 11, 6:06AM

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Axel Mertes
CTO / Founder Magna Mana Production Bildbearbeitung GmbH
178

Michael, not every studio needs Nuke. The non commercial version has serious limitations, and the commercial version ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. I've been using Fusion since it was owned by Eyeon, and it offers great value for the cost. Even though I wish it properly supported deep, I can't deny how much they're giving to their users. The Foundry doesn't really understand the small studio/indie market like Pixologic, Allegorithmic and even SideFX.

April 5, 2016 at 10:22AM, Edited April 5, 10:22AM

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LukeP
225

my comments were more about the claim that Fusion was "...the world's most advanced integrated 2D and 3D compositing and motion graphics software..."
which is demonstrably not true.
The fact that there is a free version is really great news for indies and those who want to up their game are now in a great position to do so....and get off Autodesk.
thanks for the SideFX shout out :)

April 5, 2016 at 8:08PM

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Michael Goldfarb
Senior Technical Director - Side Effects
310

That's marketing for you :).

As far as the SideFX shout out, Houdini Indie is a brilliant idea. The Engine has been great for bringing assets into Maya which it would not be able to handle itself. If the architecture allows, have you ever considered raising the annual pricing and adding 3rd party renderer support?

Long term I'm definitely looking for options beyond Autodesk.

April 6, 2016 at 11:00AM, Edited April 6, 11:00AM

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LukeP
225

glad to hear you're finding Houdini and Indie useful.
I can't talk about the future of Houdini or Indie but if you send us your thoughts they will be considered.
and keep an eye out for news!

April 6, 2016 at 7:58PM

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Michael Goldfarb
Senior Technical Director - Side Effects
310

https://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3206&It...

THANK YOU for listening :D. SideFX clearly gets it.

April 22, 2016 at 3:25PM

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LukeP
225

Anyone know a good training resource for Fusion 8? I've always wanted to learn it but I can't find any resources for beginners. I wouldn't mind paying for it, either.

April 4, 2016 at 10:30PM

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I'm quite happy with the cmiVFX Fusion tutorials. Digital Tutors also has a few introductory courses. FXphd just started a subscription based service as well, but so far I believe there is only one Fusion course.

April 5, 2016 at 10:29AM

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LukeP
225

I think they will soon become the most used compositing app in vfx. Nuke is way too expensive right now. Here we get a superb free composting app with a really good studio price (kinda a steal looking at other comp apps). I don't think After Effects is a compositing app, it's more a motion design app. Let's be honest - layers suck when you need to composition different videos/masks. Nodes are much more powerful & it's easier to make changes by using them. Of course Fusion is not as great as Nuke right now, but it's Blackmagic - they will make it as good or even better sooner or later.

April 5, 2016 at 7:06AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1198

"Instead of timeline workflows, Black Magic has opted for a node-based platform." Fusion was already node based before Blackmagic bought it.. Seriously this whole article is just old news... And please the free version (just like resolve) is more than enough the the individual User! Unless you're a professional post house you mostly won't be needing the paid version

April 5, 2016 at 4:17PM, Edited April 5, 4:19PM

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Jose Santos
Student/Director
220

Re: Already node-based... Yes exactly, and for years prior. NFS needs to get some real writers who know what they are talking about instead of making crap up. And to the other point... agreed you wouldn't need Nuke unless you were running a serious VFX house.

April 5, 2016 at 4:54PM

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Razor
VFX Colorist
232

I thought they just hired new writers and moved out from the basement they were in to a real office.

I can't comment on this article, because I don't know sh-- about VFX (wish I did), but when they're talking about more pedestrian DP-related equipment, it's often obvious that the writer either doesn't *actually care* about the specs and details, or is a really... slow... learner.

April 7, 2016 at 7:51PM

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