Several years ago, Blackmagic Design put world-class color grading tools into the hands of the masses when they released DaVinci Resolve Lite. Now they're doing the same thing with Fusion 7, a professional node-based compositing and 3D animation software that has been used on countless Hollywood features and shows. It's powerful, it's free, and it's now available from Blackmagic's site if you're a Windows user.
Back at IBC 2014, the announcement that Blackmagic Design had acquired Eyeon, the original developer of Fusion, kind of snuck under the radar, likely due to the explosion of new 4K cameras that were announced at the trade show. However, it may very well turn out that this acquisition will do for the visual effects world what Blackmagic's acquisition of DaVinci did for color grading, in which case this is a massive announcement that will likely have a tremendous impact on the quality of visual effects in low-budget films over the next few years.
So let's take a look an interview from IBC 2014 that sums up perfectly why this announcement is such a big deal.
Here's a rundown of some of the incredibly powerful features that are available in Fusion 7 from Dailymotion user bhupduhan.
Like DaVinci Resolve, Fusion 7 has both a free and a paid version, which comes in at $995, that is designed for post houses in need of additional high-end features like a full stereoscopic toolset and network rendering. The free version is not limited in any significant capacity with the exception that it doesn't offer support for 3rd party OFX plugins and it can't output resolutions higher than QHD. Otherwise, it's an astoundingly full featured piece of software that is capable of professional and polished results.
The biggest kink in this release is that it's currently only available to Windows users. Obviously a sizable portion of content creators these days are using Macs as their primary computers, so limiting this software to Windows users would obviously limit the impact that Fusion 7 will have on the world of low-budget visual effect creation. However, in a post on the Blackmagic forums, Grant Petty revealed that a Mac version is indeed in the works and the Blackmagic engineers are hard at work rewriting the code. Here's an excerpt from that post.
Yes, we are working on a version of Fusion for Mac OS X, but there are some important things to know about that.
We are lucky that the engineering team who has been working on Fusion 7 has kept the codebase very modern and clean so that allows us to move it forward. However there is some Windows specific code in the buttons and menus in Fusion, and that code is being changed out right now. What that means is the time it's going to take to do a Mac OS X version of Fusion is a bit unknown, and so it's impossible right now to specify any kind of release day. It's impossible to even know when we can show a Mac OS X version too.
Ultimately, Fusion 7 seems likely to have a massive impact on the visual effects community because one of the most advanced pieces of VFX on the planet is now completely free of charge. That in and of itself is a massive deal. However, until a Mac version is released, we won't know the extent to which Fusion will be adopted by the lower-budget end of the film industry. If DaVinci Resolve's ubiquity is any indication, it's likely that Fusion could very well be a household name for filmmakers within a few years.
You can find out more about the features in Fusion 7, and download the software, over on the Blackmagic Site.
What do you guys think of this announcement? Will Fusion 7 revolutionize the world of low-budget visual effects? Let us know down in the comments!