Blackmagic has appropriately chosen SIGGRAPH, the world’s largest computer graphics conference, to release news of its own largest Fusion upgrade to date. Fusion has long been an industry standard in visual effects, compositing, 3D, and motion graphics, but with today’s announcement of Version 9, the software adds another major capability: VR.
There are over 40 new features in Fusion 9.
According to the company’s press release, Fusion’s new VR toolset gives users “a full 360º true 3D workspace, along with a new panoramic viewer and support for popular VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.” Even better, the new features come with a significant price drop on its Fusion Studio, from $995 to only $299. (Like Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, there is also a free version of Fusion available to wet your feet with.)
The company boasts over 40 new features in Fusion 9. See details of some of the standouts below:
Fusion 9's 3D and VR toolsCredit: Blackmagic
Blackmagic calls its new VR toolset “completely interactive.” In addition to the features mentioned above, it supports stereoscopic VR and its GPU acceleration enables users to wear a headset and interact with VR scene elements in realtime. The 360º camera also reportedly renders out complete VR scenes in a single pass without the need for complex camera rigs.
The press release states that Fusion 9’s new planar tracker “calculates motion planes for accurately compositing elements onto moving objects in a scene,” and can also be used on rotoscope shapes. This should save lots of time and tedious effort on manual animation.
Fusion 9's Planar TrackingCredit: Blackmagic
In addition to the planar tracker, Fusion 9 also includes an entirely new camera tracker “that analyzes the motion of a live action camera in a scene and reconstructs the identical motion path in 3D space for use with cameras inside of Fusion.” Therefore, you can composite elements precisely matched to the movement and perspective of the original.
The new delta keyer features advanced matte controls, intended to let you get clean keys from any background color and preserving fine details, such as hair. A new clean plate tool is also included, which is designed to “smooth out subtle color variations on blue and green screens in live action footage, making them easier to key.”
The updates are so significant that even experienced users may want to download the project file demos on the Blackmagic Design website. The free version of Fusion 9 is available now from the site. Fusion 9 Studio is available in stores for $299.