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John Bigboote

Black Magic Fusion (compositing and effects) Free - now w/updates

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I'm so spread thin with trying to learn new software these days... with the entire Adobe CC... and FILTERS for After Effects nowdays you can delve into for years... trying to spread my horizons in 3D and 'enhance' A:M's abilities. I've been using AE since V1 (COSA After Effects) and so it will be a hard sell to get me away from it. When I worked at a larger company I worked with many Flame artists... and occasionally a customer or sales rep would ask me 'what can the Flame do that After Effects can't?' and my answer was always 'bill out at $900 per hour.'

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Nodes make it easy to adjust any single part of your project simply by clicking on the node and making an adjustment. That’s much faster than a timeline based tool such as an NLE because you don’t need to hunt through nested stacks of confusing layers.

 

Now I have to sort through a weird diagram of confusing nodes.

 

I never had trouble with layers, they make sense. Why do people have trouble with layers?

 

And is there really no timeline in this thing? How does that work when all motion picture footage is about time?

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I've been watching the competition heating up but am surprised to see some of the recent releases. Fusion... wasn't expecting that one.

 

Now I have to sort through a weird diagram of confusing nodes.

 

There are some aspects of nodes that work well... for example, A:M's post effects are (in effect) nodes but just without the visual respresentation of nodes.

It was my exploration of nodes in another program that helped me better understand how to work with A:M's post effects... um... just in time for the A:M Composite 'Build Composite' function to disappear from the UI of course. But, moving on...

 

The upheaval in the FX industry has ignited some fires under folks that wouldn't have otherwise been lit and throwing the fuel of a whole lot of new technology onto that pyre is expanding that considerably more. And the scary thing... all that has just started. We are in for some interesting times ahead for sure.

 

On ocassion I have been a little concerned that so many different and competing products were being started and then due to competition set aside or abandoned but I'm a bit more inclined now to see that a good deal of understanding was grasped by those involved in making those diverse products that will then be folded back into the next iteration of products that are currently on the drawing board.

 

Concerning Fusion... I only took a quick look at it before so will need to explore. :)

 

And is there really no timeline in this thing?

 

There is a timeline view. F7 is the shortcut (On the top menu View/Show Timeline View)

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If they'd make an After Effects project importer that would get my attention.

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If they'd make an After Effects project importer that would get my attention

 

Hehe. Did you just cut and paste that? ;)

 

 

I think you might get that with the Fusion Studio release (the thing the basic free Fusion software is now the enroute to).

That'll cost you $995 though.

 

 

Black Magic's purchase and repurposing of Eyeon Fusion is a game changer.

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Are they doing that in C++? Could be a waste of time.

 

Edit to add:

Just a bad joke as in composite seems to be similar to what I was looking to do with color transparency on Android which uses Java (Microsoft uses C# and Apple (ios) Objective C, as if you didn't know, and I'm not sure if I know, for sure, all I need to know at this point, for sure)...sure!

Kudos for free software, though! But not compatible with mobile devices (which I never saw being so popular either, but the programming goes beyond thee "smartphone"...and eliminates C++ from the stage, if I interpret correctly).

 

Of course if you're in the movie business, and have a nice layout to work from, this looks like the software to use...but..?

 

Yeah, their's looks legit and my project looks like a complete failure, and I'm jealous, and, well...all in good fun! They did stick it out there for free which means something[?]:

?

1-No Response

2-Something better coming

3-Need experienced users (!!! :)

4-Bored

5-Some other reason (most likely)

6-Good, Wholesome Folks (Ha! now that's funny!)

 

I watched Riddick the other day and realized the acting must be not as advertised as you just run in front of a blue screen (or whatever color they use now, perhaps call it the vacuum screen, or something) in a costume, and say lines. To develop the environment (stare at computer all day) would be closer to the excitement. Just my opinion and longwinded follow up to a somewhat regrettable post.

 

Edit:

I heard on the radio today that the movie (Ascension?) uses a different method for displaying things (sprites) than the (now dated!) green screen. They said that the images are now projected with light (hologram?) and it looks more real...Unfortunately, I slept through most of the movie before knowing this! Otherwise, I would have had a reason to watch. I did wake up when the space ship landed in the ocean, though, but only because the nice lady behind me told me I was snoring too loud I think.

Hence, #5! Outdated technology.

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I will have to give this a try. I managed to get myself a Black Magic Pocket camera when they had their 50% off sale but haven't been able to do much more than fiddle with it yet. I think they also offer a free version of Davinci Resolve, which I believe is color correction software. Is Fusion editing or compositing software? Or both?

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Fusion isn't an editing so much as a creation tool. This includes compositing but also particles effects, 3D lighting and rendering, etc. etc.

 

With software like Fusion, I'd say the A:M Virtual Studio just got a serious upgrade.

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Fusion is pretty cool but it sure does make you appreciate having A:M. :P

It's a whole different mindset creating things in Fusion.

 

 

Added: Lest the Mac users feel left out... a Mac version is said to be (eventually) forthcoming.

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I always avoid programs that use spaghetti nodes. Layers are so much easier to deal with.

Was looking at Houdini and they have a full version for private use and when I saw it takes about 40 min to make a box and drag oodles of noodles connecting them to little blocks I figured even if it's for free it's not worth installing.

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I always avoid programs that use spaghetti nodes. Layers are so much easier to deal with.

 

 

In many ways nodes are simply layers in another dimension.

The best of both worlds might have a layered approach with an opion to open a nodal view.

 

Layers and Nodes really address different aspects of the same approach and the more relevant comparison/contrast wouldn't be layers vs nodes but rather -scripting- vs nodes.

Some folks like to see the text that drives all of the changes in code but the difficulty with code is that following relationships within the code flow can be difficult.

Nodes (and spaghetti code) allow one to trace the flow of operations from origin through to final destination.

Layers do much of the same and yet they also lack the ability to (easily) trace flow.

 

Now, I"m not advocating the use of nodes over anything else but just recognizing where they can be useful.

I love layers in drawing programs but few people take advantage of the various filter/effects that can be applied to layers.

As such they won't benefit much from nodal operations because their adjustments aren't complex enough to warrant their usage.

 

What turned my mind toward the benefit of nodes was my attempts to layer in a number of A:M's post effects on a set of images.

It was hard to see (much less remember) what a specific post effect contributed to the whole.

Further, it was hard to adjust the settings of one Post Effect without being able to anticipate it's effect further down the road.

Nodes, with their spaghetti code at least allow us to trace and test the effect and see (more clearly) what each change contributes.

 

One could achieve a lot of the same thing with layers but layers (historically) haven't been concerned with tweaking changes after the fact but more of laying down a layer and then moving on to the next layer. It's the difference between adding accouterments to your car and then cleaning and waxing it versus diving in and ripping parts out of it's engine to determine (and fix) what isn't working as it should.

 

I'd love to see layers do what nodes can (more on that in a moment).

As a for instance, in fusion with a few nodes one can setup a system where a set of particles fills the volume of space determined by the surface of a 3D model. A layer could do this but if it could it would basically be the equivalent of a node (which is what the layer is in the context of logical flow).

 

Something that would be interesting would be comparing/visualizing keyframes as 'nodes'.

Currently, most keyframes only control position in 3D space... otherwise they are 'dumb nodes'.

Those keyframes could also be containers for additional instructions because they are known points; at this point in time, at this location, apply this effect to the flow.

The difference is that the general outlook toward post effects is that they should be applied after everything is completed... not throughout the whole production.

This view limits outcomes because the effects (generally) cannot be applied or altered elsewhere in the timeflow.

But... and this is an important exception... properties can be adjusted throughout time because of these ever present control points... er, keyframes... er, I mean... nodes. :)

 

To summarize, nodes are a slightly more enhanced version of a control point or keyframe.

By stepping back and taking a different view on their usefulness I can see them (nodes/keyframes) expanding ever more into the third and fourth dimension where we can turn the world around and observe (and alter) what we encounter from any view. It is harder to do this with non-modal layers because by design they are intentionally kept simple and linear.

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I like layers because they correspond to the end result. If I want a layer to appear in front of another layer... I put it on top. and when I look at the layers in the timeline it's obvious what will be in front..

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I like layers because they correspond to the end result. If I want a layer to appear in front of another layer... I put it on top. and when I look at the layers in the timeline it's obvious what will be in front..

 

That's a good example of what I'm talking about.

The majority of users of layers (I'm talking mostly of photoshop-type layers here) use layers in a very linear manner... stacking things on top of one another... with few ever changing the application setting from 'normal' to another option (although I understand folks do have a thing for the color burns).

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Here's a quick go at compositing our favorite knight into nodes to get a feel for working in fusion... not exactly intuitive at the get go.

Note that I'm not messing with any OBJ exports/imports here, just the knight rendered out of A:M although I did mess a little with that yesterday.

 

This was actually a test to see if fusion automatically updated to newly rendered images in the composite.

It works but I need to find how to turn caches off by default because it doesn't always automatically update to the newly rendered images..

 

Two things I also wanted to test was text and what they call 'fastnoise' which is used to create a volume in space... in this case a generic fire effect.

The easy edit text overlay... we can't really do in A:M but I suspect the fastnoise could be similated via a material or something similar.

 

 

 

 

spaghettinodes.jpg

test000.mov

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Are its particles 3D? If it understands a depthmap I presume you use that to put particles around a model.

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Are its particles 3D? If it understands a depthmap I presume you use that to put particles around a model.

 

I've only tested with image based particles but the particles push 3D objects as well.

There is a tutorial on floating leaves that was simple enough to follow where leaf images were applied to 3D planes (and those planes deformed via subdivision).

It should be fairly trivial to forgo the image/plane and replace it with another object... a modeled leaf for instance.

 

I have used the particle system to fill the shape of a 3D object (Rabbit from A:M).

I need to try that again though because I was lost in the early stages of learning the UI when I tried that.

 

In other news... I find it ironic that before Black Magic's purchase Eyeon's asset management program (now included with the studio version) was called Generation AM.

Now it's just called Generation.

 

For those that are inclined toward coding (realtime or otherwise) Fusion's use of scripting via LUA and Python is impressive in that it grants access to pretty much everything in Fusion. Hovering over any item in the UI with the mouse reveals the code id elements in the lower left corner of the interface that can be used to drive those elements. Using scripts one doesn't even need to directly use the nodal interface.

 

For those interested in learning Fusion and using it with A:M my suggested would be to watch as many online video tutorials as you can. Initially don't even concern yourself with all of the information sinking in. That exposure alone will get you over the hump of figuring how to navigate through the interface. There are a couple of tips dropped in random videos that have proved to be very useful to me.

 

A few key things to remember:

 

- The background always wins

- To switch between background and foreground on a node use Control W shortcut key

- You'll need a 3D render node to generate 3D imagery

- Get use to using the I/O nodes Load and Save (as you'll want to actually save your results) although you can bypass the load node by simply dragging and dropping content (including entire folders of sequential imagery) directly into Fusion. When adding two or more images or sequences Fusion will automatically create the merge node that will be needed.

 

Edit: I just realized I didn't quite answer your question.

There is an example of Fusion placing 3D particles on/around a model with the results being to duplicate water droplets on the surface of a glass bottle.

Displacement can be used to drive distance and shapes as well.

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I will reiterate...

 

If you have any solid projects in the works you should be bringing Fusion into your workflow with A:M.

Of course if you are just dabbling... you should also include Fusion in your workflow.

For those of you who pine for A:M to be better integrated with other software... you have no excuse not to add Fusion to your workflow.

 

The first step is to download it.

 

I would list the many benefits but that'd make this a very long post but let me say this: you can use motion picture quality composition and effects used in hollywood films with A:M for free.

 

Do it (or at least have someone on your production team do it) :)

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For the Mac users who feel left out... this video tutorial is a little old but should still apply for setting up Fusion on your Mac.

 

xhttp://vimeo.com/14620180

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I've been waiting for this news for quite some time...

 

Blackmagic Fusion 8.0 has been released in beta for both Windows and Mac.

 

If you are a high end A:M user who composites shots you are really missing out if you don't have Fusion in your toobox.

 

I've only just now installed v8 and will be digging in to it more in the days ahead.

My underlying goal being to find optimal workflows for use with Animation:Master to aid in pushing productions through.

 

Download beta8 here:

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/fusion

 

 

Additional info/opinion:

For those that are wary of beta software the older and still highly useful version 7 is still available.

I suspect the primary change is that Fusion has been ported to the Mac platform.

Most changes for the PC are therefore likely to be cosmetic.

 

The obvious question might be: What would I use/need Fusion for?

One answer: Feed all those images you've created in A:M into Fusion and make an impressive demo reel.

Another: If you are combining digital film and animation together it'll be hard to beat using a compositor like Fusion.

 

For those that use Adobe After Effects the primary advantage is one of ease of use. With AE you need a lot of RAM to run the program but with Fusion you can get away with a lot less. An added example: It takes a good minute to get working in AE on my computer while in Fusion I can be working in a few seconds.

 

The initial learning curve of working with nodes can be steep but it's a short steep climb and then smooth sailing. One of the best means to figure out how nodes work (besides watching the various video tutorials) is to open a sample project and explore.

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For those of you that do a lot of FX and Compositing of your rendered shots out of A:M this will be of interest...

 

Blackmagic Design recently released Beta 3 of Fusion version 8 for both PC and Mac.

The primary thing Beta3 does is bring features back to the operating level of v7 while maintaining newer UI improvements.

I had mostly still been using v7 due to some minor issue with Beta 2.

Importantly, Fusion is free and as such is a very useful tool in your toolbox.

 

You can easily export your .OBJ and other formats from A:M for use in Fusion as well and apply materials and textures (UV maps, etc) too.

I set up and tested a quick - paint onto OBJ workflow - that worked pretty well (it'd take some work to get it to a point of being useful).

Most of my work with Fusion has been for simple composting, cropping, color correction and effects work.

Other than that I haven't explored much of the 3D, tracking or other aspects of Fusion but they all are well worth exploring.

I'd love to get into the scripting and render management aspects of Fusion as those would help automate my compositing workflow.

 

The Beta for Fusion Studio is also released for those who have purchased the studio version.

 

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/fusion

 

Here's a basic description from a recent write up over at AWN:

Fusion 8 for Mac and Windows is free for customers and is now available to download. Fusion 8 is a full professional 3D visual effects and compositing system that is suitable for independent effects, motion graphics, and broadcast design artists. Fusion 8 features integrated 2D and 3D compositing and motion graphics software with a massive toolset featuring paint, rotoscope, titling, animation, multiple keyers, an amazing 3D particle system, advanced keyframing, GPU acceleration, and support for importing and rendering 3D models and scenes from other applications.

 

For those that aren't sure if they want to proceed there have been quite a few Fusion tutorials popping up that walk through the basic setup process of working with nodes.

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I'm going to have to seriously check this out, thanks for keeping us posted Rodney.

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You are very welcome.

 

I've been thinking about running a Top 10 software listing on my blog and as of this very moment Fusion would be my #2 pick.

I'm pretty sure you can guess what my #1 pick in software is. :)

 

Install Fusion on each of your computers and leverage the content that you use A:M to create.

 

 

Fusion 7 is the stable release while v8 Beta 3 is the most current.

 

Here's a Tool Reference (PDF file) that gives an overview of some useful nodes/features:

 

http://documents.blackmagicdesign.com/Fusion/20151216-ad98dc/Fusion_8_Tool_Reference.pdf

 

There is also the user manual:

 

http://documents.blackmagicdesign.com/Fusion/20151216-ad98dc/Fusion_8_User_Manual.pdf

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>I'm pretty sure you can guess what my #1 pick in software is.

 

 

 

;) jake

 

sorry couldnt resist

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Blender *almost* makes the list.

And it would, If I actually used it. ;)

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