During IBC in September, the news broke that Blackmagic Design had purchased Eyeon and its popular Fusion visual effects software. The questions among those of us at the show began immediately. Will it be free? Will it be $995, the price Blackmagic has used in the past after buying software and then turning it around? Well turns out it’s yes on both counts.
Fusion 7, the advanced visual effects and motion graphics software, is now available for free; Fusion 7 for Windows can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website now.
The free Fusion 7 is not limited in its features — it offers an infinite 3D workspace and a node-based workflow for quickly building unlimited effects. Customers get advanced 3D compositing, paint, rotoscope, retiming, stabilization, titling, a 3D particle generator and multiple keyers, including Primatte. Fusion 7 also lets customers import and render 3D geometry and scenes from other applications as well as create their own elements from scratch.
The $995 Fusion 7 Studio includes everything found in the free Fusion 7 software, plus high-end features such as optical flow tools for advanced retiming, stabilization and stereoscopic 3D production, support for third-party OpenFX plug-ins, and distributed network rendering so customers can render jobs on an unlimited number of computers at no additional cost.
Fusion 7 Studio also includes Generation, a studio-wide multi-user workflow and collaboration tool that helps creative teams manage, track and review versions of every shot in a production. Customers can also move projects from the free Fusion 7 software to a workstation running Fusion 7 Studio and take advantage of workflow collaboration and unlimited distributed network rendering.
The company emphasizes that Fusion 7 Studio doesn’t require annual maintenance fees, subscriptions, a connection to the cloud or per-node render license costs. Fusion 7 Studio will be available from all Blackmagic Design resellers. Existing Fusion 7 customers and customers on a current Fusion support plan can upgrade to Fusion 7 Studio at no additional cost by contacting Blackmagic Design.
Fusion has been used on thousands of feature film and television projects, including Maleficent, Edge of Tomorrow, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Amazing Spider-man 2 and The Hunger Games, as well TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black and others.
“Visual effects software has been expensive for way too long and it’s time that this changed. Consumers are screaming for more exciting movies and television programs and so we need to do everything we can to help our customers create stunning visual effects,” says Grant Petty CEO of Blackmagic. “Now, with the free version of Fusion, everyone from individual artists to the biggest studios can create Hollywood-caliber visual effects and motion graphics. When combined with DaVinci Resolve Lite, customers can get advanced tools for editing, grading, 3D compositing, visual effects and motion graphics, all absolutely free.”
What about a Mac version?
Apparently postPerspective wasn’t the only outlet asking about a Mac version of Fusion. After some nudging Grant Petty released a statement.
“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 code base 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.
“However, it is early. We have only been working with Fusion as a Blackmagic Design product for a few weeks and so we will know more soon hopefully. We have already doubled the size of the engineering team, so this means we should be able to move faster, depending on how the team grows and works together. The trick is to work on a Mac OS X version of Fusion as well as doing all the other things we want to do, such as new features. A bigger team will help that. There is a lot more we want to do than just the Mac OS X version, even though that’s important!
“One thing I can say though, is that our plan is to allow anyone who purchases the Windows version of Fusion 7 Studio to use their dongle on the Mac and to be able to download that Mac OS X version of Fusion free of charge. That’s what we do with DaVinci Resolve and it’s very flexible, and I think helps people a lot. So we want to do that with Fusion also, even though they are very different types of software.
“I use a Mac, so I want to use Fusion without needing the VMware emulator I need to use now!”