Want to get your hands on a new VFX tool without spending a penny? Well, today Blackmagic has surprised the video industry by releasing the brand new version of Fusion for free. Download Fusion 7 for Windows for free.
Update: Fusion 7 is coming to the Mac. Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty has revealed that the famously Mac-loving company is working on a Mac OS X version of Fusion. More details at the bottom of this story.
There are two versions of Fusion 7. The standard version is free and is aimed freelancers or small studios, while Fusion 7 Studio costs £635 and has tools for larger post-production and VFX houses.
Fusion 7 features an infinite 3D workspace and a node based workflow for quickly building unlimited effects. Customers get advanced 3D compositing, paint, rotoscope, retiming, stabilisation, 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 software has been used in many Hollywood blockbusters, TV series and high-end commercials, but tended to be restricted to the elite end of the visual effects market. Now Blackmagic Design is claiming the move to make Fusion 7 available free of charge will revolutionise the industry.
Blackmagic dramatically bought Fusion-developer Eyeon just prior to IBC in September when Fusion 7 was entering its final stages of development. This shock pricing news is certain to create waves in an industry clustered around just a few major players.
Boutique VFX studio Coffee and TV is a long-time user of Fusion, and managing director Derek Moore greeeted the Blackmagic announcement enthusiastically.
"From a company point of view anything that gives the best artists the tools they need is welcome," Moore told us. "We provide a creative environment for talented artists to create the best visuals at affordable prices. Free software encourages more people to learn to be artists - if they become good enough they can work with us. A stronger, bigger, pool of talent to choose from will make our offering better. What's not to like?"
Blackmagic already offers a free version of one of its other former acqusitions, grading software DaVinci Resolve Lite. It has also had a substantial impact on the broadcast and post production hardware and high-end camera markets with a range of comparatively lower-cost, high quality products.
"Visual effects software has been expensive for way too long and it’s time that this changed” said Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty. "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. Now, with the free version of Fusion, everyone from individual artists to the biggest studios can create Hollywood calibre visual effects and motion graphics.
"When combined with DaVinci Resolve Lite, customers can get the world’s most advanced tools for editing, grading, 3D compositing, visual effects and motion graphics, all absolutely free."
Fusion 7 Studio includes tools that aren't in the free version that most studios will need. However, Blackmagic said Fusion 7 Studio will drastically reduces the cost of setting up multi user studios. It's available for £635 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
Fusion 7 Studio includes everything found in the free Fusion 7 software, plus adds extra high-end features such as optical flow tools for advanced retiming, stabilisation 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.
In a dig at its new competitors in the VFX/motion graphics space, Blackmagic said that Fusion 7 Studio would not require annual maintenance fees, subscriptions, a connection to the cloud, or per node render license costs.
Fusion 7 for Mac
Following the announcement,Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty has revealed that Blackmagic is working on a version of Fusion for Mac OS X. The 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,” he added. "I am sorry I cannot be more specific with timeframes, but it's early days and so this is about the limit of the information I have."
“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,” said Petty. “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.”
Petty added, "I use a Mac so I want to use Fusion without needing the VMware emulator I need to use now.”