Free Edition of BlackMagic Fusion Updated for Visual Effects Creation

Blackmagic Design has been around for decades, specializing in the creation of such products as digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. But it is also the developer of the Fusion advanced visual effects and motion graphics program, which has been employed for almost as long in the creation of many feature film and television projects. Sounds like powerful stuff, with a price tag to match, doesn't it?

Powerful, yes, but not priced out of reach for most of us, since the entry-level edition of version 7 was made available in 2014 for the more than reasonable cost of free. At the time Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO, stated that “Now, with the free version of Fusion, everyone from individual artists to the biggest studios can create Hollywood-caliber visual effects and motion graphics." Initially available only for Windows, with Fusion 8 Mac users can now get in the game, making this the first free cross-platform professional 3D visual effects and compositing system that's suitable for independent effects, motion graphics and broadcast design artists.

Admittedly, a more fully-featured version is available, Fusion Studio, which is priced at $995 and adds such functionality as advanced optical flow image analysis tools for stereoscopic 3D work; support for third-party OpenFX plugins; connectivity to Avid systems; unlimited distributed network rendering, and Generation for studio-wide, multi-user collaboration to track, manage, review and approve shots when working with large creative teams on complex projects. But do you really need any of that? I thought not. If you're not sure, a comparison chart of the two editions should quickly reassure you.

Fusion 8 provides a robust visual effects and motion graphics toolset that can be used for both personal and commercial work. The application provides an infinite 3D workspace and a node-based workflow for quickly building unlimited effects. Say hello to advanced 3D compositing, paint, rotoscope, retiming, stabilization, titling, a 3D particle generator and multiple keyers, including Primatte. Users can import and render 3D geometry and scenes from other applications (think Photoshop, with layer support), as well as create their own elements from scratch. Fun stuff!

If you're involved in visual effects and motion graphics creation, or would like to be, checking out the capabilities of the free version of Fusion 8 would seem to be a no-brainer.