Back in 2006 when Apple announced the end of Shake, the VFX community started to look for a compositing replacement. The two softwares that went head to head to win over the market were Nuke and Fusion. For a while it seemed like Fusion had the upper hand with it’s 3d capabilities, but it was Nuke partly thanks to it’s Linux support that won over the market.
Fastfoward 9 years, and Blackmagic buys a dormant Fusion software which has a very small commercial userbase compared to Nuke. This clearly would have set the alarm bells ringing at the foundry, which coincidentally announced a free non-commercial version of Nuke 9 a couple of weeks before. Still Fusion doesn’t have Linux support, so this news will probably won’t be of much interest for the big vfx studios.
By now this studios would have built quite complex pipelines and tools around Nuke, reason why I believe they won’t even consider a switch. However for broadcast and commercial houses this will be a very interesting news indeed. Consider that Fusion Studio which cost $995 is around one-sixth of the price of Nuke.
Will this news change the overall landscape of Compositing?
At the very least it will get a lot of people new to compositing interested in learning. Overall this important development also shows us how Blackmagic is shaping it’s hardware and software portfolio, trying to provide (similarly to apple) integral technological solutions. Paired with Davinci Resolve, Fusion will become a really useful addition when you buy any blackmagic camera or hardware.
The new version of Eyeon Fusion 7 will come in two varieties, Free and Studio ($995), and it’s already available for download (PC). The difference between the versions is that Studio includes network rendering, project management tools, and third party OpenFX plugins.