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Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor

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Blackmagic Design Fusion has long been known as an incredibly powerful node-based 3D compositing and VFX environment, responsible for some of the most indelible cinematic imagery of our time. Tokyo Productions Creative Director Simon Ubsdell has been a Fusion fan and user for years, and here provides a dramatic introduction to Fusion's interface and toolset, as well as a closer look at the motion graphics prowess in Fusion that you may not have been expecting!



Blackmagic Design Fusion has long been known as an incredibly powerful node-based compositing and VFX environment, responsible for some of the most indelible cinematic imagery of our time. Tokyo Productions Creative Director Simon Ubsdell has been a Fusion fan and user for years, and here provides a dramatic introduction to Fusion's interface and toolset, as well as a closer look at the motion graphics prowess in Fusion that you may not have been expecting!

When we asked Simon to tell us more about how this particular tutorial came to be, here's what he told us.

I started using Eyeon Digital Fusion, as it used to be called, back in the last century when it was still very new, and doing visual effects on the desktop was still something of a novelty. Shake and After Effects were both still in their infancy, and Nuke was still a long way off. Even then, Fusion was a very serious contender with a toolset and and image pipeline that meant it could compete at the highest level.

I stopped using Fusion for a few years because most of my work was on the Mac, and Shake and then Nuke did everything I needed. In that time, though, Fusion continued to develop impressively to keep pace with the fast-moving changes in the visual effects world. Blackmagic’s acquisition of Fusion and subsequent release of an entry level free version on the PC and now on the Mac (in Beta at this point) is a complete game-changer, which means that Fusions’s premium quality feature set is now available to a much wider user-base.

Having a mature user community means there are a great many outstanding tutorials and support resources for Fusion available at this time (Eric Westphal’s tutorials for Eyeon deserve a special mention for their outstanding quality), but by and large the tutorials are created by experienced visual effects professionals and addressed at the needs and skill levels of other visual effects professionals.

As a user returning to Fusion, there was a lot that was new to me, especially in terms of Fusion’s 3D capabilities (and of course stereoscopic features), so I wanted to try and share my own journey of rediscovery in such a way that it would help users who are completely new to Fusion.

I’ve tried to explain not just the use of the toolset but also give some background on some of the concepts that may be new to users not versed in the world of visual effects. A lot of new users have opened up Fusion and been intimidated by what looks like a complex and alien interface and toolset, and many are very confused as to what it actually does and is capable of doing, so I wanted to show that it’s really not that difficult to get started and benefit immediately from some of the amazing power that Fusion offers, not just for visual effects but also for motion graphics.



Before you begin, you can download the textures that Simon uses in these tutorials here.














Simon Ubsdell
Simon Ubsdell
Hi, I'm Simon Ubsdell, Creative Director of TOKYO PRODUCTIONS, a UK-based boutique creative shop specializing in movie trailers, sales promos and TV Spots for the independent film sector both in the UK and across Europe.

I've been a film and video editor for over 25 years as well as being involved in motion graphics, sound design and mixing, music composition, visual effects and compositing, 3D modelling and animation, and colour grading, not to mention writing, directing and producing, and most recently, software development.

I am also a developer of plug-ins for the video post-production market having released a range of successful and acclaimed products both under the Tokyo brand and as Hawaiki with Robert Mackintosh.

Comments

Re: Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor
by Bob Murray
What happened? Just started the tutorial Friday and now videos are offline here Monday morning. Was enjoying the training.

@Bob Murray
by Tim Wilson
Hmmm, these are YouTube embeds, so let me drop a line to Simon and see what's afoot. Stand by!

Tim Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW
@Tim Wilson
by Bob Murray
It's back. Thank you Tim and Simon. Great tutorial.

@Bob Murray
by Simon Ubsdell
Sorry about that, Bob. I was tidying up my YT channel this morning and obviously got carried away and accidentally made these Private. They are now Public again and you should be able to access them as before.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

S.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki
@Simon Ubsdell
by Bob Murray
Thank you Simon. Great tutorial.

@Bob Murray
by Bob Murray
It's back. Thank you so much. Very good tutorial.

Re: Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor
by Brian Scott
Thanks for the tutorial - as I worked through it I noticed that the vertical edge of the cylinder is a very hard edge. It is not as noticeable in your version as mine. I could not see a way to blur the cylinder since it is a 3d object. Is there a way to soften both the top edge and the side of the cylinder?
9722_reactor240.jpg.zip

Brian Scott
President
Image Design Productions, Inc.
@Brian Scott
by Simon Ubsdell
The default cylindrical mapping is always going to give hard edges to the sides so I think I'd try using a UV map tool set to camera mapping so I could control the transparency that way, but there are probably other several other ways of doing it. Please feel free to email me if you'd like more details: support@tokyo-uk.com

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com
Re: Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor
by Andrew Holmes
Great tutorials, I've just downloaded and opened Fusion for the first time, and worked through both your videos. The concepts you've outlined are great basic steps and I can appreciate the effort you've gone to.

I had skipped ahead between the tutorials and started playing with the 3d text. Is there really no way to have a proper material surface on it? Seems a big omission.
Re: Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor
by Jay Smith
Hoping they make Resolve the primary online tool like nuke studio, and have some smooth integration with Fusion.
@Jay Smith
by Simon Ubsdell
Yes, that's my hope too - although I do worry about bloat that could potentially ensure from packing too many separate apps into one. Nuke Studio certainly handles that very well - it will be interesting to see if BM can successfully "fuse" all the components and still have decent RT playback and UI feedback.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com
Re: Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor
by Simon Ubsdell
Thank you very much, Walter.

This is all pretty basic stuff obviously, but hopefully it will help users who are new to Fusion and node-based compositing (and even basic 3D) feel a little bit more comfortable about diving in.

I'm really enjoying getting back into Fusion and am fascinated to see where BM are going to take it. I'm very much hoping that they are looking at something like Nuke Studio, which I think has to part of the plan?

Nuke is still way out ahead of Fusion in most areas, but with BM you really never know what surprises are around the corner.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo-uk.com
+1
Re: Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor
by Walter Soyka
Nice work, Simon, and beautifully presented!

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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