Blackmagic Design buys Digital Fusion

Today's front page of

Today's front page of

This is interesting.

Blackmagic Design has purchased Digital Fusion. FX Guide has the press release.

I used Fusion when I was at CORE from 2003 to 2010. CORE stopped upgrading when Eyeon switched over to a subscription support model, so we were stuck on the very buggy 5.1 version for FOUR years. By the time CORE went out of business, I had my fill of Fusion.

Looking back, Fusion 4 was pretty awesome at the time. It was version 5 that I remember thinking that they had lost their way. Version 5 introduced the 3D system but there was no update to their 2D tools. To me, that’s been the biggest difference between Nuke and Fusion. The Foundry seem more receptive to changing their core tools (re-writing roto and paint several times, improving their warping tools, putting in a new tracker) while Fusion has spent a lot of time improving the 3D side, which isn’t always what a compositor needs every day.

I noticed that right away when I started using Nuke. Tools like reconcile 3D and Points to 3D were very useful to me as a compositor, and the projection toolset was very mature when I started using it in version 5. I remember seeing the update to Fusion’s version 6 and thinking that their 3D shaders did look cool, but how often would I really be using that? It would be great to hear what Fusion artists think in the comments below.

Now that Blackmagic has bought it, I would assume that a big price cut is in it’s future. If you look at what Blackmagic did when they bought Resolve, they made dramatic cuts to it’s price pretty soon after buying it. Beyond that, I’m not sure what changes will come. Hopefully they pump more resources into development and really go after Nuke in a big way. Competition will only bring lower prices and more tools to artists.

In other news, the LA branch of Siggraph had a meeting where they discussed the State of VFX. The meeting is now up on YouTube here. I haven’t watched it yet, but it should be interesting. I’m pretty sure that the problems for LA artists will eventually become the same issues for Canadian artists in time.

There has also been an overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker’s program, which could cause problems for VFX companies bringing in artists for short term projects. Relocate magazine has some analysis of it. This CBC article quotes a US production service company that says that these new rules will have a dramatic effect, making Canada a less competitive production location.