View Full Version : advantages to fusion

10 October 2004, 03:20 PM
I would like to know some of the advantages of fusion and if i should start to learn how to use the program compared to other programs. Can someone spare some wisdom for the animation student that would like to know more on special effects?

11 November 2004, 08:48 PM
A nice thing about Fusion is that it is a node based compositor. Other compositors like afterFX are layer based, so much the way you work in photoshop you can work easily in afterFX. Node based compositors like Fusion and Shake take a little while to figure out but I find the interface much more suited to my style. You will end up with a maze of lines and points, several branches coming from a single clip snakeing around through different branches and then coming back together again. If you can keep it straight you will be in heaven.

Another big advantage in a node based compositor is to put an output saver at any point in your "flow" (as it's called in fusion). This way I can save out all my layers: background, midground, and foreground, for my editor to play with as well as a low resolution preview of all the layers stacked together along with a full resolution master version.

When your effect is complete and you need to go back and do it again with a different background plate all you need to do is replace the source clip and hit the render button, it saves a lot of time.

So that's why I like Fusion, also because it's a fraction the cost of shake.

11 November 2004, 08:50 PM
The node based composition is a lot of more intuitive than layer-based - in my humble opinion of course. It's only disadvantage is pretty much the node-tree getting a bit cluttered if there are lot of composited layers in your project. The use of merge-nodes uses more space (as in on the screen, not memory or anything) than a typical stacking of various layers (such as After Effects). But the quick and easy inserting, removing and tweaking of the nodes outweighs the disadvantages. The interconnectivity is also a big plus - you can throw in connectors between any nodes, use output of one node as input in several other nodes and have very flexible control over the effect of each node over the whole composite (it's easy and very visually represented to get a color corrector to affect only two elements of your composite, for instance).

When I work with DF, I feel I have a firmer grasp over the end result than I've worked with After Effects (not to bash AE by any means, and I admit, I last used AE4 so things have probably changed a lot since then). Digital Fusion also eats After Effects plugins just fine which is also a big plus in my book.

The "complaint" I have with the program is the poor connectivity with 3D applications. Compositing 3D scenes is rather annoying and requires use of tracking and other redundant means as DF doesn't understand 3D camera and other motion data directly. This is to change in Fusion 5, though, so I guess it's not really a big issue. The online help file is also really sparse, nowhere near in the quality such as in 3D Studio Max, for instance. On the other hand, this handicap is balanced out by the excellent Courseware and support.

If you do start to work with DF4, be sure to update to the latest version. Up until 4.04c, the software had several annoying glitches, especially when reading DV format.

11 November 2004, 04:32 AM
I have only just started using DF (and compositing in general) but have checked out Combustion and AE briefly. For me, the 'Flow' and nodes in DF seem to allow you to work a lot better/faster/more intuitively than the others, but of course that is personal preference. However, as the dudes above have said, advantages such as being able to put render/save nodes anywhere in the flow and other things like that are quite powerful.

I am looking forward to doing more digital fusion as apparently the place I will be studying at f/t next year uses it.

11 November 2004, 09:15 AM
DF in my opinion have better(faster preview) than AF.

11 November 2004, 01:41 AM
just like all software df has pros and cons

I personally love to use it.:buttrock:
The flowgraph based UI is very intuitive and great things can be acheived even by newbies pretty quickly.
At first the ammount of tools(thats what effects etc. are called in df) looks rudimentary but soon you'll learn that you have extreme control over everything that can be edited and animated via sliders, expressions, masks and lots of other modifier stuff.
You can do a great ammount of your job with the built in tools.
And if anything doesn't suite your needs, there are lots of commercial and free tools waiting.
DF is very good for compositing, cc and keying jobs.
Animations and trackings are no prob either.

Rather than representing your scene/sequence as uncounted layers of images and effects piled over each other and animated over time, in my opinion DF gives you the feel of really compositing a scene, almost like setbuilding.

But it is not an editing or effects-blending/wiping (you know, like the ones from premiere,edit*,fcp etc.) soft!... but you knew that allready I assume....

One other thing I like very much is playing around with the mathematical modifiers and expressions.

In the matter of 3D integration:
Of course DF is not an Inferno, but since DF 5 it seems getting even closer and I prefer using DF.

To be honest in this matter I think eyeon, discreet, avid, newtek,adobe and alias should merge it alltogether and create the ultimate compositing, 2D/3d modelling/animation and editing system.
Combining flow- and timelinebased compositing and editing with 3D creation and rendering pipelines ... oh, of course with mental ray...
And all that with RT response and nearly no render times.....
but I'm drifting away.......

I'd suggest you check out the demos of all the softs you think could be appropriate for you and see for yourself.....
it is important to have a connection and feel to your production tools.
One's favorite may be anothers nightmare.....


11 November 2004, 09:38 PM
heh..nice post digital_blade
One's favorite may be anothers nightmare.....

agree 100%

check out the demos of all the softs

that can be a nightmare too

mike harper
12 December 2004, 02:44 PM
i am an old combustion users( since paint effect )
DF has lots of advantages although i wonder if it is for the beginner.
IE: you have to think a bit on a lower level butyou have more control .
i think in trems of functionality per task . IE keying colorcorrection masking etc
DF does everthink well - i think it need a few improments in masking but thats more of a preference
DF is much faster then C* and one of the most stable apps i ever worked with.

12 December 2004, 05:10 PM
How does DF stack up against Combustion?

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