Fusion is now free!

HenryGill Posts: 36
edited November 2014 in Practical Filmmaking

Was on the Eyeon website this morning and got redirected to the Blackmagic site, who aquired Fusion back in September. It turns out they're now offering the compositing software for free!

Similar to how Resolve is priced, you can pay $995 for the complete version 'Fusion Studio'.

This is exciting news as we now have a more complete Blackmagic workflow, and the aggressive pricing is seriously adding competition to the post production industry, much like they've already done with their great value cameras.

However, I personally think Fusion will be in more competition with Nuke, AE etc, rather than Hitfilm, despite its pricing. Hitfilm is still unmatched when it comes to ease of learning post production, hence the €100 price drop with Hitfilm 3 to attract as many new filmmakers as possible.

Is anyone considering eventually moving to another compositer? What would be the pros and cons of doing so?



  • I was really excited to see Fusion for free but quickly let down... No Mac version?! 

  • Well, let's see... HF retails for $299. Fusion retails for... free (yes, there's the 1K version, but I'll get to that in a moment).

    Honestly, being fair, HF does not hold a candle against Fusion for compositing. And the thing is, it never intended to. HF decided to go after AE users, but with an easier-to-use application that integrated both compositing and editing. That's the reason I got into it. I didn't want to go with Adobe, and HF was the only reasonable alternative. I got onboard at V1, and still at V2 I thought HF was not delivering everything I needed for my work, so it's basically just sat there on my hard drive. I had been waiting for it to reach the point where I could really perform all my editing and compositing tasks without problems. HF3 looks very nice, and I will very likely upgrade, but I don't think HF is going to become my main application after today.

    Fusion is in an entirely different league. As you mentioned, it has been competing the NUKE/Flame/Shake arena (even though its presence has been severely diminished in the past 10 years). It's based on a completely different workflow (node graphs, which some might like or not, which are way more powerful that the layer-based approach, IMO), so a change in mindset is required. However, the important bit is this... in the hands of BMD, Fusion has now suddenly dropped to HF/AE's range. And with much more firepower than either of both (again, IMO).

    AE has legacy to its advantage. It's been around forever, it has a big user base, people who know it really well can produce stunning results, and it has a huge ecosystem of plugins, training, self-help, etc. Not to mention it ties in with the rest of Adobe's applications (i.e. Photoshop, Premier) seamlessly (or as seamlessly as Adobe would like you to believe). HF is the new kid on the block, it has a very nice library of what I call "eye candy", is easily approachable, but it's still very immature. And this is where HF can get hurt... those who start to bump into its limitations constantly will figure out that they need to start looking somewhere else. The problem is that, at the price range HF's target market operates, the only real alternative was Adobe, and a lot of people don't want to go there since the CC happened.

    Enter Blackmagic Design. They have one of the best color grading applications out there. They then extended it to become a video editor. The now have effectively added a compositor to its product line. Both applications have both free and paid versions. The paid versions are NOT expensive at all. The free versions offer CRAZY functionality and power way beyond anything out there at the same price range ($0.00). That is something to pay attention to.

    IMO, BMD has become the biggest disruptor in the video production market. They started offering a range of cameras that offerd ridiculously powerful features and equally ridiculously low prices, and now thet have extended said strategies to their software. So, even though they definitely aim at the professional sector, their moves might end up stepping on the toes of players aiming at a user base of more limited financial resources.

    Keep an eye on this one. I hope HF can attach itself to the plugin partners Adobe has, since it may help it hold their position (you cannot use OFX plugins in the free version of Fusion). But the game just got turned upside down. I, for one, are stoked.

  • chibi
    chibi Posts: 255 Enthusiast

    This does change the pro market landscape and definitely changes my decision for the time being to get HF3. I couldn't afford Nuke or Fusion back then and went with AE.  After Adobe went cc I started looking for alternatives. HItfilm has a lot of potential and the ease of use is a big bonus. But Fusion is in another league. The way it handles data is second only to Nuke. This is the biggest thing they need to improve in HF3. I hope they show something spectacular before the november sale ends.

  • chibi
    chibi Posts: 255 Enthusiast

    I still have hopes for HF3 though.
    There's still room for a layer based compositing editing program. The convenience of layer based approach and ease of use for users is one factor. Not many have the liking for nodes. I have no preferences myself.

    What HF should be focusing on right now is getting more motiongraphics into HF3 and targetting more AE type users.

    For compositing and vfx work its now mute since Fusion is now free.

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    edited November 2014

    @tooshka, i thought you were saying you weren't buying HF3 because the cost difference.  I distinctly remember you making a big stink about it, so i guess Fusion being free does not actually change anything for you.

     Fusion 7 supports OpenFX plugins.  This just further supports what i was saying about Hitfilm needing to push plugins to Bmd's software.

    Resolve has been free for a couple years and yet people will still default to other applications that are paid for.  They added an improved editor this last go around.  I have had a paid for training for resolve for years and its still not the easiest thing to master.  Hitfilm and Fusion can easily coexist.  The speed and ease at which i can do things in Hitfilm can't be beat.  I see that Avatar was made using Fusion and I am seeing all these really beautiful shots made with fusion.  With FXhome looking into cinema DNG support i can easily say I will pick up hitfilm 3 and fusion. 

  • davide445
    davide445 Posts: 306 Just Starting Out
    edited November 2014

    Before coming to HF I carefully evaluate all NLE and compositing tools (AE, Fusion, Flame, Nuke, Smoke, Motion, etc).

    I also try Resolve 11 and 11.1 Lite and in fact this was the trigger pushing me on eGPU road, since it leverage OpenCL resources as computing unit.

    Real hw requirement and user interface complexity deny IMO any DIY learning or fast results for indie authors. HF can be the king for indie composing and still growth to large user base and add even more pro features to make happy average composer.

    You didn't find also in Fusion a NLE, so you need to go back and forth with Resolve, adding time and weight on the whole process and hw resources.

    In my opinion AE need to care more against Fusion, with his "Pro" standard status cannibalized from Fusion free version. HF can with easy whait and gather AE users discouraged from Fusion complexity.

  • I have already downloaded and have started using Fusion. I'm excited by the potential but disappointed by the complexity. I still plan on using Hitfilm, and on upgrading to version 3, simply because I see it being more efficient for a lot of my effects work. For example, I still used VisionLab  for awhile instead of Hitfilm when it came to lightsabers and lasers, simply because it's faster at that. I can get any Autodesk software for free as a student, but I've continued to use Hitfilm due to its simplicity. I plan on reserving Fusion and Maya for when I absolutely cannot figure out a way to make an effect in Hitfilm. It'll be interesting to see what Blackmagic does with Fusion in the future. The interface is terrible right now, but I can see them redesigning it to be more like Davinci Resolve, in which case it would be much easier to use.

    P.S. I eagerly await more information on Hitfilm 3 before making the purchasing decision. I check the blog multiple times a day for an update. Also, @MichaelJames, I think that the free version of Fusion does not support OpenFX, so Hitfilm still has an advantage there.

  • davide445
    davide445 Posts: 306 Just Starting Out
    edited November 2014

    Looking here Fusion Compare confirmed Free version didnt support OpenFX plugin.

    You also didn't have scripting, stereoscopic 3D, optical flow tools, network rendering. No NLE capabilities as in the full version.

    Mee too also downloaded it, opened one time, looked at the UI and closed it. Will wait in the future for a more user friendly version to evaluate it again.

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast

     @Tooshka I am sorry as per usual I don't speak internet troll

  • So it seems the biggest advantage of Hitfilm over Fusion is that it is much quicker to work with; no switching between NLE and compositer as well as the time associated with climbing that quite intimidating learning curve.

    How big a deal is the lack of OFX in Fusion however, if it's likely to be used in conjunction with Resolve or another NLE which will(?) support the plugins?

  • TommyCampbell
    TommyCampbell Posts: 33 Just Starting Out*

    Fusion for the Mac will be comming: http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=29406

    I think for most people, HF3 will do just fine. I own Fusion and will still upgrade to HF3. Why, different tools for different jobs. 


  • I think Fusion will see more use on our setup than Hitfilm 3 although I still like HF and bought the upgrade. Its about getting better and we don't mind learning new software. Show me the tutorial or manual and move out of the way for a week :) A certain amount of information is always interchangeable anyway. We might setup a whole BMD setup (camera-resolve-fusion). Super excited.

  • NovianLeVan
    NovianLeVan Posts: 49
    edited November 2014

    @TommyCampbell Awesome, glad a Mac version is being worked on. Can't wait to add Fusion to my arsenal.

    @Toonman I agree with you 100%. HitFilm falls into the AE arena while Fusion falls into the NUKE arena. HitFilm and Fusion serve different purposes - One shouldn't be a replacement for the other, but on the lines of what Tooshka said, Fusion can do a lot of what HitFilm can do.

    I wouldn't say HitFilm is immature or eye candy. I'd say it's the perfect tool for who it's designed for, indie and low budget filmmakers. It's not designed for professionals working on high end productions like AE is. However, it could definately use a boost into pro territory now that so many people are switching from AE to HitFilm, and Fusion has joined the battle. As chibi said, Fusion definately changes the pro market and landscape. This will probably cause other companies to have to step up their games.

    Things are getting interesting...

  • chibi
    chibi Posts: 255 Enthusiast
    edited November 2014

    If someone is serious I would recommend learning Nuke.  Its the industry standard film compositing software. But not everyone wants to be in the industry with rates going down the toilet in recent years.
    For making quick movies and edits HF as well as Adobe suite is more than capable. Adobe went cc so for anybody who doesn't go fo cc go SUPPORT Hitfilm.
    For anyone wanting to save a few hundred bucks, get Fusion free.
    Just be aware that node based software is not for everyone. Being organized and meticulous is a big key with nodes. A big web of nodes sometimes drives people nuts with its open ended approach its hard to find which node is which in a big complex web of nodes. Layer based software is a linear stack and easier to handle just like photoshop. Photoshop has been around without much changes because it just clicks better with people. Fusion will not click with some people. It took me a while to get used to its plain UI after watching a couple of training vids some years back. People shouldn't expect the UI to change its focus is getting as many nodes on screen at one time that won't be distracted by UI eyecandy.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

    You know, I can think of a free program that does 3D modeling, render, animation, particles, video editing and node-based compositing--Blender. 

    Blender hasn'tkilled 3D Studio Max, AE, Fusion, etc, and new,  free Fusion. won't kill Hitfilm. As has been noted by others in this thread, there are several other factors besides price:

    First, some people (myself included) are more comfortable in a layer/track based workflow than nodes.

    Second, some people who prefer layers prefer Hitfilm's layout to AE's or Premiere's layout to Vegas Pro.

    Third, there is NO ONE STOP SHOP software! Program X always lacks at least one "essential" feature that's in software Y.

    Fourth--and this is for the people who keep dropping the "missing feature Z makes program X totally unsuitable for 'professional' work" lines--many many MANY VFX artists, from indys up to the folks working on hundred-million dollar tentpoles will use whatever damn software works for them at the time to allow them to get the shot done. (Today's example will be Flash Filmworks, which uses software like AE, Nuke, Smoke, Flame and Fusion for final projects--note that AE and Fusion are both compositors--yet uses Vegas Pro for cutting animatics. Yeah, they don't use Vegas for final shots--that's going to be Avid, FCP or Premiere for compatibility, but for that post house, Vegas has found a niche as a cheap (compared to Avid and Premiere) fast bit of NLE for quickly cutting animatics and previz reels.)

    BlackMagic releasing free versions of Resolve and Fusion is a brilliant move--and, yes, it goes well with the cameras. It's exciting for current and future VFX artists, and I'll be downloading free fusion myself to check it out. maybe I'll love it, maybe I won't, but either way it's just another tool to add to my kit to bring out when the time is right.

    In my own work, I do prefer using Hitfilm and Vegas, but I also have Premiere, After FX and Boris FX, and I'll use those when I need a feature in one that's not in the other (there are a few effects in Boris that neither AE or Hitfilm have. On the other hand, if you're doing a "shoot 'em up movie," Hitfilm's Muzzle Flash plug-in curb-stomps stock footage and fractal noise muzzle flashes hard!

    To use a hardware example, or two, for the moment--the RED and the BMCC certainly haven't killed the competetors. RED cameras can yield spectacular footage, but they have annoying little quirks (Every time I've been on set with a RED I've heard a variation of, "Get me another bag of ice for the RED. This one's melted!"). BMCC cameras can yield gorgeous footage, but that huge crop factor--especially on the BMPCC--is limiting, unless you want to crank out another grand for a Metabones. And neither camera has killed the ENG and Broadcast video camera market, because there are jobs that an ENG or boradcast camera are just better suited for.

    Side Story: I worked Blizzcon last weekend as a cam op in the main hall. This one guy with a DSLR on a shoulder rig kept coming by and sniffing that we could replace all of our Panasonic HPX370's with Canon 7D's, because broadcast cameras suck and DSLR's were cool. The fourth time he did so I stared at him and told him that my Panny had been on and active for eight hours straight, and that I had just shot a 90-minute continuous video... Things a 7D can't do. Point being here, as fantastic as DSLR's REDs and BMCCs are, they all have quirks, strengths and weaknesses, and non of those cameras is the correct camera for every shooting situation (Note, a DSLR, RED or BMCC would have been the wrong damn camera for shooting live-cam, switch-streams all day long at Blizzcon. However, any of those cameras would be fine for running around getting B-roll and inserts. Although, for myself, I'd probably still take the HPX370, since a shoulder mount and a nice video lens is more comfortable FOR ME in a run-and-gun.

    Anyway, much like there's no perfect camera for every shooting situation, there's no perfect NLE/Compositor for any situation. Free Fusion and Free Resolve are great--this will increase the share of artists using them. However, is it really going to translate into greater sales of the full version? Doubt it! How many Mocha Hitfilm users upgraded to Mocha Pro? Probably not too many--yet a big reason Imagineer created Mocha Hitfilm and Mocha AE is to "give away" large portions of Mocha Pro's functions in hopes users will upgrade!

    What's FxHome's plan for building a user base? It's in the blog--namely discontinuing the Plug-ins as a seperate package and bundling it with HFP3--remember, your HFP3 purchase give you the OFX plug-in's for your other software! I know at least one VFX artist who is AE based who was looking at the Hitfilm Plugins specifically for things like Atomic Particles and Muzzle Flashes. His being able to get HFP3 for $200 less than the plug-ins... AND GET THE PLUG-INS is tipping him over to the purchase.

    All I can say is this is a damn exciting year for VFX software.

  • chibi
    chibi Posts: 255 Enthusiast

    Also one factor for me to still get HF3 is if it supports multi-layered exr. Most of my content is 3d rendered exr and I rarely work on live footage. I need HF to handle exr sequences efficiently. I can do without deepcompositing.

  • chibi
    chibi Posts: 255 Enthusiast

    How long into the future? A few months? A few years?
    I can't work with any other format its too much hassle asset tracking to go back to pngs, etc.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

    @Tooshka--I ain't butt-hurt. ;-) Although, re-reading my last comment, I did go on too long--that's what I get for starting writing on my phone, then picking it up on my comp three hours later without re-reading where I was. ;-) I am also guilty again of referencing comments made in other threads in this thread.

    That said--I'm pretty sure the Hitfilm Plug-ins are OFX (Wouldn't thatmake it easier to get the Plug-ins to work in other hosts? The Blog posts states HFP# will work with Open FX plug-ins, so, yeah, I think the plug-ins are Open FX. I will check the forums in a bit to see if I can find the post where it was said they WEREN'T OFX, as I don't remember that, but I can always be wrong. (That said, a quick google search for "Hitfilm OFX" sure brings up a lot of people SAYING it's OFX--For example, this review: http://tubeshooter.co.uk/2014/04/25/review-hitfilm-plugins/ )

    Statements like "Well, let's see... HF retails for $299. Fusion retails for... free (yes, there's the 1K version, but I'll get to that in a moment)..." (Toonman) and "...a free Fusion negates HF for me personally nearly entirely..." (Tooshka), and "For compositing and vfx work its now mute [sic] since Fusion is now free." (chibi) do at first glance come off as a bit of a doom and gloom prediction.

    I made a sinde reference above to the "software X isn't professional without feature Z" above comments, none of which are in this thread (but can be found in the "Announcing Hitfilm 3" thread and the "Eight months and no updates" thread. The closest we get to that in this thread is chibi's "[Nuke is] the industry standard film compositing software," which isn't quite true, since many houses use AE, Smoke, Flame, etc. (It's more accurate to say that Nuke is widely used in the motion picture industry) Kind of how, ten years ago "AVID" was "THE INDUSTRY STANDARD" for NLE work. Since then, Avid has lost market share to FCP and Premiere, and, by 2012, many commentators were calling FCP "THE INDUSTRY STANDARD," instead of the more accurate "FCP is one of the three NLE's most used in the motion picture industry" (But here's Resolve, trying to get in the game!)

    And yes, I do, personally, feel at this time there are many film-makers and potential film-makers who are "pulling a Lucas" and focusing too much on the tech and not the storytelling. No offense intended to chibi here, but, what exactly are you doing that's requiring a 32-bit OpenEXR, multi-layer pipeline all the way through? What's your output? If someone is going for full 4K, movie-theater projection 50 feet wide as an output, I can see needing the extra color space, but if final output is some 8-bit 4:2:0 Blu-ray, YouTube, Vimeo, or even broadcast XDCAM, I'd rather work in a 16-bit mode for extra performance. Even dealing with 32-bit, HDR stills (much less video) is always a bit of a kludge, since that 32-bit display is being seen on a monitor that can't display anywhere near that much color information (hell, if you're on a laptop, your monitor is likely displaying a mere 50-65% of the rather small NTSC gamut!). Sometimes I feel working 32-bit on a consumer-level monitor is a bit like having a $20,000 Canon C500 but putting the $150 stock lens from a Rebel t3i on it.

    Again, I stress, no offense intended--if any artist wants to work at the highest technical fidelity, go for it! But tech isn't the story--1982's "Wrath of Khan," despite it's low budget, re-use of stock footage and occasionally really terrible VFX work is a far better film than 2013's "Into Darkness." "Into Darkness" was a much better looking movie, but I'm pretty sure the theater audience isn't supposed to start laughing when distraught Spock screams "KHAAAAAAAAAAN!" after the death of Kirk--contrast that with audiences crying like mad at Spock's death in "Wrath!" Hell, one of the most popular British programs in the world is "Doctor Who," despite that show having some real clunker VFX in it.

    Anyway, before I ramble again (too late!) I want to re-summarise my key points from my previous post above and this post, restated in a hopefully neutral and concise way (HA!):

    1) Hitfilm, AE, Resolve, Fusion, Nuke, Blender, Premiere, Avid, FCP, Boris, etc, etc, etc, are all fantastic amazing software that, for a hundred buck give anyone the power to do what would have taken a couple of million to do 10 years ago, and things that were impossible at any level 20 years ago.

    2) Free Fusion, Resolve and Nuke are cool.

    3) But will not kill any market for any software anytime soon, since different users have different needs and preferences.

    4) Diversity is good. Pick up any tool you can that suits your fancy and budget--if you like it, you'll keep using it for years. if not, well, for paid software, use the demo first. ;-)

    5) *Plays "Why Can't we be Friends?" by War.

    6) Not butthurt. :-) @Tooshka, I enjoy your bluntness, respect your views, acknowledge your skills, and appreciate those times when debating you teaches me something new or corrects something I was mistaken about. I also note that you're one of the five people on this forum (a list that includes me) most likely to chime in and attempt to help or educate when a user has a question or problem. We're e-buddies! :-)

  • DreamArchitect
    DreamArchitect Posts: 597 Enthusiast

    It's certainly an interesting development. Looking at the system requirements though I'm gonna have to upgrade my memory in my laptop to be able to play with it so it wont be free for me . I don't think for me it will replace hitfilm as I don't have that much time to spend on projects, it's not my main source of income or indeed any source of income so speed is of the essence for me. It will be good to be exposed to a different way of doing things though. And to have software of this level available free is great. 

  • Har
    Har Posts: 399 Enthusiast

    I'm definitely interested/curious about Fusion, as like @Tooshka I have quite a few years experience working with NI Reaktor's node-based audio environment and am fairly comfortable working like that (probably another reason why I don't find Resolve daunting either).

    As for me, I've never really looked at one tool as a means to utterly replace another (I still chuckle anytime I hear the old cliche of a new product being referred to as "The [INSERT OTHER BIG-NAME PRODUCT] Killer!"). I'm happy using multiple tools to get things done. For example, while I  use Hitfilm, Vegas/Movie Studio, Vue Studio and Blender a lot, I also get a ton of use out of the very affordable Blufftitler software who's functionality has some overlap with the others. I've never felt the need to ever abandon one tool for the sake of another, unless I really hated the tool in question. LOL

  • Pencilandinc
    Pencilandinc Posts: 140 Enthusiast
    edited November 2014

    @Triem Bravo! I come from the world of print design and "just" got into animation & multimedia in 1997, and your points are as well-taken as they are eloquent. For many years, I refused to believe in the whole "software x is the industry standard" rubbish. My teachers always told us, "you use whatever works." Granted, we were traditionally trained (Pre-Mac) whereas most universities these days do nothing BUT teach the industry-standard software. I do understand...these are the packages that potential employers want to see on a resume, so if they don't teach it, their enrollment will dwindle.

    As someone who had (and continues to have) a devil of a time learning the node compositor in Blender, the argument can absolutely be made that there are people in the industry who prefer the layered/track-based interface to a nodal one. Just as the argument can be made that the nodal interface allows for finer control in the workflow. I simply refuse to accept that there isn't room in the ocean for one more fish.

    In my interactive multimedia workflow, I use Adobe Director (which, as it turns out, is one of the FEW packages that Adobe will not put on the CC subscription plan) BUT if the job doesn't call for it, I'll create an interactive presentation in InDesign with an end result being an interactive PDF. Right now, I'm learning LiveCode (scripting similar to Director's Lingo language with a HyperCard metaphor) which happens to be free if you're not using it to make "for profit" presentations.

    Point is, Fusion is not going to kill HitFilm. I plan to use them both. They will be just be different arrows in the quiver.

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    "Granted, we were traditionally trained (Pre-Mac) whereas most universities these days do nothing BUT teach the industry-standard software. "

    That's turning out to be like teaching to a standardized test. It gets the resume pad, but learning Premiere doesn't make you an editor. Schools don't care, because by the time you escape they already have you tuition, and teaching software is a LOT easier than teaching storytelling. There are a lot of people out there who know Premiere far better than I do, but can't tell a story worth a damn. Since I barely touch the "advanced" features in Premiere, but I know how to tell stories, it's a lot easier for me to move to another editor. I personally don't like Premiere for usability reasons, but I'm stuck with it on most of my projects primarily for technical reasons... namely, audio.

    Fusion is amazing, it's true. And it's worth a LOT more than $1000. (I'd argue that HitFilm is quite a bargain also, given its price tag.) However, the tradeoff is that it's also deeper; there's a lot more there to learn, and node systems, while they offer power and flexibility, do also add complexity, which is why most editing software is still layer + timeline oriented.  It's more intuitive... and most of the time, it's more than enough, unless you're so accustomed to the nodal workflow that the layer +timeline has become foreign to you. Then you lose the intuitiveness, and therefore the ease of use. 

    There's a bigger concern that I have with Black Magic's obsession with cheap. It's also a double edged sword; it will probably lead others to drop their prices, but in a lot of cases, it will lead to unsustainable business models, because the majority of the people who will pick up the free version will never bother to do anything with it, and no high end production company will hire someone based on the software they use if their reel is as bad as what is slowly becoming the norm on the likes of Netflix. If your work looks terrible, saying you shot it on a Red won't redeem it. If you can't tell a story, no one will care that you shelled out $2500 for Smoke instead of doing it in the $300 HitFilm.  And most people who watch it will decide whether or not they like it without ever bothering to wonder what you used to shoot it or edit it.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

    Film School can't teach storytelling, I think. They can teach software, gear, working vocabulary and give a guided selection of reference, but the nuances of timing, pacing and mood have to be felt. Film school is great for finding collaborators, mind you... But, to a certain extent, by the time you get to film school, by watching media you should already have developed a basic sense of timing and composition. Especially in this age of cheap video cameras and Hitfilm, 

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    You're wrong. It IS possible to teach storytelling, and it IS possible to teach people about timing and composition. I'm mostly self-taught as a photographer, but not completely... but my education in that wasn't formal, it was through workshops, plus a class that I took through a camera club. All of them emphasized critiques, and with the exception of the one workshop whose purpose was to teach people how to use a large format camera, none of them emphasized gear.

    It is true that timing, emotion, pacing, and storytelling are felt and don't follow an algorithmic formula doesn't make them unteachable, it requires better teachers.

    You have it entirely backward, though. Any idiot can learn the lingo and how to use the gear. Emphasizing that in film school is a waste of time, but it's EASY... which is why film schools emphasize it: it's because the teachers in film school don't want to have to work hard. They're usually there in film school because they're bad at making films, or too lazy to make films, which in the end leads to the same thing in the end, at least from a practical view.

    To teach composition and editing, you need a continuous feedback loop, where the teachers are showing the students the building blocks of visual design, editing juxtapositions, and so on, and then having the students go and do these things. Instead, the schools (the one I went to was horrendous about this) just show the students how to use a camera, and then tell them to go make a movie. THAT is a waste of the students' time and tuition.

    No... instead you start small, have the students learn to compose stills, require that they make their first films with 100% lockoff shots, and assign them their (short 1-2 page) scripts. You work with them through the entire process of designing the look and feel of the film, through shooting it, and editing it, with feedback through out the process. AFTER they've learned the basics, then you take off the fetters a bit at a time. "Ok, now you can move the camera, but it has to stay on the tripod." "Here's an eighth, shoot with static shots and shoot it with focus pulls, and understand how they feel different."

    Saying you can't teach people to tell stories is simply laziness. Most teachers fail at this by simply not bothering to make an attempt in the first place.

  • Pencilandinc
    Pencilandinc Posts: 140 Enthusiast
    edited November 2014


    "If your work looks terrible, saying you shot it on a Red won't redeem it. If you can't tell a story, no one will care that you shelled out $2500 for Smoke instead of doing it in the $300 HitFilm.  And most people who watch it will decide whether or not they like it without ever bothering to wonder what you used to shoot it or edit it." Love it!

    @Triem23 Loved your side story. I'm also a still photographer, and have had to defend myself every time someone asks why I'm not shooting with a Nikon or a Canon. I tried them and am not as comfortable with them as with my Sonys and so am sticking with what I know. My customers have no complaints with the end result after I show up with my studio equipment and start shooting.

    Point is, the equipment you choose does not always equate to your ability to perform. There's a line in the original "The Fast and The Furious" movie where the auto parts store owner is explaining to Paul Walker's character that--when Vin Diesel's character wins races--the kids go crazy and spend money trying to get what he has under his hood. At no time does it become apparent that maybe he wins races because he's a better driver.

    Everyone wants to do the next "House of Cards" or "Homeland" so the magazines/online articles cover what those shows (and/or Hollywood's feature films, for that matter) are using to produce them...with the same effect as the above scenario. As you've stated, one can learn all the software they can, but if they don't know how to effectively tell a story, it doesn't matter.

    While the tech one uses does have some latitude based on the technical factors behind their desired end product, it can be said that the innate ability to produce a masterpiece does not solely depend on the tech being used at the time. One may be limited to producing a certain type of product in a given format based on the tech they have to work with, but it can't be said that the artist/filmmaker behind the keyboard/mouse/trackball doesn't have the ability (or the potential) to create greatness.

    Admittedly, I am an aspiring student of animation and so may be out of my depth here in this forum with all of these filmmakers. I wouldn't know the difference between the output from a DSLR, a Red or a GoPro if you asked me. In my world, I don't capture footage...I generate frames. I've had friends with more intensive backgrounds in filmmaking and animation tell me that if I'm not using Maya and After Effects, I'm not doing professional work. Granted, I'm not trying to create "Avatar" here, I'm making informational animations and what would be considered title sequences for business presentations and the web. When my customers compliment the work that's going into their presentations, I laugh and think, "yeah, I'm not doing professional work..."

    I apologize for the length of my posting, but I am passionate on the topic of being told that "if you don't use Software X, the industry standard, you ain't s***." Thank you for allowing me to vent.

    @Tooshka we now return you to your regularly scheduled forum discussion on BlackMagicDesign Fusion being free. Ironically, it looks like I can't even run Fusion due to the GPU requirements (2GB discrete minimum according to the manual)...so in my workflow, HitFilm will definitely continue to rule.

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast
    edited November 2014

    I've seen some great work done with HitFilm... and I'm pretty happy with the work I've done with HitFilm, even though when it comes to VFX, I'm a rank beginner. I'm a cinematographer first. :)

    That does say a lot about HitFilm's ease of use.

    I use Sony for my digital stills, though I also shoot with an Arca-Swiss, which of course blows it away, but it also adds 25 pounds to my pack, and takes up as much space as the gear for winter backpacking. Some people question my camera choice, but the galleries don't care, as long as there's enough resolution in the image to print it, and the quality of the image is up to their standards.

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff
    edited November 2014

    "I could write symphonies like Beethoven, if I had the same piano he did."

    Not really sound reasoning, is it? But anyway, I look forward to taking a look at Fusion once it hits the Mac. Black Magic is certainly aiming to make quality results accessible, from the technical side. And as more people are able to just get out there and make movies, one would hope that they learn from the experience, and we see more quality films as a result, not just technically, but artistically as well.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

    Fusion is free! :)

  • Pencilandinc
    Pencilandinc Posts: 140 Enthusiast


    "And as more people are able to just get out there and make movies, one would hope that they learn from the experience, and we see more quality films as a result, not just technically, but artistically as well."

    Amen to that, brother.

  • chibi
    chibi Posts: 255 Enthusiast

    This thread has gone sideways. Its too long to read some of the comments. You guys sure have a lot of free time.
    Went through the videos on their site. Its pretty good to get up and running for people who haven't used Fusion. Its a world of a difference since Eyeon still owned it.  I say download it, try it and see if nodes click with you. If not its ok. Layer based workflow will never go away it has its advantages and ease of use is a big factor.
    HF should focus on mograph, preset effects and improving the NLE. Then it be competitive with the 0 cost of Fusion. As of now some people who were considering Nuke suite actually cancelled and will us Fusion. Same for Adobe, people will be going down to photography cc to save cash.
    This is a gamechanger.