Blackmagic Design released version 9 of its Fusion VFX and compositing tool, adding a new slate of 360 VR features including a panoramic viewer and support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.

A new spherical camera makes it possible to render VR scenes in a single pass without creating complex camera rigs, and GPU acceleration makes it possible for users to interact with elements in a VR scene in real time while wearing a headset, Blackmagic said.

Blackmagic’s Fusion 9 comes with VR tools and a price drop.

Among other new Fusion 9 features are a planar-tracking system for logo replacement and similar tasks, a camera-tracking system that includes analysis of lens length and distortion characteristics, and a delta keyer with a “clean plate” tool designed to “smooth out” the color of blue and green screens in live-action footage, making it easier to key them. GPU and OpenCL acceleration has been improved, the company said, and support has been added for DNxHR, MXF, and other formats to improve integration with Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.

More features have been unlocked in Fusion 9 Studio, which now includes Studio Player, Blackmagic’s take on a review-and-approval tool complete with version-tracking, annotation and LUT support. Footage can be played out via a DeckLink or UltraStudio, and multiple systems can be sync’d up remotely. With this version of Fusion Studio, Blackmagic has also eliminated additional license fees for network rendering, allowing users to use the system as as many render nodes as necessary (each artist’s workstation must still be licensed for Fusion Studio).

Fusion 9 is a free download; with this release, Fusion 9 Studio follows in the footsteps of Resolve with a price reduction from $999 to $299. Taking a clear shot at Adobe, Blackmagic pointed out that Fusion requires neither a subscription nor Internet connection, eliminating the risk that a dropped connection or password snafu will hang up users at inconvenient moments.

Blackmagic Design: