Paid Version Adds Optical Flow Toolset, Third-Party OpenFX Plug-in Support, Distributed Network Rendering for $995

Just two months after purchasing Fusion 7 maker Eyeon Software, Blackmagic Design has made the VFX and compositing package for Windows available as a free download.

The free Fusion 7 is not feature-limited, Blackmagic said. The software includes an array of 3D compositing, painting, rotoscoping, retiming, stabilization, titling, paticle generation, and keying tools. For a paid upgrade, Fusion 7 Studio ($995) adds high-end features including the optical flow toolset introduced in Eyeon Dimension, the asset-management front-end included in Eyeon Generation, support for OpenFX plug-ins from third parties (such as GenArts and RE:Vision Effects), and distributed network rendering. 

Projects can be begun in Fusion 7 and transferred to Fusion 7 Studio to take advantage of the collaborative features, the company said. A full list comparing the feature sets is available at the Blackmagic website. 

When Blackmagic purchased Eyeon Software, Fusion 7 sold for $2,495, including the Dimension toolset but not including Generation, which tacked on an extra $995. Blackmagic emphasized that Fusion 7 Studio has no annual maintenance or subscription fees, does not require an Internet connection, and has no per-node costs for rendering licenses. That means the company is aiming to make Fusion a disruptive influence in VFX software, just as it shook up the camera business with its cinema camera line and put price pressure on color-correction tools by bringing a free version of the powerful DaVinci Resolve to desktops. 

"As Grant [Petty, Blackmagic CEO,] mentioned in the press release, visual effects software has been expensive for a long time, and Blackmagic Design looks to provide its customers up-front with the software they've already purchased, which is why Fusion 7 Studio is not subscription-based and has no plans to be," Blackmagic Design's Bob Caniglia, senior regional manager for eastern North America, told StudioDaily. "Just like DaVinci Resolve, customers can pay $995 for access to the full version of the software with no maintenance, subscription, connection, or per-node render license fees."

Blackmagic said that current Fusion 7 customers and those with a current Fusion support plan can get the full Fusion Studio package at no additional charge.