Blackmagic Design's Fusion VFX software is available for Linux at last. The company said at SIGGRAPH that Fusion 8.2 is now available for download in a public beta version with feature parity across Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

Blackmagic says project files are common, meaning that artists collaborating on a job should be able to work in each other's project files without running into incompatibilies between platforms. All versions of Fusion can also be integrated into existing pipelines using Python and Lua scripting.

"We've re-engineered and rearchitected Fusion in the last two years," Steve Roberts, founder of Eyeon Software and creator of what was then known as Digital Fusion, told StudioDaily. The current version is the result, he said, of Blackmagic growing the size of Fusion's engineering team after it acquired the software in 2014 in an effort to make it easier for newcomers to use and grow the installed base.

"Look at the explosion of videos on YouTube about Fusion," he said. "It's nice to have more resources behind the software."

Of course, another tactic that has increased usage of Fusion is Blackmagic's decision to give away a fully featured version of the software for free, making it undeniably the best value in visual effects. The $995 Fusion 8 Studio adds premium features — high-end optical-flow algorithms for image processing, third-party OpenFX plug-in support, unlimited distributed network rendering, and studio-wide multi-user collaboration tools. And larger facilites will be looking at 10-user ($8,955), 20-user ($17,895) and 50-user ($44,495) site licenses.

The Fusion 8.2 public beta is a free download from the Blackmagic website; the Fusion 8.2 Studio beta is only available to customers with a Fusion Studio 7.7 dongle or higher.