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Ricardo Marty
.blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 14, 2014 at 12:06:08 am
Last Edited By Ricardo Marty on Sep 14, 2014 at 12:09:23 am

i wonder where they are heading?

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/press/pressdetails?releaseID=61765


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David Mathis
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:10:52 am

This will certainly create some serious competition. Will it lead people from After Effects over to Fusion? Hard to tell but from a motion graphics standpoint I really don't think a node based approach is necessarily the best, even a simple project would have a very complex node tree. Layers are a better choice in this situation, just my opinion.

What does intrigue me is the possibility of enhancing processing still images for post production (not print) at least in the terms of not dealing with a layer approach.

I have a feeling they could be giving The Foundry some competition. They have a great pedigree but the price of admission is very high. Perhaps this will make Fusion available to small post houses and independent film makers, this, of course, will be determined in part by the price structure that Blackmagic Design will go with. Given how they dramatically dropped the price of Resolve (after acquiring it) leads me to believe there will be the same for Fusion. It might drop enough that a rental option might no be needed. Time will tell.

Regardless, this has a potential to be a huge game changer. What it will be available for the Mac platform? Only time will tell but with Resolve available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, there is a strong possibility for Fusion. Too early to tell.

I firmly believe that Fusion will be available as a separate application not integrated into Resolve from a logistics and UI point of view. Just my thoughts. Will be interesting for sure.


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Ricardo Marty
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:22:22 am

bm is inching closer towards a suite of apps. i guess this the begging of the end of a monoply at least i hope so.


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David Mathis
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 14, 2014 at 1:32:15 am

I hope so as well. I also think Fusion and Motion will complement each other. Very solid workflow between FCP X, other editing applications and Resolve. Hoping for the same between Motion and Fusion or perhaps FCP X and Fusion. That would be a major win. So far it is much easier to go from FCP X to After Effects then Motion with Clip Exporter. Now if Blackmagic would come out with a photo type editor but looks like they are aiming for the mid and high end production and post production market at the moment. On the other hand there is Resolve Lite.

Wondering how Adobe is going to react to this and what their strategy is going to be. Would be interesting to see what Apple has up their sleeve as well.


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Chris Pettit
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 14, 2014 at 3:26:22 am
Last Edited By Chris Pettit on Sep 14, 2014 at 3:31:37 am

[Ricardo Marty] "i wonder where they are heading?"

Prediction: This is not going to be a viable replacement for Adobe Video offerings.

Yet.

Is it the first shift towards significant competition for Adobe product offerings? Maybe. And for the first time since we have debating this issue, I sincerely HOPE so. I have now fully migrated from the "protest and hope Adobe re-thinks this" thinking, to the "I'm done with Adobe, where are the new tools?" crowd. I'm impressed with some of the Adobe updates, but in no way interested in changing my entire business model to acquire them.

As a reminder: Why is it Adobe wont offer options for subscription/Perpetual license?

Because if they did, many customers would immediately migrate back to the more stable and predictable Perpetual License model, regardless of release cycles and support, where you have control over YOUR business and YOUR work, instead of having it turning over to Adobe against your will. And this "might" upset their stockholders. Otherwise, they would offer both, and succinctly answer Davids question: "why don't they want my money?"

Good riddance Adobe. Glad your stockholders are happy. I'm not, and I was a long time customer. What happens to your stock value if a TRULY significant alternative pops up? If you think Adobe's not worried about that you're wrong.

Is this press release the solution to Adobe hubris? Probably not, although I am increasingly a big fan of BM, I own a lot of their hardware, and they continue to innovate.

But this idea that the whole industry is heading towards subscriptions and loss of control for small businesses without any input from the customers and the market is HorseSh*t. If the industry was solidly in favor of "subscription only" then Adobe wouldn't have to shove it down our throats. It would sell itself.

Adobe IS worried about competition and competing products. But they appear to simply believe that because their products are (in some cases) outstanding, and their proprietary formats are the standard, that customers will never leave the "subscription" ecosystem.

They're WRONG. We're out here. Waiting for the next thing. Cash in hand.


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David Mathis
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 14, 2014 at 4:09:06 am

Meanwhile there is an update (in beta present, will be full version version at month end) of Resolve. Mind you it is still not considered a full blown alternative but did add some very nice updates. One is the ability to have swap edits -- like those in prior versions of Final Cut Pro and the ability to add a transition to multiple clips at the same time. When bringing in importing into the media pool the folder hierarchy remains intact. You can even add fade handles video and I think audio as well. This could very well indicate BMD heading to a suite of products. Who knows, they might even have their own version FCS, which would be a welcome relief.

With that said, however, I really do like FCP X and Motion 5 but hoping that Fusion will make its way to the Mac platform. Time will tell. I might even considering it for some motion graphics and enhancing still images (though not for print). Fusion has an excellent tool set but for high end motion graphics After Effects is the only real option at this point. For quick and dirty stuff, not super complex stuff I really love Motion. Yes, it might seem a bit odd to use a node based compositor to enhance still images for post-production but the node structure does have some advantages. I still have a copy of Shake around and earlier versions of FCP. Guess those will make a good museum piece one day.

There are very good options out there and if people make the switch who knows what will happen.

I have nothing against Adobe products, just respectfully disagree with the subscription only plan. I outlined some of my concerns in another post on this forum. That's just the way the ball bounces.


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David Mathis
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 26, 2014 at 5:47:10 pm

[Chris Pettit] "Prediction: This is not going to be a viable replacement for Adobe Video offerings.

Yet."


I certainly agree but then this video caught my attention:



For something fast and not overly complicated, Motion would be my tool of choice. For anything else, Fusion sure looks very solid.


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Tim Wilson
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 26, 2014 at 7:26:45 pm

Sorry if this is rambly. I've been thinking about some of this stuff without having thought it all the way through...and I should be doing a million other things than this, but this is more fun to think about. LOL


[David Mathis] "For anything else, Fusion sure looks very solid."

With a big but. The author's comment on the Vimeo page is that Fusion is the best of AE plus the best of Nuke.

How do you feel about Nuke?

Also, he takes 12 minutes to explain an alternative to the Wiggler, which you can set up to use in 12 seconds in AE.

Which is to say that I'm agreeing with you, David, and agreeing with your agreement with Chris, so none of this intended to refute YOU. We're in complete agreement.

But I even think that Chris's caveat of "yet" has a big but with it. I can't see Fusion EVER moving into AE's core competencies, because it never has. It would need an entirely new and not especially compatible toolset to even start.


I mean, it's not like you can't use tiny pieces of Fusion's toolset to substitute for some pieces of what you're doing in After Effects....but if that's the goal, you're looking at it through too small a lens.

As I've noted in other threads, I'm a huge fan of Fusion....for compositing. That's the word that typically comes after "node-based," as in "node-based compositing." You won't find the phrase "node-based motion-graphics" running around, because nodes are a....I was going to say "terrible," but let's say "ill-suited"...approach to mograph.

Which is fine, because Fusion never claimed that. (Nor does Nuke for that matter.) Here's what I got from the web. "Fusion is a fully integrated, nonlinear composting and special effects postproduction system for the manipulation, processing, and special effects creation," etc etc etc. No mention of motion graphics.


Even in Fusion's current incarnation, it's feature set has helped eyeon punch well above their weight at the high end of the market... for a set of tasks that in practice has virtually no overlap with After Effects...and where it does, you're probably better off with AE.

Really, how much time do you want to spend learning nodes to do a roto composite when you can use Mocha in AE and export the masks to your node-based compositor? Faster, easier, and probably directly in the heart of a workflow you're already using.

I still encourage you to dig more into Fusion for what it IS. Your jaw will drop. I'm certain that, yes, this will do for node-based compositing what Resolve did for grading....but everyone needs grading, and hardly anyone NEEDS nodes. LOL

So, in addition to the parts of Fusion that the blogosphere hasn't been talking much about (ie, it's actual core LOL), here are some other key parts of the eyeon portfolio.

Generation and Generation 4K. The former is a profoundly powerful asset management system with a zippy playback engine. I think asset management is an under-served need in this market, and the consistent ding against Resolve as an NLE is its inconsistent long-form playout. Problem solved, and problem solved.

Where Generation 4K shines is in the buttery playout of 4K, 7.1, HFR, 3D, plus all of these combined as needed, straight into the high-end digital cinema projector of your choice. No need to create a DCP package just to review your assets. This obviously isn't a feature for everyone, but as Resolve plays its part to mainstream digital cinema work, this is a huge next step.

When I say 3D, I mean both stereoscopy and CGI. (And Fusion does indeed have a rich stereoscopic toolset, and gorgeous optical flows.) Fusion's playback engine also handles millions of polygons with complex shadings. It's exactly what you'd want in a system designed to composite 2D and 3D CGI elements.

It's also scriptable using industry-standard protocols like Python and Lua....as is Fusion -- yet another part of the product that has gotten very little attention among the "free alternative to After Effects" hopefuls, but is at the core of Fusion's enthusiastic adoption to date.


EPP, the eyeon Production Pipeline. Intimately connected to asset management, but again taking it to the next level for facilities. The fact is that virtually every project at the high end requires a unique workflow. Contractors for other parts of the project (say, the balance between multiple VFX houses and the studio's in-house VFX creation and supervision teams) change, sources and destinations for footage, on and on and on. The pipeline you set up for one project may have nothing to do with the next project.

You might of course have multiple projects underway, with their own pipelines. Not just features, but multiple spots, which can have pipelines as complicated as any feature (albeit shorter pipes.) Plus clients who not only want approvals, but need to make their own changes to the pipeline as a project evolves.

There have been companies that have tried to crack that nut periodically, with varying degrees of success. I think the right way to handle it is to bake the capability into a suite of already massively and easily customizable tools -- hey, like Fusion and Generation!



Render Nodes. Not every company has these as a separate product, but for people who need an infinitely scalable 64-bit+ network, put together with powerful, cusomizable asset management and production pipeline, eyeon continues to build out a set of features that really doesn't quite have a peer. Nuke has some obvious overlaps. Some combinations of high-end Autodesk tools do. But mostly, end users have had to put this stuff together ad hoc, on the fly, with little visibility or extensibility horizontally or vertically, across multiple simultaneous workflows. It's been a nightmare.

I don't know from experience that eyeon has tamed the beast. I got out of the game as they were getting in. But having hung around with a number of eyeon customers over the years, it looks like they've done something special.

Again noting that Resolve was formerly seen as a combination of rocket science and voodoo that was beyond the reach of mere creatives, but quickly made itself accessible to an astonishing range of people, the eyeon acquisition doesn't feel to me like the extension of Resolve's nascent NLE features, with Fusion playing the AE role in a suite to compete with Adobe or what's left of Apple's suite. Not at all.

It feels more similar to buying converters and switchers to move into an adjacent market. There, a combination of the heritage telecine and studio business, using the cameras to light up new possibilities for affordable TV production. Here, it feels more like a move into higher-end compositing and pipeline management for workflows on potentially a much larger scale -- which would also have Resolve in the mix. And maybe some converters.

It's not that individuals haven't been making good use of Fusion. It's that Fusion is best understood within a suite of products and potentials oriented around teams both inside and outside an organization. Also as noted before, not just Hollywood, but anyone doing agency work, sharing projects with multiple vendors, episodic production, on and on.

Look, my general advice when thinking about Blackmagic's acquisitions is to think bigger. I assure you that Grant Petty is. I've yet to see ANYBODY (including me, for that matter) speculate about a bigger future for a BMD project than what BMD actually pulled executed. Anybody here look at the combination of routers, switchers, converters and a cinema camera and think, "Ah yes, a wall-to-wall entry-level TV studio." Not me, man.

I likewise advise thinking smaller. Pressing Grant on this in several conversations, I don't get the impression that he thinks even one person on earth needs every Blackmagic product, or that he's aspiring to anything of the sort. The closest thing to a pattern I see is the extent to which his career has shaped by the passions he developed working in telecine rooms....which is in fact where a lot of Resolve's roots lay.

Other moves have been rooted in his ownership until 2012 of a post-house in Singapore (did you know that there was a Blackmagic post house in Singapore?), where he was been able to get insights into some aspects of workflow that are invisible to outsiders. Not that I'd have guessed that eyeon would be his next move, but I can easily imagine that a post-house in one of the world's true crossroads, with clients around the world, would have some interesting pipeline and asset management issues.

My general advice about thinking big for these acquisitions is starting with what the products actually ARE. After slashing the pricing, the first possible move will be to make these products more of what they ARE. For example, other than the natural, if accelerated evolution of cutting tools in Resolve, it hasn't fundamentally changed its nature.

And my general advice when thinking about After Effects is to stop hoping for a complete alternative. It's been 20 years since Adobe bought After Effects. Motion notwithstanding, if somebody could have done it by now, they would have. And in fact, for motion graphics, Motion offers some real appeal, but trying to cobble Motion and Fusion into the AE alternative that you've been dreaming of....dream on, my friend, dream on. LOL

And while you're dreaming, dream about the possibilities of affordably adding a toolset and production environment you've never had before. Which is different than thinking about replacing the one you've got.


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David Mathis
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 26, 2014 at 7:50:21 pm

[Tim Wilson] "How do you feel about Nuke?

Also, he takes 12 minutes to explain an alternative to the Wiggler, which you can set up to use in 12 seconds in AE.

Which is to say that I'm agreeing with you, David, and agreeing with your agreement with Chris, so none of this intended to refute YOU. We're in complete agreement.

But I even think that Chris's caveat of "yet" has a big but with it. I can't see Fusion EVER moving into AE's core competencies, because it never has. It would need an entirely new and not especially compatible toolset to even start."


I have looked at The Foundry Nuke and it looks very solid as well. It is a bit on the expensive side and should be as the target audience is high-end post-production and not something that should fall into the hands of the mass market. Just my honest opinion.

While a layer based approach is more "appropriate" in some scenarios, and not everyone needs a node based approach, nodes do have their place and benefits. I think we can agree there. With nodes it can be easier to track down a problem and troubleshoot, you also get a schematic flow chart to look to see what is going on behind the scenes.

I would never seriously consider using a node based application for motion graphics as the node tree would get to the point where even a brain surgeon or rocket scientist would not be able to understand it. :-)

For now, I will be happy with Motion as I don't need all the features in After Effects, and just don't feel comfortable with a subscription only plan at the moment.

In the event that Adobe were to offer something like Avid has, then I will consider changing my mind. I have never been comfortable with a subscription only model when it comes to software. That is just me. LOL

As always, I do appreciate your comments, thoughts, opinions and insights. I try to keep myself from getting on the offensive or defensive side of things.


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Steve Connor
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Sep 26, 2014 at 7:54:11 pm

[Tim Wilson] "And my general advice when thinking about After Effects is to stop hoping for a complete alternative. It's been 20 years since Adobe bought After Effects. Motion notwithstanding, if somebody could have done it by now, they would have. And in fact, for motion graphics, Motion offers some real appeal, but trying to cobble Motion and Fusion into the AE alternative that you've been dreaming of....dream on, my friend, dream on. LOL"

Adobe know this and I wouldn't be surprised if in the next year we see some major improvements to AE to accentuate the point


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Peter Wiley
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Oct 2, 2014 at 3:09:36 pm

I think BM have a business model in mind, and it's Apple's.

Hand-in-glove software and hardware.

Executive Producer
Arbour Media LLC


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Andrew Kimery
Re: .blackmagic buys eyeon fusion
on Oct 2, 2014 at 3:50:58 pm

[Peter Wiley] "I think BM have a business model in mind, and it's Apple's.

Hand-in-glove software and hardware."


Apple makes the platform though while BM makes optional I/O hardware. BM's position is much closer to Avid's than to Apple's. The I/O hardware market is a shrinking one which is a big reason why Avid MC no long requires Avid hardware to run and BM has gotten into the camera market.


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