Latest post Sat, Jan 20 2018 10:36 AM by Bruno M. 7 replies.
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  • Thu, Jan 19 2017 4:16 PM

    • clearhead
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    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
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    BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    Hello Editors,

    i want to revisit a subject which was a topic last year - using BMD Fusion 8 with the BMD AVX2 plugin.

    i would love to add some serious VFX and graphic design capability to the timelines I create on my Avid Symphony and Media composer systems - and I like the look of what is this software promises, so I am considering to purchase the Fusion 8 Studio software - which appartently includes fully functional support for the connect plugin -  for use with my Avid Softwares ( no DNXIO as yet).  I have dabbled with the free version of Fusion and the plugin but the performance is painful. 

    Would anyone care to share their experience with this workflow? Does it really do what it says on the tin ? Do sequences seamlessly transfer between Avid and Fusion, and back again? Is it really something you can use in a demanding situation? Or is it buggy and unreliable ? 

     

    Many thanks 

    Trevor H

     

    Trevor Holland
    cut and post TV

    Filed under: ,
  • Thu, Jan 19 2017 8:54 PM In reply to

    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    clearhead:
    Would anyone care to share their experience with this workflow?
    IMO a throttling it with an very expensive hardware dongle or requiring it to have the $1K approx Fusion Studio was a massive wasted opportunity by Avid.
    clearhead:
    Does it really do what it says on the tin ?
    It can. 
    clearhead:
    Do sequences seamlessly transfer between Avid and Fusion, and back again?
    Not sequences, but  clip or clips that have the AVX plug-in applied to do.
    clearhead:
    Is it really something you can use in a demanding situation? Or is it buggy and unreliable ? 
    Only using the free Fusion and Edit Connection with MC here I would not use it in a mission critical situation. I would only try IF I had time to fall back on a plan B.

    Fusion free and Edit Connection works brilliantly with Resolve Free. (I am reliably informed it also works very well with Lightworks Pro.) Sadly for me this means more and more of my Avid timelines are now moving to Resolve much earlier in the Edit process than I would prefer.

  • Thu, Jan 19 2017 10:37 PM In reply to

    • Bruno M
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 11 2010
    • London, UK
    • Posts 513
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    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    clearhead:
    I have dabbled with the free version of Fusion and the plugin but the performance is painful.

    I'm not sure what you mean when you say the performance is painful. Are you referring to the Edit Connection plugin in the Avid timeline or the performance within Fusion? The plugin claims to be a 'green-dot' effect, but you'll need a pretty fast workstation to get real-time playback. Essentially the plugin is connecting to a sequence of RAW stills that were rendered out of Fusion which Avid then trys to play without dropping frames. You can of course, render this effect (as you would any other timeline effect), or you can make use of the video cache feature in the latest versions of Avid, so once you've played through the effect once, it's stored in a memory buffer and will subsequently play real-time. In any case, there's no difference in performance between the free and paid versions of Fusion as far as playing on the Avid timeline is concerned.  The only reason to have the paid version is that the plugin correctly opens up Fusion and loads the composition. The free version doesn't load the comp, so you have to find and load it manually. The prevailing wisdom on this 'bug' is that only the paid (Studio) version of Fusion supports external scripts, which is what the edit connection plugin uses to create the necessary folders to hold the media and load the generated comp.

    As far as performance in Fusion is concerned, again this is going to depend on your workstation specs. Unlike Resolve, I don't think Fusion uses GPU power to any great extent, so you will certainly need lots of CPU power  once you start adding multiple nodes to your comp. I would recommend dual 6 core Xeons as a good starting point. Fast RAID or SSD drives will also help speed things up. The other major consideration is memory. When I first tried using Fusion on my HP Z series workstation, I had 36 Gigs of memory, but I found that Fusion was crashing during my renders back to Avid. What I discovered was that I was running out of physical memory, and the OS (Win 7) was not able to use the disk cache as I'd previously switched this off, to save unnecessary writes to the SSD. This shows that having both Avid MC and Fusion open uses a shed-load of memory!

    The upshot of all this is that if you intend to try and run this sort of setup on a laptop, you're going to be seriously disappointed!

    My conclusions on the Avid-Fusion combination are, that if you want to get involved with complex comp work or 3D projection, then apart from Nuke, this may be the best option. For less demanding VFX, I think it's a bit of overkill, and using something like After Effects will get you the results you need. It's a shame there isn't an AE  AVX plugin available!

    Bruno

    HP Z800, HP8760, SonnetFusion RAID, Mojo DX, Symphony 8.10, JVC DTV1910 HD tube monitor, HP Dreamcolor, Avid Artist Color [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Jan 21 2017 10:31 AM In reply to

    • clearhead
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Posts 23
    • Points 355

    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    Thanks v much for these detail d replies. That certainly shines some light on the matter. 

    I appreciate the point about running a system with enough clout to handle the rendering, but I think most simple TV paint or retouch jobs and basic VFX can run on a moderately speccedsystem. Fusion has OpenCL and GFX acceleration according to their website. 

    I am mostly interested in the performance of the plug in - does it perform its job as we would wish, is it rock solid and fast. To judge by your responses I would give it a thumbs up in the paid version. Obviously the free version does not have full functionality here - but the work around is fairly simple. So far, in my experience the file exchange has flunked occasionally - so I agree that it would be risky to use it like this in a mission critical environment. 

    I agree that Avid have missed a trick in not getting this plugin properly implemented across the product range. Proper compositing and graphics capabilities have been missing since for ever - not to mention Color Grading. I always find doing this kind of thing with Avid's built in tools to be irritatingly clunky. TV Work requires a finishing system where we can edit fluidly and develop looks and styles, add funky titles and do a bit of basic compositing without straying too far from the master software suite, so integrating a powerful tool like Fusion, add  Baselight, and you have pretty complete offering - if it all works seemlessly together. 

    For me at the moment it a question of whether other offerings like Adobe or Smoke offer a more reliable and flexible and easier alternative. Nevertheless I am going to give Fusion a spin!

    Thanks again.

    Trevor

    Trevor Holland
    cut and post TV

  • Mon, Jan 23 2017 11:22 AM In reply to

    • Mercer
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Apr 15 2010
    • Posts 372
    • Points 4,715

    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    With any BM I/O hardware I believe, in my case a Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0, and the Avid supplied driver for the DNxIO, Fusion free and the Connect plugin works very well and as advertised, launching the project directly firstime from the Avid timeline.

    I think Fusion free is wonderful and I do and definitely would recommend it for production use. I am on a i7 quad core laptop with only 8GB ram and an Nvidia Geforce lower end card, of 2GB ram, and do not find any real performance issues with Avid and Fusion. For anything intense I would probably run Fusion standalone to maximise resources, but I have not found the need for this yet.

    Fusion free and Resolve lite are really incredible pieces of software for 0 cents! Together with any I/O BM hardware they become irresistable.

  • Tue, Jan 24 2017 10:56 AM In reply to

    • Bruno M
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 11 2010
    • London, UK
    • Posts 513
    • Points 6,505

    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    clearhead:
    So far, in my experience the file exchange has flunked occasionally

    I have noticed strange bugs as well. I've created an effect with three or more versions, and when I re-open the Avid timeline a few days later, I only seem to have  two versions available via the Edit Connection version slider.

    My big question is how committed are Blackmagic to continuing to develop the Avid plugin? This plugin was inherited from Eyeon when they bought Fusion, and they haven't really done anything radical to it's functionality since then. Given that they're trying to get users to edit on Resolve, they're going to be more motivated to developing the Resolve-Fusion relationship.

    clearhead:
    Proper compositing and graphics capabilities have been missing since for ever - not to mention Color Grading.

    Avid seem to have had a 'design-and-forget' policy with their software for many years. Want modern colour grading?... get the Baselight Plugin. Want a proper FX compositing system?... here's the Fusion plugin. Even something apparently simple like the Title tool isn't given a facelift. They simply point you to Newblue.

    Maybe there's some method to this madness. If we did try to have everything in one piece of software, would it be impossibly bloated and difficult to debug? Looking at the way Adobe do things, they choose to keep their main pieces of software separate, but they work on making their apps talk to each other with dynamic linking, which is far superior to messing around bouncing AAFs back-and-forth. Even Blackmagic, who develop both Resolve and Fusion, have so far kept the two separate, choosing to provide seamless linking between the two. It's a shame that there's no motivation for Adobe to develop a plugin for Avid. How cool would it be to be able to have AE and Photoshop  effects on your MC timeline, which dynamically re-link to any changes you make in your After effects /Photoshop layers?

    Bruno

    HP Z800, HP8760, SonnetFusion RAID, Mojo DX, Symphony 8.10, JVC DTV1910 HD tube monitor, HP Dreamcolor, Avid Artist Color [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Jan 18 2018 5:31 PM In reply to

    • willss
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    • Joined on Thu, Oct 24 2013
    • Posts 13
    • Points 105

    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    I'm curious what people are finding with the Fusion / Media Composer workflow a year later - now that things are perhaps more developed?

    I'm on an Imac, osx 10.12.1 with no blackmagic cards. So far i have been able to get the Fusion Connect software (inside Media Composer 8.7) to partially work with the free version of Fusion 9. As one other person here found, I can create the frames for use with Fusion from inside Media Composer using Fusion connect but then i have to manually bring those into Fusion myself - it can launch the software but no nodes are present, just a blank cavas.

    Has anyone else had any better success with other combinations? 

  • Sat, Jan 20 2018 10:36 AM In reply to

    • Bruno M
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 11 2010
    • London, UK
    • Posts 513
    • Points 6,505

    Re: BMD Fusion - is it worth it?

    willss:

    it can launch the software but no nodes are present, just a blank cavas.

    Has anyone else had any better success with other combinations?

    Using Fusion Studio fixes these problems. Seems it's something to do with Fusion being able to use external scripts - something only the paid version has.

    HP Z800, HP8760, SonnetFusion RAID, Mojo DX, Symphony 8.10, JVC DTV1910 HD tube monitor, HP Dreamcolor, Avid Artist Color [view my complete system specs]
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