7 Things to know in Fusion / by David Mackenzie

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Below is a short collection of a few features in Digital Fusion that I use on a daily basis. Often they are over looked or forgotten about. For those of you who are experienced fusion operators or compositors then you will most likely had have heard about and used these features many times before, those of you who are new to fusion you may not have yet come across these.

  • Proxy Proxy Proxy! As soon as you jump onto a project where the resolution is HD, 2k or above it can often be very beneficial to turn on the proxys as then can have a huge impact on the speed and responsiveness of Fusion (or any package for that matter). Its important to remember the while working with proxys enabled you can work faster there times when it can be detrimental to you work flow for instance I would not use proxys while doing roto or keying but most other exercises its a positive.
  • Channel Booleans. Similar to Shakes Re-Order node and Nukes Shuffle node, it has to be one the most frequently used nodes in my composites. Brush up on your math and master channel operations seasoned compositors use them in ways that most of us could only dream of.
  • Add Pipe (Alt-P). This simple feature lets you place blank node that is used for tiding up your composites, which is the most important thing you can do when working within a team. A well layed out and named composite is the ultimate mark of a professional. Say no to slap comps!
  • Double Edged Poly lines. This often over looked feature by artists new to compositing especially those coming from a 3d background . Double edged masks allow you to define the falloff on an edge in a mask by adding an additional edge to your shape. This is great when you are working on footage that has a lot of motion blur etc. Check the help file for more information.
  • Expressions. Perhaps the darkest of dark arts when it comes to compositing, for me getting to grips with the math behind compositing and learning how scripts and expressions interact with Fusion (or any other package) has been the single greatest thing that has unleashed me as artist. If you are technically inclined then I really encourage you to jump on the band wagon. The amount of macros that I have created that feature custom nodes taking advantage of expressions is huge and has aloud me to solve many production problems.
  • Macros. Macros as far as I am concerned is one the best way to speed up a post production work flow. If you are working in a team then macros provide you a way to standardise your workflows while speeding it up. Perhaps the most important things macros can achieve is that ensure consistency, this is very important on large projects and large teams.
  • Audio. This one is Fusion specific, often you need to load up some audio to time out a comp to especially if you are working on some motion graphics etc.  Now loading audio in Fusion while very simple is not obviously apparent (at least to me it was not). To save your self some hunting around if you do need to load some audio look no further than the Saver node and hit the audio tab. Remember that when you do load audio into Fusion be mindful that Fusion will load the entire audio file into ram.

Well I hope some of that helps you in your compositing. I would love to hear any tips and tricks that you use in compositing, 3d and animation.

Cheers,

Dave