Having first been exposed to Eyeon Fusion in the early 2000s it’s great to see it back and even better than ever before. Back then it was revolutionary, as the tool set Fusion provided was second to none, and I saw some great pieces of work created to enhance productions.
Fusion is a true node-based graphics compositing tool but it’s much more than simply a VFX generator. The node-based interface allows complex processes to be built up by connecting nodes to nodes – think of it like a flowchart. You start at the left with your raw element like a shot of a street, then you work to the right adding in nodes that can have all types of individual parameters like particles, moves or colour changes.
For instance, you may have a node that creates a matte, which is linked to a node that had a fill, giving the impression that the street light is on, where as it was off in the original shot. Having all the nodes kept separate rather than layers means you don’t have to keep track and in-sync multiple layers and nests in a traditional timeline. What’s great about nodes is the fact that each node represents a much simpler process allowing greater flexibility and much simpler operation.
One of the key reasons Eyeon Fusion is better than before is the integration with Avid. When I was first exposed to Fusion you had to export and import to get work in and out of Media Composer. As you can imagine, this was very time consuming and not easy, even to make slight changes. Now in Media Composer & DS it’s as easy as dropping on an effect!
From the Effect Palette within Media Composer you select the Eyeon Connection effect – you can add this to any layer. From here you select the number of video layers you want to work with, and click one button to push the clip with the correct duration, tracks, project settings and relevant media into Fusion. In the background the AVX2 plugin is using the Eyeon Connection module and the end result is Fusion with the clip you want to work with.
Using Fusion for rostrum work is as quick as using Avid Pan & Zoom but it gives you a lot more control over the image. You can choose to use a 4K image which you move though zooming into areas as you move left to right. In Fusion you get a live preview that doesn’t stop as you adjust the parameters, allowing you to directly see the changes that are being made. As the frames are processed in Fusion you can step back into Media Composer and view the timeline in the context of the sequence.
If you’ve been working on a clip in Fusion that has multiple nodes, once you step back into Media Composer to see if it fits with the sequence, the plugin allows to you do versioning. Within the effect, click the version button and new version will be pushed to Fusion. Make your changes, and then take a look back in Media Composer, if you’re not happy you can select a previous version to use.
If you’ve spent a while creating an effect in Fusion, this can be used on multiple clips in the timeline. All said, Eyeon Fusion should be hugely welcomed by the Avid editing community.