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Fusion Studio standalone questions

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ladlon

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Fusion Studio standalone questions

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 5:40 pm

Hi. So I'm considering buying Fusion Studio (Standalone). I'm currently using the free Fusion 9 standard version.

I'm wondering if there was any news/clarification on the whole future of the standalone version, as well as having some questions regarding licensing.

I am interested in the standalone... although I'm okay with a merged (Davinci Resolve with Fusion integrated)... but only if the merged version of Fusion ends up being equal or better than the standalone.

I know there was backlash on the whole integration thing, as the integrated version had to be compromised in some ways in order to be merged, making it a lesser compositing system.... so I heard.

I'm glad to see there is still a standalone version, and that Fusion Studio 17 (standalone) appears to be coming.

So, I'm hoping someone can tell me:

-Is the standalone version going to continue, or will it be dropped once a merged version is as good as the standalone?

-What happens to license holders of the standalone Fusion Studio. Are they then stuck at whatever the last version is, with no future updates, or will their license allow them to switch over to the merged (Resolve with integrated Fusion)? Or will there be a switchover discount, or what?

I'm just trying to get some idea of the future of the standalone license...
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UserNoah

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Re: Fusion Studio standalone questions

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 6:54 pm

They did discontinue it once with Resolve 15 and a year later brought standalone back with version 16. I would assume that this means that they will continue with a standalone version. But Blackmagic is very very tight lipped. And they don't really talk about standalone. The Fusion community is in a very strange place for a couple of years now because it's sorta in a limbo. There is no Fusion Product manager that we know of and currently it seems like bugs in Fusion are only fixed if they are connected to Resolves Fusion integration. And don't expect to hear from Blackmagic here in the Fusion Forum. Try the Resolve forum for that.

But at the end of the day I still use Fusion for all my vfx work and the cost is so small that even if you only use it for a year it wouldn't cut into a budget. I actually use Fusion 17, besides the downgrade of the UI, for my work. I forced myself and am sending bug reports on a weekly basis. I seem to stumble upon every single issue there can be. The reports seem to fall into a void, but I haven't given up hope completely. 1/12 bugs I submitted have been fixed.

Also you say you wouldn't mind using Resolve Fusion, then it doesn't matter. The Fusion dongle will also activate Davinci Resolve. For now all updates since Blackmagic reduced the prices to around 300 dollar were free and included in the license you already owned. I use a Fusion 9 dongle and have no issue using Resolve 15/16/17 or Fusion 9/16/17.

Fusion doesn't get the love it deserves, especially not on the VFX side of things, but it's still a great deal and a really good compositor.

Edit: But just to clarify. I personally wouldn't use the Resolve Fusion for big vfx work, and I have tried. The workflow doesn't work for many VFX shots, versioning, archiving etc and you give 30% of your RAM to the rest of resolve that you don't need. Also resolve takes ages to start compared to under 10 seconds for Fusion.
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ladlon

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Re: Fusion Studio standalone questions

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 7:37 pm

Hello again, UserNoah. Thanks for that info.

Ya, the whole tight-lipped thing is very familiar in the software industry, it seems. I had the same kind of scenario with Moho (a 2D animation software I switched over to years ago). They too went into limbo, after a managment shift/buyout type of thing... and there was no update for the longest time. No word on the forums, and a lot of worried users. They did eventually release an update, but it was pretty lame, and many actually use the previous version, as it's more stable.

Darn.... It seems I keep running into this type of thing... investing in an alternate software, only to have a perfectly good thing go kind of in limbo, and sometimes going in some odd, undesireable direction.

I've been using AfterEffects since the 90s (I literally have the v1 CD), but have long since replaced my Adobe suite with alternatives (I refuse to do the subscription thing, plus they kind of shafted me). The only replacement remaining is for AfterEffects. Nuke is just not an option due to price, and Natron just seems like it will never be fully-functional (...although I haven't checked recently).

Fusion seemed excellent. Very happy with it. But then the whole merged thing happened... and the uproar... and the downsizing of Fusion (to merge it)... and the UI change. And that left me wondering if I was about to invest in something that was going to die... in one form or another.

I wasn't aware that a standalone license would also allow you to use Resolve. I'd actually question it (from what I have been previously told), but if you have used it, then I guess that pretty much tears that! That would be great.

Ya, even if they get 'full Fusion' merged into Resolve, you still lose 30% of the CPU, as you say. So, it's never going to be better than the standalone.

That does concern me, if you are right about the standalone not getting proper bug fixes.

Are they actually adding new features to the standalone? I guess they have to be doing something to it to make it a new version. I haven't been keeping up to date on what has been added/changed/fixed since v9.
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UserNoah

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Re: Fusion Studio standalone questions

PostFri Feb 19, 2021 10:28 pm

Blackmagic should create a spreadsheet detailing which license gets you what because there is a lot of confusion out there. Fusion dongle gives you everything Fusion and Resolve.
Resolve digital license will definitely give you all recent Resolve versions and Fusion 17 but not sure about the previous versions.
I personally only came into contact with the Resolve dongle at a company that I've worked at. There I used Resolve and Fusion 9 and 16 with it but no Network rendering.
And with my personal Fusion dongle there were no limitations, including unlimited render nodes.

Regarding the updates. They changed the UI of Fusion to what was introduced in Resolve 15. That's pretty much a downgrade because it lost all customizability. It looks more modern and Fusion/Resolve 17 made some improvements but it's lacking to 9.

They updated most tools to run on the GPU which was mostly a step up compared to Fusion 9s OpenCL processing. But 16 introduced bugs like faulty VRAM management resulting in very high render times sometimes taking longer than cpu only or artifacts in the vector motion blur. The vram management has gotten a little better and doesn't seem to affect everyone but it's still problematic on my end. The artifacts in the motion blur are there since Resolve 15 Fusion. Pretty much forcing you to use cpu only mode for final rendering. No speed gains there.
(On a project I'm working in right now I have to disable all GPU processing before final rendering because otherwise it will crash or take too long. This is with a Rtx 3070 on Windows)

They also updated the Planar and Camera tracker from 9 to 16. They definitely had some speed, and it seems like, accuracy improvements. Especially the Planar tracker is pretty good.

17 introduced the shape nodes which are aimed at motion graphics. It seems like they are inspired by a plugin called Krokodove. They seem fine for the things that Blackmagic seems to see Fusion as, a title generator for Resolve. Obviously they also have merit for fake UIs and such.
But even those new features haven't received enough dev time or testing. Like the bug that the viewer controls only work on the width of the ellipse shape. Sure it's still in beta but that bug was literally the first thing I and many others noticed.
They also introduced a new optical flow model. It is much much faster and a nice addition. Unfortunately it doesn't work reliable but that's a bug that I would assume will be fixed.

They also added new layouts to the Fusion UI which would've been nice but that hasn't made it to Fusion standalone and is only in Resolves Fusion. They also made many Resolve Color Page effects available inside Fusion Resolve but never brought them to Standalone. So far the integration into Resolve has been a one way street, not the two way street like they said.

I'm not sure what the endgame is. I assume they want everyone to migrate to Resolve Fusion but that most likely won't be me. I'm in the fortunate position that I could switch to nuke if I have to but thankfully Fusion is still most of what I need and I'm quite efficient in it.

It definitely sucks to start with a software in such a state because of the constant looming dread of having to switch again just when you're getting comfortable.
But that was exactly my situation three years ago, too. I was an after effects user and used the free Fusion 9 for some retouching on a film. Without any previous knowledge on Fusion, I delivered a better shot than I could've done at that time with After Effects.
From that on I was transitioning more and more of my work to Fusion. The only thing that made me question my transition to Fusion was the frustration in the community and weird state that Fusion was in. It had just been added to Resolve 15 without any new standalone version.
There was no Nuke Indie at that time. And back then, as I was more or less starting out, it probably would've been too expensive anyway.

I don't regret starting with Fusion. Every project I'm working on, there are many moments where I'm thinking about what a horror it would've been to puzzle together a complex project in after effects.
And three years later I'm still using Fusion. Now there is Nuke Indie, which makes the whole discussion a little more difficult but if you need a good node based compositor without a big(ish) price tag than Fusion is still the only option.
There is a lot to be frustrated about but again, at the end of the day it's still a good compositor.
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ladlon

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Re: Fusion Studio standalone questions

PostSat Feb 20, 2021 1:12 am

Wow, thanks for all that info! Very helpful.

Ya, quite honestly, I've been doing fine so far with Fusion 9 (Standard, standalone)... except for this moment now, where I realized the resolution limitation. This is actually my first 4k job, so I never ran into this before.

That's quite a tangle of new stuff vs bugs/issues.... Sounds like I may end up just buying the key, but using Fusion Studio 9.... maybe migrate to Resolve/Fusion eventually. I don't imagine I'll be doing many/any really major shots... at least in 4K. My world has been HD, until now.

I didn't even know about Nuke Indie... I was always wondering if they would ever have an affordable Commercial license. But, I just checked it out, and it's a subscription thing....ugh. My VFX jobs are not a regular thing, so that's not going to work for me. Good to know I can always grab it for a year if a big job requires it, though.

Ya, I really don't understand these companies... They have something that is successful, and people are praising it and using it, and all is good... and then, one way or another, they sabotage it... even though the fans are clearly expressing what they don't like about the 'change'. I really don't understand what they are thinking. In the case of Fusion, why are they seemingly so hooked on switching people to Resolve? I mean, I use Resolve (pre-merge version) and Fusion (standalone). That way, I have a dedicated compositing program, and (if needed) then can bring that into a dedicated editor. It's not like I'm NOT using Resolve... and if I'm BUYING Fusion, why are they upset I'm not buying Resolve... That would mean I would buy Resolve (getting Resolve and the integrated Fusion), and I wouldn't buy the standalone. So, no money lost. I can understand if they were two separate programs, with no merging... but they are getting my money (same amount), regardless of whether I get the standalone or Resolve (merged). I really don't get what they are after with this move... A shame, too, as they otherwise seem extremely customer friendly. Just seems very weird....

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