Who Should Take this Course?
This course starts from the beginning, though some prior experience with photo or video editing is recommended. If you have Blackmagicdesign Fusion 9 (free version is sufficient) installed, you are good to go.
This Course Offers
Fusion has a long history as a professional compositing application in Hollywood. Thanks to its powerful free version, it has become accessible to the masses. However, good VFX, compositing and motion graphics still take skill and experience. There is no magic shortcut. This course is about laying the foundations and setting you on the right path.
While Fusion’s capabilities are amazing, I have always been disappointed with the training and tutorial offerings. If you want a lightsaber effect, you can find great tutorials for After Effects. If you want to learn every detail on the keying process, you can find university-level courses on Nuke.
Fusion can cover both ends of the spectrum, but for me, it is strongest in the middle. This is why I created this course. I’ll start from the beginning, but take you in-depth into each topic so you can learn the principles and workflows involved.
Instructional, Real-World Exercises
You’ll find a balanced mixture of theory, software tutorials — and most importantly, instructional and practical exercises. I have carefully chosen each exercise to help you progress quickly and replicate my results. At the same time, they offer you challenges and room to experiment.
All exercise files are provided for download and all footage has either been released to the public domain or cleared for use in student work and demo reels.
Laying a Solid Groundwork
You will learn the Fusion interface step by step. This includes a simple approach to tools like the spline editor (for animations) and the timeline view. Both are powerful tools but often tricky to handle in the beginning. At the same time, you will learn how to work efficiently and keep your working area organized.
Compositing is all about combining different footage and animations in a realistic (or artistic) way. This is why I dedicated a complete chapter to integration, as well as touching on the topic a few times throughout the other exercises. I am including a checklist here as well, and you can use it and expand on it during your own projects. This will help you achieve photo-realism on live footage and a coherent artistic result in your motion graphics.
Tracking is used whenever new elements need to move together with existing live footage (matchmoving) or when you want to stabilize footage. But before all of that, you need a solid Track. I introduce some strategies for how you can achieve that and deal with typical problems you’ll face along the way.
Keying isn’t just about blue screen and green screen (chroma keying), but sometimes you can use keying techniques for sky replacement, color gradings, and other manipulations. You will learn here all the main tools Fusion has to offer, as well as a thorough workflow and understanding of the complete keying process. This includes handling edge problems, transparencies, and spill.
We go back to the basics, but now in 3D. Here you will learn how to create 3D scenes entirely in Fusion, use materials, light the scene and add animated cameras. Afterward, you will turn to projections and convert a 2D picture into a 3D environment.
Whether to build an artistic background for a music video or to create custom VFX for an action movie, particle effects can be used for everything from smoke and fire to colorful graphics. You will switch between Fusion’s 2D and 3D particle systems, learn how particles can interact with 3D geometry and learn techniques for post-processing of particles in 2D.
What this course does NOT cover…
This is one of the most comprehensive Fusion courses on the market, but still, choices needed to be made:
- The 3D section introduces the major aspects of 3D geometry, materials and lighting to get you started, but I am not covering multipass compositing, custom shaders or model import from other 3D software. While definitely interesting for 3D artists, I feel this is going too far in this course.
- While I do touch base on the spherical camera for 360 videos, I am not going into further detail of 360 footage. Stereo compositing (available only in Fusion Studio) is also not covered.
- There’s no introduction to scripting in Fusion. On a positive note: You can do the full course even if you have never done any programming and have forgotten all your high school mathematics 🙂
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.