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Blackmagic acquires Eyeon Software

Blackmagic Design has entered the visual effects business with the acquisition of Eyeon Software, the companies revealed at IBC. Eyeon is the maker of the Fusion compositing system, whose new version 7 is being demonstrated on the Blackmagic stand.

Calling Fusion “one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets”, Blackmagic director of sales Simon Westland related that Fusion is used in small VFX boutiques as well as large facilities such as Prime Focus, which has 1,500 seats of Fusion. It has been used on VFX for recent summer movies, including Maleficent, Edge of Tomorrow and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Fusion was also used by Douglas Trumbull on UFOTOG, his inventive new production made in 3D, 4K at 120 fps. The company is hosting Trumbull’s Monday keynote at IBC.

Industry-wide, there has already been some talk of the potential to more closely combine colour grading and compositing environments. To that end, Westland said the acquisition of Fusion is “a really exciting fit with DaVinci Resolve [Blackmagic’s colour grading system]. Many Resolve users are also Fusion users. He reported: “As it stands, Fusion will remain standalone. Naturally we’ll ask how the two can work together, whether that’s round-tripping or closer integration of the toolsets. Obviously, there are already colour correction tools in Fusion. It’s too early to say what that might mean.”

Westland said Blackmagic would continue to use the product name Fusion, though it was not certain if the Eyeon brand would carry over. He also reported that Eyeon employees, including founder Steve Roberts, would remain with the company and continue to develop Fusion out of Eyeon’s Toronto headquarters.

“We always look for opportunities to expand… and complementary products,” Westland said. Blackmagic announced the acquisition of DaVinci, and its plans to enter the colour grading space, five years ago at IBC.