Let's talk about some specific nodes and how to use each one. The very first one that we're gonna talk about is what I like to call an effect node. It's basically a node that applies an effect to a image that you put into it. Now, we've already learned a little bit about this because our blur is an effect node. What I like to think of is if we have an image, we run it through an effect, okay? This is pretty important to kind of start talking this way because there are so many different kinds of nodes that it can get kinda confusing on which node to use where. So I like to always say, "Okay, if I have an image, I'm gonna run it through an effect," and so it looks like it's just kinda piercing through this blur effect. Saying something like putting a blur on top of something can get confusing for some reasons that we'll cover later. So we're gonna run something through an effect. Now, there are a bunch of different effects. So if I get rid of this blur, we can do a color corrector effect...
which I can connect this up like this. And, again, I can select a node and go over to the Inspector and adjust the colors like that. And, again, we're running this through a color corrector, okay? I'll select this and get rid of it. We also have a curves effect which, by the way, if you want to add a node in between a couple of nodes, you don't have to drag it to empty space and then disconnect it and reconnect it like this. There's actually a little bit faster way to do it. I can just grab the icon here and drag it over our connection, and when it turns blue, then I can drop it and it will be connected. Now, something really important to remember is that a node is only going to affect your image if it's connected, and it's really easy to accidentally not quite put it in the flow here. So I do it like this, and it looks like it's connected, right? But it's not. It's just sitting on top of that line which is very annoying. So any time that you connect a node, if you look at tutorials or people that use Fusion a lot, any time they connect a node, they always grab it and wiggle it like this just to make sure that it's actually connected, okay? So when it's connected, then you can adjust whatever you want here in the Inspector, and so here we have our color curves, and, again, we're running this through this effect. The second section right here in our toolbar is pretty much, all of these are effects that you run things through: Brightness, Contrast, Blur, Hue Curves, Color Curves, Color Corrector. All of those are effects, and they expect a image to go into them and be affected by the effect, and then it outputs another image, right? And these are the five probably most commonly used effects. That's why they're in the toolbar by default, but you can also find a bunch more effects here in the Effects Browser in the upper left-hand corner. There are all kinds of different tools. There's different kinds of blur. There's different kinds of color, effects. There's just a ton. You can add film grain, and it's way too much to go over just in this training, so make sure to explore that. And one more little tip is you don't have to go up to the Effects to find an effect that isn't here in the toolbar. There's actually a really fancy little shortcut that I use all the time, and that is Shift + Spacebar. If you hit Shift and Spacebar, that will bring up the Select tool menu, and this is really nice. You'll see people that have been using Fusion quite a bit use this all the time because you can quickly search for whatever you need, and a lot of these effects actually have a shorthand, so it's like three letters, a couple letters. And you'll get used to searching for an effect that you want to add to your composition and just, you know, typing like CC for color corrector and hitting Return, and that will add a color corrector wherever you clicked last in your node flow down here. Also, if you have a node selected and you hit Shift + Spacebar, and you type in whatever effect you want to add, and you hit Enter, it will add that effect next in the flow here. So you don't have to connect it yourself in any way. You just be careful with what you have selected and say Shift + Spacebar and whatever you want, so blur, great, and that will add a blur. So you can get really quick at adding all of the effects that you want to do. We'll be adding effects quite a bit that way in this training. Something else to note about effects and I guess just nodes in general is you can run things through more than one node. In fact, compositing usually takes several different nodes to do every effect, right? So right now, what we're doing is we're taking our image, and then we're blurring it here, and then we can do some color correction. Maybe we'll make this a little bit warm. And then we are putting that into our media-out, and it goes in order. Again, we can select any node we want and preview it here by hitting 1 on the keyboard. And so I can look at just my blurry image, just my image with the color correction on it and then finally our finished image which happens to be the exact same thing 'cause we're not doing anything specific in the media-out other than just rendering it. So that's the first major kind of node, is an effect node, and you always run an image through an effect node. The next kind of node that you'll use a lot in Fusion, I like to call a generator node. It's something that creates something out of nothing. Any time that you want to make text or make a colored background or anything like that, that takes a specific node that will generate something. So right now, we've been working on an image that we got from the timeline. But if we go to the left-hand side of our tools here, we have a couple buttons, and these are generator nodes. So the first one that we'll use all the time is a background node. Grab this and just drag that into our flow here. And even though this isn't connected to the media-in or media-out, I can always preview it just by hitting 1 or 2 on the keyboard. And if I hit 1 and load this in the left-hand viewer, we'll see it's a black screen. Yehey! Nothing, cool. (laughs) Well, actually, we are generating this black color with this background node. And we can confirm that by selecting our node, going over to the Inspector, and choosing our color here. Let's just make this green for whatever reason. So now we have this green background. So any time that you really want to create a, just a blank color of some kind, use the background node. There are also different kinds of backgrounds that you can generate. By default, it's solid color, but you can also generate a gradient, so like horizontal gradient, vertical gradient, a four-corner gradient which I think is really fun. So you can change the colors of your, of each corner and make a nice little rainbow thing or whatever you feel like doing, you know. Even though you probably don't want a rainbow gradient all the time, what I like to do is set this all kind of similar colors. So maybe these are all kind of blue or dark blue. And now we have just a little bit of variation, and our background looks a little bit more interesting than just a solid color. Really depends on what you're going for. Another kinda generator we use a lot would be the Text+. I'll grab that and drag that in. That's our third little icon from the left, this little t. And this just makes text, so hello. I'll hit 1 on the keyboard to load that into our left viewer. And, of course, we have all of our text controls here in the Inspector. I can size it up. I can change the font and just get as crazy as I want. And actually, the Text+ effect, there are seven million controls. You can totally get lost in the Text+. But the main basic ones are here on this first little tab. And you can adjust where the text goes by either grabbing this little handle right here and moving it around, or you can go to the Layout tab in the Inspector and change this centerpoint right here. Those affect the same thing. And so this is one of those effects that has been in Fusion for a really long time, and they kinda just keep adding things to it, and they haven't really cleaned it up. So if you see multiple different controls to do the same thing, you're not doing anything wrong. It's just built a little awkward, you know. It's like me. It's just, you know, it's a good thing, but maybe a little awkward sometimes. (laughs) But one thing to note is that unlike a effect node, you don't run an image through a generator. A generator is essentially creating an image. So this is kind of in the same category as a media-in node. So, really, what we're doing is we're starting with something like text or a background or footage, and then we can run that through an effect, or we can render it, or we can add it to other nodes, but you don't run an image through an image just because that doesn't really make sense, run an image through an effect. So just like our original image here, we can run our text through an effect like blur. And so I'll just move this blur up and disconnect it from our media-in, and I'll take our text and connect it to our blur, and now we have our blurry text being rendered to our timeline. If I switch back over to Edit, here we have our blurry text over our black background which is the default if we have nothing in our background here. And, again, same thing works for our background generator. We can connect that to our blur, and it's really hard to tell that it's blurry because it's already a gradient, but believe, trust me, it's there, it's there. So this is a really important distinction. And if you can understand that you always run an image through an effect and an image is kind of like a starting point, if you can kinda remember that, that's gonna help you not get confused with kinda how the nodes go together later. For now, take a minute and grab one of these left-hand icons here and generate a background, generate some text, and make some cool stuff here in the Fusion page just from scratch.