Your First Composite Blur
Let's have a look at making a basic effect using just our nodes in the Fusion page. So here we have our composition, which isn't really much right now. We're just grabbing the footage from the timeline and then putting it back and doing nothing in between. We can tell because there's nothing connected here in the nodes. So let's grab a node and do some fancy things. Up here in our toolbar, we have all these little icons. And each of these icons represents a node. And I can either click one of these icons here to load the node in. or I can click and drag to put it somewhere specific. By the way, I have a setting here set so that my nodes kind of snap to this grid. If you right click in the empty space here and go up towards the top of the menu under Arranged Tools, you can check To Grid. I always have this turned on because it just helps you keep a little bit more organized. 'Cause if you don't have it to grid, you can just put things kind of wherever you willy nilly please. And it's ju...
st madness. You don't wanna do that. So I always have that enabled. And if you haven't had that enabled and you have a big mess, you can always right click and just select Line Up All Tools to Grid, and that will line them up. So I'm gonna start with this blur node. And so you may notice that absolutely nothing's happening to our finished image. That's because we don't have our blur connected between the media in and the media out. So how do we connect a node? Well, there's a couple different ways. Probably the most basic way is to mouse over a connection to where it turns blue, and then click on it, and that will get rid of it. And now we can click and drag this little gray square and drop this on whatever node we want to connect it to. What I like to do is just drag it to the middle of a node, and it will connect it to kind of the default connection, the one that you normally want to connect it to. A little bit more on those connections here in a minute. But I'll move that down in between our media in and media out. And I'll grab the output of our blur and connect that to media out. And now it still kind of looks like nothing's happening. Well, the reason for that is because we do have a blur on the image, but the settings for the blur aren't really set. So if we select the blur and go up to the inspector, we'll see that this blur size is only at one, which we can't really tell very well by just having having it zoomed out like this. But if we push the blur size up in our inspector, we can see that we're actually affecting our image. So this is really cool. This is exciting. I know it's really basic, but this is exciting. Because if you can do this, then you can use nodes. This is really all there is to it. It's connecting a node into the flow between a media in and media out to affect an image. Okay? So just a reminder, because the media out is what we're gonna render back to the timeline, if we have our media out previewed here in the right viewer, we can see that it's blurry. And if we go over to the edit page, then we can see our blurry image rendered to the timeline. So that's really the basics of how you do something inside of Fusion, is you take a clip from the Edit page, and click on Fusion, open it up in the Fusion page. You can do all of your adjustments with nodes and everything. And as long as everything is connected to the media out, then it will go back into the timeline and you'll have your fancy effects. Pretty neat. Couple other things to note. When we connected this media in to our blur, we connected it to the yellow input. You'll also notice there is a blue input. And some nodes have several different inputs. Well, usually the one that you want to connect it to is the yellow one. But it's pretty easy to figure out what input is what just by mouthing over the little arrow. And you can see a little label that comes up, and this one says blur1.input. So that means that's the input for this node, blur one. If we mouse over the blue one, we can see this is the effect mask. So depending on what we want to connect to a certain node and what the node's job is and kind of how we have it configured, we might want to connect it to a certain input. And we'll touch more on this as those things come up. But for now, most of the time you're gonna connect it to a yellow input unless you're trying to do something really specific. Again, just a reminder. This doesn't always flow from left to right. If we wanted to, we could stack this from top to bottom, and it works the same way, because our media in one, the output is connected into the yellow input of blur one, and the output of blur one is connected to the yellow input of media out. So that means that this is going to work. And the arrows kind of travel around the nodes just to kind of make sense with however you have them arranged. So there's some freedom to be able to organize yourself or to just make chaos. So what I always try and do is kind of keep everything on one line for the most part and have it flow from left to right. It's a little bit easier to read. And again, I can preview what each node does just by selecting it and hitting one or two on the keyboard. So now if we select Media In One and hit one on the keyboard, we can see the before. So this is the starting image from Media In one, and the after, which is the image from Media Out one. So this is really great because if you get lost in all the different nodes and everything that you have connected to your composition, you can always preview what each node is doing and kind of what it thinks the world looks like just by selecting it and hitting one or two on the keyboard. Next, we're gonna talk about some specific nodes and some use cases for each one.