An Introduction to Fusion in DaVinci Resolve 15

April 23, 2018

While Fusion is a node-based compositor, its node tree is very different than the Color Page. Learn how to use Fusion in DaVinci Resolve 15 in under 15 minutes.

A Colorists Guide to the Fusion Node Tree & Workflow

When Blackmagic announced they were fully integrating Fusion into Resolve, I was overjoyed. I worked for years on Avid|DS – so the concept of jumping between an editing, color grading, and node-based compositing with graphics and paint – all in one app, just feels like home to me.

But I know for a lot of colorists – Fusion may have come as a bit of a surprise. Traditionally, color tools have been dedicated to a single task: color grading. If you have never used a node-based compositing application, Fusion may seem a bit strange or foreign to you. While it is node-based, just like the Resolve color page, a lot of other aspects of Fusion don’t work the same way colorists are used to.

Fusion 101

Even though Fusion is node-based, it’s GUI and functionality may seem a bit foreign to colorists who haven’t used Fusion or similar software

In my second Resolve 15 insight, I want to give colorists who haven’t dived into Fusion yet a good foundation to start really exploring it. This insight is an introduction to Fusion and how it fits into Resolve, so you will understand how to get in and out of the Fusion tab, and how the UI works compared to what you are already used to in Resolve.

In this insight you learn about:

  • How to get media into Fusion
  • How monitoring works in Fusion (which is different then the rest of Resolve)
  • Adding nodes (or, as they are called in Fusion, “Tools”)
  • Changing parameters on each tool
  • Adding and editing keyframe Animation
  • Using the finished Fusion comp in the edit and color pages

Once we’ve gone over those fundamentals – you learn how to use Fusion to complete a real-world green screen comp. (Green screen shot courtesy of Abba Shapiro

After you start exploring Fusion, share your thoughts in the comments section, and happy compositing!



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  • Evan Anthony

    You guys always prove the cost of this site is worth every dollar! I am very interested in basic cleaning up work using Fusion. Stuff like clone stamping with and without tracking. Roto work etc.

  • Dan Moran

    Really excited to watch this one. Been teaching myself fusion (slowly) since NAB. Going to kick back and watch how to do everything the proper way from Mr D’Anna.

  • Fusion definitely has some really good tools for this. It’s paint node is vector based, and you can track clone stamp strokes which works pretty well. Resolve 15 also added a really good patch removal OFX tool in the color page as well (which can also be tracked)

    With all the new image restoration stuff in Resolve 15, along with fusion’s paint capabilities – I think an insight about paint, roto and image cleanup would definitely be a good idea.

  • Francois

    Thank you so much for this insight, Joey! And I agree: an insight on image cleanup would be much appreciated!

  • Killer overview, appreciate the many important mouse and KB shortcuts mentioned. Its extremely exciting to finally see true nodal compositing inches away from color (as opposed to hacking it within Resolve’s node graph – it does the job but never feels quite right when things get complex). Look forward to a future update, ideally on paint, roto and tracking. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Willian Aleman

    Indeed, it’s a very welcome insight for those of us using Fusion for the first time.

    Personally, I really like the clarity and simplicity of the insight. Furthermore, the fact that in the two last insights you have concentrated in showing the UI only, eliminating the talking-head style is a plus. This contributes to maximize the time by having more of the showing than telling, in addition to focusing our eyes on where the action is by following the mouse pointer without external distractions to the UI.

    Looking forward to the next DR15 – Fusion insight.

  • Thanks! Glad you liked it.

    We’re definitely going to be digging deeper into both Fusion and the other cool new stuff in Resolve 15, so stay tuned – lots more exciting stuff to come!

  • Ron Illingworth

    Thanks for this. Can’t wait to see more Fusion Insights!

  • For a finished composite I’d definitely want to color match the foreground and background elements independently. I see some basic CC controls in Fusion but would prefer to do so in the color page…I suppose the workaround is to color grade the individual clips, render them out, and bring them back into Fusion the “traditional” way…then apply the delta matte created with the un-color corrected clip to this new graded clip.

    I’m also still not convinced Fusion has the matte finessing / light wrap / mograph tools I’ve come to rely on in After Effects…but I haven’t kicked the tires sufficiently to say that with much confidence. I don’t think I’ll ever be as comfortable in a node compositer as I am in After Effects, but I’m eager to see if Fusion provides creative advantages beyond speed/less round-trips. Those spline tools are pretty slick!

    My current workflow for green screen work is using the Primatte OFX plug-in within Resolve, because I can key and render source RED clips MUCH faster in Resolve than anywhere else. I then render my color matched clips, as well as a black/white luma matte of the keyed foreground for finishing in After Effects (the alpha export in the deliver page is still wonky as-of Resolve 14 but converting luma to alpha in AE is easy enough).

    EDIT: just tested out the alpha export in Resolve 15 for usage in Adobe software…works! Hallelujah!

  • Jose Santos

    Thanks Joey!! Exactly what I was looking for and hope that there are many more to come!

  • Erik Pontius

    I’m curious as to how to handle green screen footage that needs to be corrected, such as flat footage from the Blackmagic Ursa Mini, before it can really be keyed since Resolve renders the color page after Fusion. The color corrector in Fusion seems basic compared to what’s in the color page. Or perhaps I have a LUT I want to apply first.

  • Scott Smith

    Great Fusion tour Joey! Also really enjoyed your “What’s New in Resolve 14 Series”.

  • andi winter

    most def! the other thing i would be more than interested in is stabilizing inside fusion. i like the color stabilizer (both of them) but the lack of keyframing abilities is a problem. eg in a movie with handheld camera shots, where the dop follows one character from point A to point B, then when the actor stops the cam stops as well, but during the next 30 seconds the endframing of the picture is unstable, because the dop has had a bad position or is tired etc. you usually reach the limit of those color room stabilizing abilities… inside fusion it should be able to just tweak parts of a shot, let the camera breathe but still look stable etc.

    right now i have to give this shots away for VFX.


  • Thanks! glad you liked it!

  • There’s a few ways to handle this (although I would love to see some deeper integration between the color page and fusion. Maybe the ability to add color nodes right in fusion? remember this is very early into the integration/beta process – so I don’t think we’ve seen the final form of how color management and color correction inside fusion is going to end up)

    One way is to keep everything Log, then grade the scene in the color page (this is how VFX are done in a lot of workflows. The VFX artist works under a viewing LUT to get an idea of the final color, but disables it before output – so the colorist ends up with the comped scene in log). You can do that in fusion, and use cineon nodes to convert non-log footage (like a background for the greenscreen) to log.

    Another way is to use Resolve Color Management to do a non-destructive floating point transform to your working color space from whatever the source footage is. RCM transforms happen before the fusion page, so it would come into fusion as whatever you have your timeline colorspace set to.

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