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Located in the heart of Hollywood's elite VFX artists and studios, Inhance Digital have skillfully developed their visual effects division with Blackmagic Design's Fusion Studio compositing software. From full CG environments to leading green screen compositions, Inhance VFX have repeatedly delivered a variety of services for major studios on VFX heavy productions such as "Grimm," and other hit shows, including "Nashville," "Jane the Virgin," and "Episodes."
A recent interview with Inhance's VFX Supervisor, Eddie Robison, portrayed an enthusiastic and long term appreciation for Fusion, "I guess it was about 1996 or so when I went to work for Digital Muse as a 3D artist. They gave me a spot on the Voyager team. I had never comped before and another artist named Brad Hayes showed me version 3 of what was then called Digital Fusion. I was hooked! Been using it ever since.
Then I joined Inhance almost eight years ago. I was hired to start their entertainment division as they were strictly doing corporate work for Fortune 500 companies as well as defense contractors and another little outfit called NASA! Within a year we had CSI Miami. Then came a show called The Cape and it grew from there!"
Using Fusion Studio as their primary compositing tool for the VFX department, Robison explains why Fusion's node based compositing environment works so well for Inhance, "Node comping just makes sense to me! With the main 'flow' window, I can see a start and a finish to the comp with everything very evident in between. It's nice because you can arrange the nodes and their connections any way you want so it's really easy to make it your own. Timeline based software just sort of restricts you and makes you do things only one way."
Inhance have been steadfastly producing some of Hollywood's most chilling television effects with Robison at the VFX helm, "We are currently in our 4th season of NBC's Grimm. They are our largest client in terms of complicated CG as well as volume of work. We do a lot of shots for Grimm where we turn the actors into creatures. We take the 3D tracking of plates provided by production leads to 3D elements of the creatures in several layers and bring them into Fusion for compositing. Fusion handles the prelim work, such as tracking dot removals from the actors' faces and roto of their clothing to the complicated layering and blending of CG elements to make a very convincing and photo realistic creature. We import not only the various passes rendered from 3D as imagery with alphas, but also the elements from .exr file formats that allow us to access, in comp, things like Meta Data, UV data, Z-Depth and World Position data. Having access to all of this is invaluable!"
Robison has a long history of taking advantage of Fusion's built-in functions and features to create photo real effects with speed and accuracy, implementing a variety of in house workflow improvements with Fusion, "The scripting native to Fusion is super helpful! We have a script that we run after a comp is complete. It takes the final render, resizes it, adds a slate at the beginning that auto fills all of the fields required, preserves the Meta Data and adds it to the slate so that the slate carries the data as well as the image sequence. This creates a QuickTime file to the client's specifications and moves it to a review folder to be delivered for dailies! Huge time saver that has freed up incalculable hours of artists' time! That directly translates into profits for my company!"
Remaining a consistent choice with many Hollywood studios, Inhance simultaneously drive their Fusion pipeline on several hit shows, always delivering on time and on budget. "Fusion plays a very large role with our other TV clients because they are largely comprised of VFX shots that are compositing only. We use Fusion on Nashville, Jane the Virgin and Episodes. We also did over 100 shots on the HBO award winning movie The Normal Heart. Jane the Virgin and Grimm are already picked up for next season and we also have at least two pilots so that may lead to an even more busy second half of 2015!
Robison is one of Fusion's most senior artists so the creative challenges at Inhance have become par for the course, "Honestly, I've been doing this a long time. I'm not really about the conquest of big shots anymore as much as I am about running my team smoothly and servicing my customers. With the industry the way it is nowadays and what they are expecting on a TV timeline and budget, everything is a huge challenge! Fusion helps us with memorable shots on a daily basis! I was nominated for an Emmy award and Fusion was a big part of that. Over the years lots of other comping packages have come and gone but there has never been a reason to change. I know that I'm on the cutting edge of the state of the art when I'm using Fusion."
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