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Old August 1st, 2006, 09:22 PM   #1
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Shake 4.0 v. Adobe After Effects

Ok, I am an amature videographer/editor and I have recently bought Final Cut Studio with my MacBook Pro 17". I love all the features with it, but I can't do any real crazy visual effects as I was hope to do. Motion allows me to do some stuff, but nothing all the crazy, so I was looking into buying Shake, but I also saw Adobe After Effects. Can someone explain the difference between these two products or which one is better? Is there something I'm missing about Final Cut Studio that would let me do cool VFX?

-Matt

(and I can get student discounts on either software, so the price really isn't a huge concern; Shake 4.0=$249 and Adobe After Effects=$349)
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Old August 7th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #2
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Good question. I'm interested to see what people think as well.

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Old August 7th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #3
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For an all-around swiss army knife tool for "crazy effects", you really can't go wrong by going with After Effects.

Shake can be more powerful and flexible than AE in many ways ... compositing in particular ... but AE still enjoys broader video-oriented user base ("friendly-er" UI for those accustomed to editing video, low-cost cross platform, Shake has only just become affordable to many people and AE appears to get pirated much more) which leads to more public tutorials and helpful user supported forums than Shake at the moment.

In general, it's my opinion that AE is a better fit for "amature videographer/editor" folks that are looking to get start dabbling in effects than Shake. Shake is really tailored to meet the needs of "hard core" compositing pipelines and the learning curve can be much more challenging than AE for for those new to compositing and effects.

Hope this helps.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #4
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Both programs are very capable and are used from TV projects to big budget Film (AE more so for TV and Shake more so for film I believe). Last time I used Shake was around version 2.something and it did have some awesome capabilities. The node based interface is a bit funky if you're not used to it, but works very well. Of course AE has gotten very powerful over the years, especially with all the cool plugins available.

If Apple has a demo for download, I'd say download both and try them out. Make sure you check out the help files and see what sort of online and book based help is available too. As another poster mentioned, there's a LOT of material out there for AE, including several good books.

This is one of those cases where you probably can't really go wrong :)

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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:46 AM   #5
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seeing how Shake is at the end of its product lifecycle, it's really late to be jumping on board that ship.

i like after effects, never used shake. in my experience, some features people say are missing from after effects are there and they just don't know about it, or exist in plug-in form.

i'm pretty close to playing with combustion, i hear and see good things about it.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #6
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You know that comfortable feeling you have when you understand one program and are overwhelmed by another? Maybe that's where I relate, but I honestly love AE. I just got Shake a few days ago, and it's a bit tricky (don't let that fool you into thinking AE is easy). Though, Shake has more of a FCP feel, where as AE has more of the Photoshop feel (with the comp's and layers).

Want to blow something up, make an iPod commercial, or add blood type effects? Go AE. I enjoy it.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #7
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Ok, thanks everybody! Considering how naive I am to FCS (I just made the transtion from iMovie) I think I'll just stick with what I have with FCS, but thank you for you input.


Someone had commented that "Shake was at the end of it's lifecycle," what does that mean? Apple just released a cheaper more advanced verison of it? What do you mean?
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Old August 9th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #8
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I purchased Shake 4 recently, and I must say its an amazing piece of software.

After quickly running through the tutorial book that came with it, I quickly got my head around how the whole node-based system works. It's not hard to learn the basics fairly quickly. You can be working with chromo keying within a day.

It's incredibly powerful, and can be unbelievebly complex once you start looking into writing your own Shake scripts, etc.

Alex, said it best. After Effects has a very Adobe/Photoshop feel to it, whether Shake is more Apple/FCP. Although, Shake is not identical to its Final Cut Studio friends. For example, it uses a very UNIX-like Open/Save dialog box. The user interface is also not as user friendly as FCP, although it is more powerful and logical (once you understand how it works).

I've used After Effects on several projects, and found it to be very useful. It's basically the Photoshop of moving images. It's jam packed with features, and you learn something new about it every time you use it.

Yes Shake is "at the end of its lifecycle" (meaning that Apple no longer support it as they are devoting all of their attention to a brand new piece of software that will eventually replace Shake). But that's good news! It means you can grab Shake REALLY, REALLY CHEAPLY, and it also means we've got something even more exciting to look forward to in the next couple of years.

Matt, my suggestion would be to work out what you want to achieve and then purchase the tools you need to do the job. If you need to do an iPod ad for example, you can probably get away with just using the filters built right into Final Cut Pro. If you need to do some camera stabilisation, I'd personally use Shake. If you need to mix Photoshop images with moving images, I'd probably use After Effects.

Work out what you need to do - then work out how to do it.

(But for the record, if you can only afford one, and you just want to play with one of them, I'd personally pick Shake. Apple may no longer be supporting it, but its a really great and handy tool to have.)
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Old August 9th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #9
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i was just about to post the same question which has almost been answered for me now. but could someone just elaborate something for me.

i want to satbilze my shots, improve slow motion etc. not do anything graphically creative. just for doc making really.

is shake the best for that? i really dont like the interface and the use of maths for slow motion on shake. would after effects do what i want at an easier learning curve?
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Old August 24th, 2006, 09:36 AM   #10
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I can get AE 7 pro for $150 from my work and school discount
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Old August 24th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Corbett
i was just about to post the same question which has almost been answered for me now. but could someone just elaborate something for me.

i want to satbilze my shots, improve slow motion etc. not do anything graphically creative. just for doc making really.

is shake the best for that? i really dont like the interface and the use of maths for slow motion on shake. would after effects do what i want at an easier learning curve?
Since you're open to both, I have to assume you're using FinalCut on a Mac, in which case, you may find that Shake is the easier choice for you, if for nothing more than the integration between apps. Using AE will require additional renders to move clips between FCP and AE.

If you only "want to satbilze my shots, improve slow motion etc. not do anything graphically creative", then your first best bet might be to look for really good plugins that handle this for your native NLE. Both Shake and AE would really be overkill for these uses alone, you would be paying for a lot of technology that your never going to use. Even if best-of-breed plugins for your needs are priced near AE or Shake, you would probably get better results, faster and easier with a good plugin designed specifically for the task.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #12
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I don't know Nick... If Neil bought AE or Shake he could use it for other things too. Plus both have great time remappers (slow motion capability). I know for a fact because I used it on my last project.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre Safak
I don't know Nick... If Neil bought AE or Shake he could use it for other things too. Plus both have great time remappers (slow motion capability). I know for a fact because I used it on my last project.
I totally agree that getting a full featured effects/compositing app is a good move for anyone interested in someday using other features and not minding that it could take a day or two or more (depending on aptitude, interest-level and determination) of self-study & experimentation to have a good understanding of the UI, worklfow, and stabilization & time-tools.

For the special case of a doc editor, wanting only the ability to quickly and easily apply time adjustments and stabilization, and having no interest in exploring other effects, I still think the quickest, most effective path from A->B would be dedicated plugins.
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