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Old March 22nd, 2005, 09:21 AM   #1
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Apple's Shake

I am wondering if there is any advantage to having Apple's "Shake" software if I do not have a 3D modeling package such as Maya or Cinema 4D. I know Shake can work great with these programs however most of the footage I am planning to shot may involve some blue/green screen but will not invlove the addition of 3D models.
So with that said, was Shake "only" designed with the use of 3D CGI elements or can it work fine with regular footage as well?

Also if anyone has any Shake "treated" footage could you send me a link, I would be very interested in seeing it. I have been trying to find some text concerning Shake, but it seems to be light. Even Apple's site doesn't give you a clear picture of what it is designed for or what it can do. I really don't want to send $3,000 without out seeing what it can do..????


Chris
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:05 AM   #2
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Here's a 'sort of' for you... Shake is to video composition as Photoshop is to still image composition. Meaning that you can combine all sorts of elements and masks and layers and adjustments using video clips rather like you can do all of these same things in Photoshop with digital photos. There's excellent support for merging 2D elements with 3D scenes/data, but that's just a facet of what the program is about.

I use Shake to assemble and finalize my clips and then import and trim them to the edit in the NLE (FCP/E). I don't try to layer things out or mask them or color correct in the NLE (unless it's a small project) just because the more editing you do, the more involved the project becomes and the harder it is to keep things organized and productive.

It's sort of like.. think of all the work you do on a PSD file before you flatten it (or parts of it) to import into another program. That pre-work is what you use shake for - but with video. The post work is done in whatever program you're importing into (editor).

Hope this helps a bit!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:07 AM   #3
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So you are saying it is worth buying..???
I am also getting the Production Pack.
I sort of thought that but I wanted to make sure. Thanks for your feed back.

Chris
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:18 AM   #4
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You might just want to start with the Production Bundle and see if Motion will do the kind of things you want. It has some of these same capabilities. You can also download a free 30 day trial version of Motion from Apple's site.

However be warned - it requires some serious CPU horsepower and will probably be an exercise in frustration on a G4, although it will run (with the proper graphics card). I'm not familiar with Shake, but it probably also really wants to run on a G5.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:38 AM   #5
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Thanks for the warning.
I will be running this on a G5:

Twin 2.5 GH processors
4 GB Ram
500 GB HD
Nividia 6800 Graphics
30" HD Display

I shouldn't have any problem running any software!!!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:39 AM   #6
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It's a useful program depending on what you're trying to do. Like most things in life, the more specialized you get at something the more of your time is invested into said something. It'll really take your work to the next level, but getting to that next level really takes some work ;-) If you like complete control over your production at the expense of devoting more time to it, it's a great tool.

Motion is a great program as well. Think of it as adding on to what you've already got rather than something that allows you delve into and adjust you're already existing stuff.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:41 AM   #7
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With that hardware you're probably the serious type ;-)

Go for it, it'll take your work to a higher level!
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:46 AM   #8
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Well I am just getting started.
Up to this point I have been doing simple editing on a simple software. "Pinnicale" the first day out of the box I was far past what the software could do, so putting my pride in a box I continued to edit on that package. Now I have some money to play with and it is time to find a software that will take some time to figure out. Call me crazy but I consider things like: "being able to do what I want" basic tools of a software package.
Thanks for your feedback Patrick

Chris
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 05:06 PM   #9
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Shake is a very complex and powerful compositing application. If you use After Effects A LOT for merging and adjusting layers of media and still need more power and control you might be ready for Shake. It's user interface is unlike anything you have probably ever used and will take some serious practice to get into.

If you buy the Apple Pro Training Series: Shake 3 book you can get a Trial license and give it a whirl. I would recommend that before anything else. It is NOT a program for beginners, but once you master it you have a lot of power at your fingertips. Look at programs like Flame or Inferno as similar utilities, not Motion, they aren't even the same.

As far as samples of Shake work or workflow watch the QuickTime videos on Apple's website for an overview. And for examples of it's use, there are LOTS of movies it has been used on.
Shake artists have taken home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for seven years running, including this year for “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:34 PM   #10
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This is coming from someone who has been PC only for over ten years. I just bought a Mac (Dual G4 1.25) for the sole purpose of learning Shake.

After a year of After Effects the biggest thing that stands out with Shake is speed and flexibility. The interface works more like an old telephone operator's switchboard than instead of a film-editing-ish time line. You have virtually unlimited freedom to pop in new operations and tweek complex composites involving many many layers.

Another cool aspect is that the project files are stored as text scripts rather than some proprietary binary format. This opens a lot of possibilities for creating and using outside utilities for managing many aspects of your projects.

In the end, Shake is really like a programming tool with a spiffy UI that lets you create your own custom compositing tools for the specific needs of complex shots, or reuse time and again. :)

Yeah, if you're on a high-power Mac, doing lots of compositing, Shake is worth it (esp. if you'll be able to earn a return on your investment with compositing work.)

Have fun.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input Nick. Not to worried about the return on the software. I just want to be able to take whats in my head, and get it on the screen. While I am doing this as a buisness, we have some extra money to "play with". I would rather spend it on something that I will still be using 2-5 years later, rather than on something that I will grow out of by the end of the year.
Thanks agian for the info!

Chris

I am looking forward very much to getting the software, then will come the frustrating block for learning it..???
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Old March 25th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #12
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For what it's worth, I'm learning Shake through my membership in PixelCorps:

PixelCorps Spring 2005

If you're intersted, could find someone with a discount code that would make the first time signup fee only $125. (instead of the normal $200.)
That would get you in for 3 months of training (LOTS of Shake video based training tutorials and exercises by feature film veterans)
There's also an entire non-application specific study track on digital compositing being led by Steve Wright (author of Digital Compositing for Film & video).

There's a lot of other training and activity that is included, but it sounded like the Shake and Compositing aspects might be of interest.

Anyway, post back if you're interested and I'll try to find someone with a discount code to post it.

Have fun.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #13
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I would be interested, but by discount code, do you mean illegal or legal. I would like to sign-up for on line tutorials or at least watch some to see what the software can do.
I know Shake works with Maya, but how does it work with 3D Max or Lightwave?
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Old March 25th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #14
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Everything 100% authorized and legal.
Basically, unique discount codes are issued to existing members and when they get used, the member earns some credit against on their own fees.

I've already paid for my membership for the full year, so I figured it would make sense that someone else take advantage of the referral. Besides, it also makes my recommendation "untainted" by any personal gain.

Shake works fine with any 3D app.
Basically, you just render animations with alpha channel and you're good to go.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #15
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Well as stated earlier I would be interested. I am getting my new computer, shake, and Production Suite in one month. I would liek to start looking at some tutorials before I start. What is the name of the company, maybe they have some free demo I could check out at lunch today..???
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