• Price: 280 . 30 . 2700

  • Company: Apple

  • Pros: High-quality effects tools. Fast and efficient for visual effects work. Integration with Final Cut Studio.

  • Cons: Inappropriate for most desktop compositing work. Ignores many modern OS interface conventions. Lacks breadth of effects.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 7 out of 10 We rate this 7 out of 10

When Apple announced that it was slashing the price of Shake for Mac from £1,700 to under £300, it received online hyperbole equating this to a Ferrari being offered for the price of a Skoda. However, to continue an automotive metaphor, Shake is more like a Formula One car: it’s fantastic at what it does but it’s no good if you’ve got two kids and a bundle of shopping – regardless of the price.

The price drop was timed for the release of version 4.1. This update adds no new creative features, just a series of tweaks and bug fixes – and a version compiled to run on Macs with Intel processors. This is largely irrelevant until Apple ships Intel-based workstations. As such, we’ll be reviewing the Mac version of Shake 4.1 here as a completely new product. To most users of After Effects and Combustion, as well as editors with Final Cut Pro/Motion workflow, it’s a new potential addition to the toolbox.

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Shake is a visual-effects compositing application that’s ideal as the day-to-day workhorse of post-production houses working on film or high-end broadcast projects. It enables such facilities to take a large portion of a compositing project away from Flame suites with extortionate by-the-hour rates, or even do away with the Discreet kit completely. Its open architecture allows it to slip easily into the workflow of a post house’s production pipeline, with R&D teams quickly able to build plug-ins to automate any process.
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None of which matters to most desktop-based editors and compositors, where there’s no R&D team and the production pipeline often consists of a series of named folders on a server. What these users want are a wide range of high-grade tools in an efficient environment – and Shake is lacking in both these areas.
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<b>Shake it up</b>
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