Blender as a Shake alternative

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Cromulent, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #1
    Does anyone use Blender as a Shake alternative?

    I posted a thread a few months back about Shake and was literally just about to pull the trigger and buy it when I heard that Apple were working on a new Shake like application. Although Shake is one of the best apps available and certainly one of the best for the price I am keen to avoid spending money on an application which is going to be discontinued at some point in the near future. Especially when I have little to no experience with compositing in general.

    So I am planning on using Blender until I see what Apple manage to do with the new product that is rumoured to be in development.

    The question is how well does Blender work at this role? I assume the best way to get your footage out of Final Cut Studio and into Blender would be a reference movie (I forget what is called now - away from my home computer)?

    Any info from someone who has used Blender like this would be appreciated.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #2
    Isn't Blender a 3D app, such as Maya or 3DStudio? Sounds like a very different type of application compared with Shake.

    You are correct that Shake is discontinued, and there are rumors about a replacement being on the horizon. However, if that replacement is priced like Shake was originally, it will be out of most people's financial reach. My advise is to get Shake now, while you still can, if you are at all interested in learning about compositing or have an actual need for it in a project.

    - Martin
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #3
    It can also do video editing and node based compositing as well as the standard 3D work such as you have already mentioned. Blender is a very capable application for the price :).

    I appreciate the advice and that is the way I was thinking myself but the original question of whether Blender is a viable short to medium term replacement while we wait still stands. I am sure Shake will be available on eBay for awhile after this new application is released.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #4
    Do you plan on playing with greenscreening? I don't think Blender has any option for that and Shake has a lot of powerful tools for that.

    Keep in mind that when Apple releases a replacement that it probably won't be $500....

    P-Worm
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #5
    The point about greenscreening is a good one. These types of decisions are never easy unfortunatly. Hopefully MacRumours will have some information prior to release about the new product. Until that time I think Blender is an acceptable solution at least until I have learnt the workflow of node based compositing.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Isn't Blender an open source 3D app? Has they start charging for it? The last time I downloaded it (2 years ago?), it was still free. But it is pretty complicated compared to Maya and 3D Max. I picked up 3D Max (basics) fairly easy but Blender is too mind boggling.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #7
    Yep Blender is still open source. Hence my comment about it being a very capable application for the price (i.e free).

    Blender is okay once to get to grips with it. I have found some incredibly good tutorials for it and the keyboard shortcuts do make sense after an hour or so.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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    #8
    as the others said, blender is like a maya alternative, their are open source (free) compositing packages about though that are node based like shake, but if you are serious shake is an industry standard so its good to learn.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #9
    And as I have said it is also a compositor.

    http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/features/

    Also of note which I have just noticed is that it does in fact support chroma keying which is pretty interesting. I'll have to read up on that.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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  11. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #11
    Err that is not what I wanted at all. Are you even following this thread? I already own Final Cut Studio.

    All I was asking was for opinions on Blender as a compositing application when compared to Shake.

    Edit : By the way I am aware of Jahshaka but the project is pretty much dead. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Plus Blender is far more feature packed in the effects area (unsurprisingly seeing as it is primarily a 3D modelling, rendering and animation program).
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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    #12
    well you wanted a compositor and thats what i suggested, not a 3d mdelling like blender, i wont bother next time.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #13
    Blender is a compositing application. Jesus christ, how many times...

    It does 3D modelling and compositing as well as having a simple video editor as well.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #14
    To be fair, no one considers Blender a compositing application. It's a 3D application with compositing applications. No one would consider Shake an alternative for Photoshop, but you can use it that way.

    Just out of curiosity, have you tried blender out yet? It seems to me that it wouldn't have the necessary tools too do the compositing that is often required (though I have not looked into it myself). A lot of compositing work is about generating mattes to overlay images. Theses are done by obvious methods like Green screening and other methods like luma keys, garbage mattes, and rotoscoping. Is it possible to rotoscope or make vector based mattes frame by frame in Blender? For compositing, rotoscoping is essential.

    P-Worm
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #15
    I think a lot of people underestimate how powerful Blender is becoming.

    Yep. It is not the easiest program to learn but it is certainly capable.

    I know rotoscoping and keying are available in Blender. Just how good they are in comparison to Shake was the whole point of this thread.

    Excellent short video showing what can be done.

    Some very impressive information of compositing in Blender.

    Lightsaber rotoscoping in Blender
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #16
    Cromulent,

    I feel for you. I've read this thread in it's entirety. You have enlightened me to many of Blender's capabilities. I also thought it was merely modeling and animation, but I do see that it has a capable compositing node as well.

    I personally use Shake as my primary tool. It's what I learned and what I've stuck with. However, I see Blender's screenshots and it looks like it can handle layering just as effectively as Shake can.

    I think the obvious answer here is: if Blender is free, why not go for it? I'm sure you've downloaded it and played with it by now, right? Get into Blender, play around, do some tutorials, learn about it's compositing node. Surely that will teach you universal compositing concepts.

    After that, check out http://safari.peachpit.com/9780321256096 to order a copy of the Peachpit Press Shake 4 book (you may be able to find the book cheaper elsewhere). The DVD includes a 30-day trial for Shake so you can do those tutorials as well and test out Shake's interface.

    Funny side-note: Peachpit Press' site says that Shake is still a "multi thousand dollar" piece of software. :)

    But in all seriousness, try both. I'm sure the end results will be very similar. If you like Blender, move into Shake. That will be the path you need to take to open doors for yourself if you really like this type of work.

    Good luck Cromulent.
     

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