Shake 4.1 newbie questions

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by matd, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. matd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #1
    Hello !

    I'm currently filming little music videoclips with a camera and editing the whole video with iMovie HD.
    I`ve been doing this for quite a long time now and now i really feel that iMovie HD is kinda limiting my creativity.
    I've noticed on Apple's site that Shake would be a cool software to insert special effects in my clips. Unfortunately each description points to Final Cut Pro, so my question is : Do I need Final Cut, or can I also use iMovie Projects ?

    I'm currently using a MacBook Core Duo 2Ghz / 2Ghz RAM. Will this configuration be enough to run correctly ( I mean ok the default config is on Apple's site, but we all know the configuration for video programmes should be a little bit better..) Shake ? Do I need to change my computer?

    What are your experience and would you recommend it for someone who has previously only worked with iMovie ? Won't it be too difficult ?

    Is Shake comparable to After Effects ? What would be the benefits of choosing Shake instead of After effects ?

    Thanks a lot for your answers !
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Shake is very powerful, and very complicated, compositing program. If you get it buy some training books too and expected to spend more than a couple of weekends fighting the learning curve.

    What effects do you want to do that you can't? Even the relatively basic compositing modes in Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro will provide you w/much, much more flexibility than you have w/iMovie.


    Lethal
     
  3. matd thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #3
    To be quite frank it's not really about cutting, adding filters or transitions that interests me. It's more about adding graphical gimmicks, like : filming on a bluescreen than changing the bluescreen with a town picture, or adding color bluring effects like in the new iPod video, or building up a scene with many people using a "clone tool" and placing them in a self made scene (in a street to simulate a big crowd).

    I'm working each day with Flash, and the way you can work with layers, build up your own scene, add some external objects such as pictures and let them move is very interesting. I'm looking for the same "features" in the video field that's why I'm looking for a good, but also affordable solution for compositing. I would be ready to purchase Shake If I was sure that I don't need any other softwares than iMovie and that I can easily import my videos.
     
  4. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #4
    While I haven't tried this combination, I don't know why you shouldn't be able to use Shake in combination with iMovie. They won't be integrated in any way, but as long as you can render the clips going into Shake into files on your hard drive and then import the Shake-generated clips back into your editing software, I don't know why Shake would even care what your editing software is.

    Also, keep in mind that Shake is available on other platforms (Linux) for which Final Cut Pro isn't even available. So I think you'll be alright with what you are planning to do.

    - Martin
     
  5. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #5
    Your biggest question here is what video files Shake accepts (it works on a frame by frame basis and image sequences are its most common format) and what it exports. For iMovie, you need .dv files and I am not sure that Shake will do that. I always export from shake as a series of images. If you are going to go with Shake, you might need to get some other video converter along with it.

    With that said, it can't be stressed enough how hard it can be to learn Shake. It's pretty obvious to me that it was made for people familiar with command lines (there is a lot of input with your keyboard rather than simply sliders and checkboxes). It's the feature that makes Shake so powerful, but it will confuse you quite a bit until you get the hang of it.

    P-Worm
     
  6. Rasheem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    #6
    I also have questions about shake. Everytime i open it i just get freaked out by everything and i know very little about it, however i do have it. Im wondering what shake can do? Essentially its an animation program right? So if i was advanced in it i could make a feature length movie similar to "Cars" right? How good is the apple pro training series for shake? I have it for Final cut and love it. Is there a less expensive(free) resource for learning shake for someone who knows nothing? Im persuing this as only a hobby for now considering the fact im only 15 and doubt anyone wants to hire a 15year old animator. Ha Ha.
     
  7. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    No, Shake is not an animation program. It is a compositor. It is strictly about layering video to finalize special effects or CG sequences created and rendered in other programs. For instance, scenes in "Cars" would be modeled, textured, and animated in Maya (another freakishly complicated piece of software), rendered in pieces with Renderman on a gigantic server farm, and then those 2D layers would be brought into Shake (or any one of several other high-end nodal compositing programs) for compositing.

    Shake is overkill for what the OP wants. Even Final Cut Express will do simple keying work w/ bluescreen footage. Shake is a complicated nodal compositor designed for feature-film level effects—definitely overkill if all you want is simple keying.
     
  8. Rasheem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    #8
    Sweet thanks.
     
  9. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #9
    Actually because it uses nodes it is infinitely less complicated for most effects, and I mean to say effects- not motion graphics.

    After Effects is designed for motion graphics (oddly), but so is Motion.

    Effects and motion graphics are both elements of compositing. Depending on the vision you have for a final sequence you break it down and decide how you are going to build your composite. You may find it faster to use After Effects and Shake. (I don't like AE personally)

    But let's face it, most of the people posting here aren't looking for a Hollywood comparable workflow, but they want Hollywood comparable results. That's why applications like FCExpress and Motion have built-in keying and keyframing.

    If you're using iMovie and have a vision in mind for custom motion graphics, you need to learn alot more about the software available today. It's not easy if you don't know any software. So once you do you can better plan you shots and workflow. Hence the title credit Technical Director.

    Don't be freaked out to learn Shake and After Effects. After you learn five or six of your favorite shots broken down you will notice the flow and be able to complete very complex shots easily by working on them one small step at a time.
    :D
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    If I was you I'd get get Final Cut Express as I think that'll do a lot, if not all, of what you want. Using Shake w/iMovie just sounds like a big ball of frustration waiting to happen.


    Lethal
     
  11. matd thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #11
    Thanks a lot for your advices ! Just a little question. I browsed through several forums, and some of them are saying that Shake 4.1 is getting old and might be replaced... Is this true ?
     
  12. Lone Deranger macrumors 65816

    Lone Deranger

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Shake 4.1 will be the last version. Apple is currently working on it's successor. This is the reason why it's so affordable right now. It used to be a couple of grand less than a year ago.
    Don't let this put you off from learning a nodal based compositing package though. Having good compositing skills can prove to be a valued commodity.

    Also, I see people using the term Special Effects where it isn't applicable. Special Effects are not of the same category as CG based effects. Special Effects are those that occur on set and in camera. Effects created in post production with 2D and/or 3D applications are generally referred to as Visual Effects. A distinct difference.

     
  13. mactree macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #13
    Also to add to other posters comments.. for me really After Effects, FCP and Shake are the three apps I'm in everyday, if you are really wanting to expand your creative spectrum, definitely try to incorprate all three. I've just been getting into Shake over the past year, slowly working it into my workflow one shot at a time. If you are limited to getting one of them right now, I would definitely grab FCP first, that will give you tons more freedom to be creative than imovie.
     

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