Learning Shake?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Kingsly, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    With the new excellent price drops ($249!!!!!!) I am seriously considering the accelerated purchase of Shake.
    I am a little overwhelmed by all the buttons and switches involved... as well as the new workflow and logic behind compositing.
    Has anyone used it? How long do you think it would take me to learn (I taught myself FCP in a month, Motion in a week, and soundtrack in a few hours)?
  2. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    I'm no professional video editor or anything, so I wouldn't know, but what exactly does Shake do?
  3. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Special effects compositing.
    Say you have shots of king kong, new york, some real cars, some CG cars, and the actors.
    Shake blends them into one to make a believable shot of king kong throwing cars (the CG ones) while others (real ones) try to doge the actors as they run through new york.
  4. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I am pretty advanced with final cut studio, and a friend uses shake. I tried it a few times and was able to do some basic things right away. The learning curve is pretty steep. Nothing you couldnt figure out over time, just dont expect to do anything too amazing right away. And at the new price, its worth it just to start learning it.
  5. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Cool... I am interested in Phenomenon, but 2008? No way!

    By the way, what kind of stuff did you do in shake?
  6. KeeFX macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey all!

    Kingsly, just so you know... Shake is concidered a pro user software (Film compositing etc), and on a surface level, is relatively easy to do very basic things, but underneath, it's a hugely complex, script based tool.
  7. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    ehh... well... I've been meaning to learn scripting for a while anyways...
    So, how long do you think It would take me? I am interested in basic compositing, anything big and I would just hire someone.
  8. xPismo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Simple. Apple has a free shake demo to download.


    Get crackin. :D I'm working on it when I get the change (not often so far) but my copy of Shake is due at the end of the month so I have time.

    BTW, check out apple's pages for what shake can do. The NAB demo was wicked.
  9. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I was toying with the idea, bout I don't have any media to work with right now and am afraid of losing my 30 days. Does the trial include demo media?
  10. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
  11. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Please note that the trial is currently only for PowerPC.
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Here are some normal examples. Not many of us will work on a hollywood budget film like King Kong.

    Lets say you have a shot of the exterior of a house taken from a moving car. It is not a straight on shot you never see the walls at right angles. You can see a large window but as the car moves you see different parts of the interior of the house and different parts of some action happening inside. OK that is the final movie. What they shot was (1) an empty house from a moving dolly. and (2) some interior scene shot months later on a set.

    Shake is used to composite the two shots so we will see the parts of the interior that would be visable through the window, even with the 3D geometry changing frame by frame.

    Now lets go one step farther and put a TV show on the TV that was on the set of the house interior. Notice that the shape of the TV screen changesy.

    One other application for shake: You film an actor walking and he has a video iPod. As the actor moves the iPod sometimes faces the camera and at other times it is edge-on and the screen is very thn and some times it disappears and we see the back of the ipod. Of course the iPod screen is never straight. Now we want to composite onto the iPod's screen some music video was have in our file. We want to model the effect of the LCD screen not being bright when not viewed head on too.
  13. KeeFX macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    The time it takes to learn would basically depend on your aptitude for learning any software! If you're a tech head with a flair for colour and knowing what looks right visually, and what looks wrong, you'll be fine.

    I've used Shake for a year or so, and I do find that certain elements aren't that intuitive, compared to a Discreet product... Ie, keying etc..
  14. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    Thanks for that comprehensive answer;)
  15. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    I tried Newtek's Lightwave once, and boy was I out of my league. :eek:
    I would like to try Shake though.
  16. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ

    i shot some tracking shots around my car against a green screen in a studio (garage we painted green for keying - the poor mans studio set) then composited some various high speed shots from different locations (forrest roads, coastal drives, in the city...) then blended them together with some effects to make it look like a "high speed" car commercial.

    it was a while back, i will dig up the file and post it.
  17. virus1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2004
    shake is quite a handful. it is not the type of software that you can just pick up, experiment a bit, and be a pro at. (unlike fcs). i learned by book, and that worked fairly well.

    actually FS: Apple Pro Training Series: Shake 3 by March Paolini. $25 shipped to the us, fairly used. (not the marketplace i know, so PM me)

    there are very few differences between shake 3 and shake 4, and the book will lay down the foundations and the patterns of the various effects, so the new features will be easy to learn.

    i will say that the price tag is incredible, so they must have some amazing stuff in the pipeline for 08. it is an incredibly powerfull app, and is undoubtedly worthwhile to learn.
  18. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    I've been using Shake for over two years (V3 and V4), and I can tell you, it's been extremely hard to learn, but I'm happy with what I can do with it now. I'm still not exactly a Holywood Pro type, but I get by. :)

    The Gnomon Workshop DVDs as mentioned above [linky] were useful, as was the Apple Pro book Shake 4.

    The training course (Apple's one) that I got through University wasn't great. For something like £1000 (paid for by my uni's TV station), I got less than from a £30 book...
  19. Lukian macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2006
    Learning Shake

    It really helps to have a project to actually do something when trying to learn new software. I remember playing around with Maya and being completely overwhelmed, and then an opportunity came up to do an animation project so I decided to go for it.

    It makes a big difference because you're trying to achieve something and the pressure to get something done really forces you to work and learn the package.

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