Shake compared to flame/inferno

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  01 January 2005
Shake compared to flame/inferno

Forgive me if this has been brought up before;

I have been working on inferno on an Onyx2 for about 8 years but am now looking for some software to use at home as I no longer has as much access to these big machines as I used to.

I have tried using combustion on a fast pc but it simply is too slow and I can't do all the things I need with it.

I have heard a lot of positive talk about Shake, and also it obviously is pretty cheap in comparison, but tell me; does it compare?

I do mostly 2d compositing, mostly in video resolution but sometimes in 2k also. What I use more than any other module is the action module of inferno, doing mainly 2d animation and layering, often with 3d displacements and 3ds max objects.

If you can give me any advice on what to get it would be greatly appreciated. I don't have a large computer now, I am waiting to see if I need a pc or a mac G5.

Thank you in advance,
Sincere regards

Jonathan Ésc, New Zealand
  01 January 2005
Hi Jonathan,

Only thing you'll miss is the 3d space as Shake is absolutely 2d.
But as soon as you begin to get familiar with Shake tools, you'll forget about Inferno and Discreet.
Maybe it is not as fast as Inferno because of the machine behind the software, and probably you won't have real time play if you don't have the right amount of RAM; but if you get a good computer, you won't be to far from there.
My advice would be: get a G5, with as much RAM at least 2'5 Gb RAM (Shake won't handle more than 2Gb as that is the limit for any single process; and the system will use the other 512 Mb, so 2'5 Gb will be fine).
Why a G5 instead of a PC?
Well, you can get in the same computer, Final Cut, Motion, DVD Studio, all of them working with the same Quicktime files you handle in Shake. There is good feedback among all of them. You can retouch in Shake captures you do in Final Cut, and you can play and edit in Final Cut shots you create at Shake, etc. You can also play and listen to sound, and some other minor details.
On the other hand, if you like more Linux, you'll be more comfortable with the PC, but the price of Shake for Linux is twice the price for MacOSX.

Hope this helps.
  01 January 2005
  01 January 2005
Thank you for your replies.

Hmm.... after reading through this I'm not so sure about Shake. I definitely need a good tracker, I do a lot of work in inferno's Action using 3d space, 3d tracking and multi-layered stuff...
Maybe combustion is better, but it just seemed so slow to me even on a powerful pc.

What about digitial studio? I remember beta testing it about 8 years ago in a small office building in Swindon and it sucked, but now so many people seem to be using it?

Well, I guess I shall have to make a choice sooner than later

Thanks again

  01 January 2005
quite an interesting read. so the magic behind the often praised interactivity of ffi seems to be that it can render certain effects via the gpu(s) of the host machine as opposed to doing all the rendering with the cpu's just like the competition - correct?

as for the original question: seems like shake is not really oriented towards motion graphics, but maybe a shake+motion combo on the mac would be worth looking into?
however, if you absolutely depend on connectivity with 3ds max, combustion is probably your only option.

i sometimes work with shake for layering passes of rendered sequences in video resolution and it's faster by an order of magnitude than combustion and totally reliable for my type of work on a windows box.
  01 January 2005
Yea, you can drag motion files into shake without even rendering them and they load in as just a quicktime movie. So you can do all your motion graphics in motion and any compositing in shake without having to prerender anything.
  01 January 2005
Hi Jonathan! I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, when I switched from inferno to Shake. I just couldn't get over how slow Shake was as compared to a discreet box.. I stuck with it though, and while Shake has it's problems, I'm working around them. Shake is more 2-1/2D, since you can rotate in three axis', move in three axis', and apply Depth of Field, which will work. It's all a hack for a command line compositor, but ah well.

My work on Shake is primarily in 2k, with some projects at NTSC and HD. You'll find that the node layout of Shake is similar to the batch layout in inferno. Clicking on each node will bring up it's properties (moving, rotating, color-correcting, etc). If it's just you using Shake, I'd also recommend a G5, since Apple will continue to support Shake on Mac. If you're feeling adventurous and really want a *nix, Apple does make Shake on linux, but it costs a little more.

Unfortunately, I detest Shake's keyframing and animation ability. It just sucks. The roto and paint is just horrible. It's workable but still horrible. The good thing is that I seldom need to use those tools.

Anyway, hope that helps.
  01 January 2005
Hi there all of you,

well. to Jonathanesc: if you're really yearning for a desktop node-based compositor with integrated Action-esque 3D environment, you should totally go for D2 Software's NUKE.
I've had a chance to take a look at it, and if there's anything that's not FFI comes close to FFI, this is it. You can even splice/cut/dissolve clips and node branches together, thus basic editing work, which is a big advantage as far I'm concerned. It's no way like the Desktop in FFI, but hey.....
The Curve Editor is well thought out, the tracker is good, roto is easy, only thing there's no paint at the moment though I've heard they're working on that. The 3D environment is cool, multiple cameras an' all, along with the familiar bicubics/bilinears and little round axis nodes connected to a surface. Now where did we hear all that before? Oh, and unless you're using Mac, it's roughly the same dinero as for Shake (of which I happen to very much like the roto; sorry Aruna but softness-per-vertex (toggle F1/F3, for those of you who didn't know) is something FFI still hasn't got around to, or has it since versh 6/9? hmmm....have to learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes maybe :-) ....anyway, whatever. Just keep making cool stuff everybody. Zonks.
Oh as far as Action-esque 3D goes, Digital Fusion 5 is going to be something to look out for I've heard. But that's all I know 'bout that.
And check NUKE out, if you haven't already, on

see ya.
"Nothing succeeds like excess"
  01 January 2005
I totally forgot about Nuke.. I'd definitely like to get a demo of that to see how it works in my day to day activities..

The softness for roto in flame 9 is under Gmasks. I used it in flame 7.7.1, which was the last time I was on a discreet box, goodness!
  01 January 2005
Quote: The softness for roto in flame 9 is under Gmasks. I used it in flame 7.7.1, which was the last time I was on a discreet box, goodness!

I hear ya ! I used to try and do all sorts of wacky stuff with the tracer to get edge softeneing in roto on inferno. I sat in on a flame session the other day(v9) and it seems that they have added a bit to the the overall package. Not to mention resolution indepedance.

I really seem to think that Nuke is a great idea just never come across a company in AU that uses it !

Fusuion 5 workspace looks verynice. I went to a small demo with the folks form eyeon and myself and the other compositors were very impressed by the advances since lsat version.

It really remain to be seen whether apple can get their collective 'iPod minaturising' butts into gear and make some advancements on the shake code like 3d and roto keyframes otherwise they will be getting outdone by the less popular tools !

  01 January 2006
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