Compositing newbie


I have a few questions regarding using this compositing software

My friend told me compositing is like photoshop in video, is that more or less true?

If its a yes, can i safely assume I can do stuff like masking, or gradient mask, or color overlay in programs like Shake?

One more thing, how can I do lens fare, or film grain effect in Shake? which tab is it under, because I can’t seem to find it?

many thanks for helping :slight_smile:


That’s essentially correct, except that the paradigm in Shake is quite different. Shake uses a node-based workflow instead of a layer-based one, which takes some getting used to. Once you grow accustomed to it, though, you’ll likely find it quite easy to work with. I’d say After Effects is more like “Photoshop for video,” since it uses a layer-based approach.

I don’t recall seeing a lens flare in Shake, and a search of the manual doesn’t turn up any results. The grain and filmGrain nodes are in the Filters tab.

Shake is very powerful for compositing, but it doesn’t do motion graphics and effects. If you need a lens flare, it would likely be best to generate it in After Effects or Motion.


i am fine with the concept of it, maya is sort of node based as well, so I have no problem understanding it.

I have one more question, is there are function in shake that you can achieve something like a mask gradient in Photoshop?


For a linear gradient, use a Ramp node. For a radial gradient, RGrad. These are both in the Image tab. If I recall correctly, the RGrad comes with an appropriate alpha channel, but I think the Ramp’s is opaque. You can set the Ramp to work the way you want it to by setting its alpha parameter to 0.

Plug the output of your gradient into the side Mask input on the node you want to mask.

Chapter 19 of the manual covers masking in great depth. You can get to the manual through the help menu.


thank you so much, I will look into it :slight_smile:


I have a question for the VFX professional artists

Is there something Shake can do, but After effect cannot, from a commercial production point of view?

Since they are both compositing tools, I wonder if there are times that you would choose to one of them over the other.

From my observation, AE seems to be way more popular then Shake


A vs B product comparisons are strongly discouraged on the CGS forums because it leads to product bashing and flame wars. (rarely ends well :wink:

Suffice it to say that while there is some functionality overlap the products are not really even in the same classification; shake; is an industrial strength compositor (shakes direct competitors are almost all in the $5K &^ bracket) and AE is primarily a motion graphics package with good (layer) compositing abilities.


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