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Apple Shake: Apple Buys Nothing Real, A High End Compositing Software Maker

Apple Shake: Apple Buys Nothing Real, A High End Compositing Software Maker

by , 8:30 AM EST, February 7th, 2002

MacMinute broke the news that Apple has bought a company called Nothing Real, the makers of Shake, a high-end video compositing software application. Shake is a US$10,000 (give or take a bit) package that is used in the development of many feature films. Neither Apple nor Nothing Real has issued a press release announcing the purchase, but MacMinute has posted a statement from Apple:

"Apple has acquired Nothing Real, a developer of high-performance software for professional visual effects and post-production based in Venice Beach, California," an Apple statement reads. "Apple plans to use Nothing Real's technology in future versions of its products."

For those wanting to know what the big deal is about Shake, we offer a comment from someone in the video industry. The following was posted in the NewTek forums (the makers of LightWavee, the 3D app) by "Beamtracer" (thanks to Observer Lester for the heads up):

Anyone who owns or has seen a demo of Shake will know of the mind blowing effects it is capable of. Most high-end 3D work gets processed through a compositing application, and Shake is extensively used in big budget Hollywood films. 3D animators should keep a close eye on Apple Shake.

<snip>

At the very least it'll probably cause the price to plummet (Shake currently costs over US$10,000). It will also force many companies doing high-end visual fx for film and television to bring Macs into their workflow. This could have a back-flow effect if they want to standardize on one platform. If they MUST use a Mac for compositing, they may also decide to use it for other tasks. There are many companies that wouldn't use any other application as a substitute for Shake.

You can read a small amount of additional information in the MacMinute report. Nothing Real's Web site is currently down with a message saying that it will return "soon."

The Mac Observer Spin:

This is officially a Big Deal™. Apple has fired a barrage across the bow of the existing editing industry whose shock wave will reverberate around the (silicon) hills of Hollywood. If Apple releases their own version of Shake (already dubbed Apple Shake by some), similar to what the company did with Final Cut Pro, which was purchased from Macromedia, Apple will be well positioned to further its assault on the high-end digital editing market.

The interesting thing that will probably have users of Shake tied up in digital knots for weeks or months on end will be whether or not Apple is going to kill Shake in order to merge its technologies with something else (perhaps another version of Final Cut Pro, for instance), make it a stand alone Mac OS X only product in order to sell more boxes, or continue developing the product as is (on multiple platforms) in order to generate software sales. Our bet is on one of the first two options. All of Apple's software is currently geared towards making the Mac an attractive platform, and odds are that Shake will fit in with that strategy in some way or another. Apple is, however, nothing if not capable of surprising us. We wish the folks who currently use Shake a happy & successful transition to the Mac. :-)

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