DV.com has posted a review of Appleis Shake 3.5, a professional compositing utility. Alex Lindsay offers readers an overview of the application from the perspective of a new user. Mr. Lindsay was especially impressed with nodal based compositing and Shakeis open architecture. From the article:
About a year and half ago, shortly after Apple purchased Nothing Real (the original makers of Shake), we sent a few people to Apple to be trained in Shake to see what it was all about. They returned as converts to Shake, and were barely interested in anything else.
The key thing to realize about Shake is that you are not really "compositing" in the traditional sense. Instead, you are writing a script that will composite the images in the File In Directories. The program is simply a graphical construct to help you build your script.
This structure creates an environment that is unique to node-based compositors. First, you must be very explicit. In Shake, you have low-level control of the compositing process. When you want to move an image, you add a Move 2D node. When you want to composite an image over another image (something that would happen in After Effects automatically when you add it to a composition), you add an Over node and noodle the images into that node. This process requires a much deeper understanding of compositing than what is needed in After Effects, which-for many users-is actually good. I found that my compositing in After Effects has improved significantly since using Shake because I have a greater understanding of whatis going on. That said, until you have that understanding, the process can be challenging.
You can read the full article at the DV.com Web site.