Apple Announces Shake 4 with 3D Features, Distributed Rendering, More [UPDATE]

Apple Computer announced Sunday Shake 4, an upgrade to the companyis compositing solution for film editing. The new version features 3D multi-plane compositing, cutting-edge optical flow image processing, and what Apple called "unprecedented integration with Final Cut Pro 5." The announcement was made in advance of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show, which begins on Tuesday in Las Vegas, NV.

"From Academy award-winning films to broadcast television, Shake helps bring realistic visual effects to life," Rob Schoeben, Appleis vice president of Applications Marketing, said in a statement.? "With 3D multi-plane compositing, advanced optical flow technology and tight integration with Final Cut Pro 5, Shake 4 opens up a wide range of new creative opportunities for artists everywhere."

Apple built in a new OpenGL accelerated 3D multi-plane compositing node for creating live action and 3D CGI layers. Using this node, users have the ability to position, rotate and animate unlimited layers and cameras in 3D space It works with the same user interface as other Shake 4 features, and Apple said that it was as fast as 2D operations.

Other new features, according to Apple:

  • Editors and visual effects artists alike can now effortlessly adjust the speed of any clip to achieve Hollywood-quality results.?
  • Shake 4 can revive unusable content by automatically removing camera jitter from static shots and correcting uneven pans across a scene without setting tracking points.
  • Shake 4 integrates Truelight monitor calibration to maintain color consistency between the computer screen and the final look of the film, allowing compositors to accurately pre-visualize the look of their HD or film imagery, saving time and effort.?
  • Shake 4 can also distribute visual effects processing across a cluster of Apple?s Xserve G5 servers or Power Mac G5 desktop computers for maximum rendering performance and efficiency.

Lastly, Apple has improved integration with Final Cut Pro and the other apps in the companyis new Final Cut Studio suite.

Shake 4 will be available in June for US$2,999 from the Apple Store. A cross platform version for Linux will be available for $4,999. Upgrades from previous versions is priced at $999.

[Update: This story has been updated with additional information about Shake 4. - Editor]