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Apple Releases Shake 4.1, Drops Price To $499 110

Posted by timothy
from the hefty-drop dept.
chasingporsches writes "Today, Apple released the long-awaited Universal Binary version of Shake, their high-end compositing application. Its new version is 4.1 and is available from their online store or as a crossgrade from version 4.0 for $49. The price of Shake has been dropped significantly, from $2999 to $499. (Educational version is $249.) The minimum system requirements imply that this could run on any new Mac, including the iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook, as well as older PowerPC-based Macs."
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Apple Releases Shake 4.1, Drops Price To $499

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  • Nice price drop (Score:1, Redundant)

    by ronanbear (924575)
    Shake is going mainstream (relatively speaking).
  • No Frozen CPU (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by neonprimetime (528653)
    Min Requirements [apple.com] say 1ghz cpu. Darn, this couldn't run [slashdot.org] on the Frozen CPU [slashdot.org]
  • by richdun (672214) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @10:58AM (#15569828)
    Linux

    * 1GHz (or faster) Pentium III, Pentium 4, or AMD Athlon processor or faster
    * Fedora Core 4
    * 512MB (or more) of RAM
    * 1GB hard disk space for disk cache
    * Workstation-class graphics card, such as NVIDIA Quadro2 or Quadro4
    * Display with 1280-by-1024-pixel resolution and 24-bit color
    * Three-button mouse


    Well, it runs on Fedora Core 4, but whatever.
    • by Soong (7225) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:11AM (#15569944) Homepage Journal
      My employer produces some for-profit software which runs on Linux. We specify that it runs on RH 9 or somesuch as a basic ass-covering move. We test on that and release it. It does happen to work just on the majority of linuxes we try, but it greatly reduces the load on our tech support people if we get a call saying "it doesn't work on crappy-distro-0.9" and we can tell them it's their own damn problem. And really I'd expect any decent Linux admin to be able to install any missing libraries or version problems if our binaries don't happen to Just Work out of the box. But it usually works anyway and there's no trouble.
    • I almost believed that it ran on Linux until you said that it requires a three-button mouse. Apple likes the mouse to have only one button.
    • by ptomblin (1378) <ptomblin@xcski.com> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:25AM (#15570099) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, but they didn't reduce the price for the Linux version.
      • Can I ask why the fuck they'd do that?
      • by sakusha (441986) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @01:08PM (#15570924)
        It's not fully clear just how the price structure has changed. Nobody is going to buy just ONE Shake workstation, usually it's backed by at least a small render farm with Shake client renderers. A few years back, I went to an Apple seminar about Shake, they said the $3000 package came with licenses for one workstation and 5 client machines for rendering. It looked like any smart configuration would be one big Mac workstation and 5 commodity Linux render stations. I just checked the Apple website and now they're offering a 5 user volume license (including Linux workstations) for $129 per system. So I am guessing that they dropped the price on the main package and unbundled the extra licenses for the 5 render machines so those are sold separately. Of course the volume licenses are for full workstation usage, but I suspect most people will use them for small render farms. But I'm only speculating here.
        But still, there's a huge incentive to switch away from Linux to Mac render farms, Shake supports distributed rendering through QMaster, which AFAIK only runs on Mac, and is totally free. I've seen hacks to use QMaster to manage Linux Maya render farms, but I believe that's because the Maya renderer specifically wrote hooks to QMaster even on their Linux clients. And you still need license management on large Maya render farms. Nobody gives out free render farm licenses.. except Apple's QMaster.
      • by mhollis (727905) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @01:37PM (#15571154) Journal

        No they didn't. And, really truly it doesn't matter. The price drop here is to try to attract users of other software, like Autodesk Discreet Flame or the Avid DS-Nitris [avid.com]. The former runs about $80,000 for a full workstation and the latter is $125,000.

        Apple here is unbundling render farm licenses and providing potential users with a look-see that is designed to sell Macintosh computers. The Mac version works better with Apple's Motion, so you can see that this is being marketed at the hobbyist and the very small studio with lots of time to render (on one machine, rather than a farm).

        The high end motion picture and feature people who are working at film resolution totally don't care about a relatively minor price drop like this. They're willing to pay what they're willing to pay to get their job done. Is it cheaper than film processing? Yes? OK, let's invest. They don't care if it's cheaper now, they care that their visual effects artist knows the application. And they'll be buying whatever their VFX artist knows (and recommends).

        So you can see this in two ways:
        Apple is selling hardware by reducing the Mac-only cost.
        Apple is trying to seed more people who know the application into the stream of up-and-coming VFX artists

        Either way looks good for Apple.

        Disclosure: I use Avid's DS-Nitris for compositing for a national television network in the United States.

        • Shake does not compete with the core business of Autodesk Flame/Inferno or DS-Nitris. They are very different animals. With Shake you are not going to sit down with a client behind you in the room and interactively change around your composite while the client makes comments, viewing changes on a broadcast monitor. Shake is not designed to work that way. Shake is a fantastic tool for dealing with complex shots - which tend to exist mostly in the feature film world - but is not very client interactive. Clien
          • You are 100% right that Apple's strategy is to sell more boxes. They create killer applications and sell them in a manner that will encourage the purchase of more Macs.

            With Shake you are not going to sit down with a client behind you in the room and interactively change around your composite while the client makes comments, viewing changes on a broadcast monitor.

            I disagree that Shake is never used in a facility with someone looking over one's shoulder. Art Directors insinuate themselves into every proce

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:25AM (#15570104) Homepage Journal

      When I first read this, I thought it was a joke. After checking the System Requirements page [apple.com], I'm absolutely amazed.

      Has Apple done prepackaged software for GNU/Linux before? Why Shake? (I'm guessing the type of customer who wants Shake demanded it, but on the other hand, when has Apple used that as a reason to produce it, rather than "encourage" users to switch to Mac)? Wouldn't those same customers want a Windows version?

      Well done Apple... I think... any chance of an official version of Quicktime or iTunes while you're at it?

    • Sadly, it appears that the trial version is only available for apple computers.
  • Shake? (Score:3, Funny)

    by lbmouse (473316) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @10:59AM (#15569835) Homepage
    The product's mascot? [wikipedia.org]
  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:01AM (#15569859) Journal
    It looks as though Apple is really going for the jugular in terms of wanting market share. The "old" Apple would have kept the price high and raked in the profits, the "new" Apple price hardware and software keenly (still with a slight premium if you don't want the h/w extras that come with a Mac), but still far cheaper than they used to be.

    So Aperture got a price reduction, Shake has just dropped through the floor, and the machines are competitively priced... I was quoting "old" and "new" above because the guard hasn't really changed, but it seems the rules of engagement have been given a bit of a shake-up. I like the "new" Apple better, bodes well for things to come :-)

    Simon
    • They're giving away nanos now (a rebate anyway) with any Mac except the mini
    • I'm not sure how "old" you are referring to. Apple seems to follow a pattern of lowering the price of the pro apps once hardware fast enough to run it becomes cheap enough that it is common place. They certainly did that with the Final Cut suite. By reducing the cost as the potential market gets bigger, they may even increase profits, before you even consider what payoff results from increased marketshare.

      That said, it also seems to be Apple's modus operandi to put powerful software into as many hands as
      • As far as I can tell, Apple bought Logic for the express purpose of gutting it and repackaging it as Garage Band.

        They still sell Logic Pro [apple.com] for a cool grand. So even though Garage Band might have been a direct result of acquiring Logic they didn't kill the premium product. Just the Windows version, if I remember correctly.

  • Misread (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:05AM (#15569888) Journal
    heir high-end compositing application

    Misread this as a composting application. I knew you mac boys like to think different, but my ten dollar garbage can, month old table scraps and watering can are more than enough for this type of job.
  • No, not MacBook. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Swedentom (670978)
    Display with 1280-by-1024-pixel resolution and 24-bit color

    MacBook doesn't have that.
  • It'll be interesting to see whether or not this will lure them into using Macs. Even though Apple have traditionally owned the graphic design and a large segment of the video editing market, they haven't made much of an inroad into movie visual effects where Windows and Linux dominate. This price drop might pay for half a workstation to it certainly lowers the risk for companies considering using Macs.
  • Apple will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake and no further
    software updates are planned as we begin work on the next generation of
    Shake compositing software. While we're excited about the innovations we can
    bring in the future, we understand you have a business to run today that
    requires Shake. To that end, we will provide all Maintenance customers with
    the following three options:

    A. Customers can continue with end-user e-mail support, as well as SDK
    support for the duration of their Maintenance contract.

    B. Customers may elect to cancel their Maintenance and receive a pro-rated
    refund for the unused portion. Existing software licenses would continue to
    function according to the Software License Agreement. Maintenance customers
    that wish to cancel their contract must do so by July 23, 2006.

    C. Additionally, Maintenance customers may choose to license the Shake 4.1
    Source Code for $50,000. The Source Code license includes a 5,000 seat
    volume license of Shake 4.1. This offer is designed to help facilities with
    significant Shake investments maintain a reliable and controllable visual
    effects pipeline. Maintenance customers that wish to license the Shake 4.1
    Source Code must do so by July 23, 2006. Apple reserves the right to refuse
    any maintenance customer source Code access.


    I like shake, but it's never really fit in amongst the other Apple apps. But to EOL it for their (rumored) own app seems short-sighted. It's more likely people will migrate to Nuke [d2software.com] in the meantime, which has jumped ahead while Apple has mostly let shake wither on the vine.

    A year since version 4, and we've got bug-fixes and an universal binary. Whee.

    -b
    • In what way has it jumped ahead? When I read the specs for Nuke I feel like I'm reading a copy of the specs for Shake.
      • Nuke has much, much better 2d/3d integration, which is the primary use of modern compositing programs. Shake's historical strength has been the ability to work with proxy/low-res files to set up compositing work and then to do the final render with high-res output. Nuke is designed around the attitude of working always in full-res, and then to just throw more hardware at it. Cheaper hardware has made this approach the simpler/better of the two. It's hard to directly point to a single feature being ahead
        • Ah, I missed that. At my last two companies we pushed Apple (and Nothing Real as it was then called) hard to support proxies properly because it was one of the most important features of any compositing system that we'd consider using. I think that might eliminate Nuke from the running for a lot of companies. But it is still a pity that Shake development has ground to a halt.
          • Don't get me wrong, you can do proxies in nuke. But the workflow is based around just throwing the data at the program and letting the hardware cope. It is a simplification that pays off as hardware gets faster and by reducing the overall complexity of project management. Doing 2k streams a decade ago was beyond the reach of all but the fastest machines. Now the hardware to do multiple ones at once is under the five figure mark.

            -b
            • Looks like Apple have actually canceled further Shake development and are no longer selling maintenance. I heard a rumor to this effect a month ago but it seems it's actually true. So it looks like Toxik and Nuke are the only high end contenders. (I don't actually know if Toxik is any good.)
              • I've heard good things about version five of Digital Fusion. Sorry, don't know about Toxik either. Autodesk's entry into the vfx industry is interesting...they've bought a lot of good stuff, but I'm not so sure that sticking them all together is going to work quite so smoothly as they would hope. That's my theory that that's where Apple is ultimately aimed with all this, a shake/discreet/ae + san fcp-integrated beast. They've got the people, and if they're not working on shake (or motion) then here's hop
    • I like shake, but it's never really fit in amongst the other Apple apps. But to EOL it for their (rumored) own app seems short-sighted. It's more likely people will migrate to Nuke in the meantime, which has jumped ahead while Apple has mostly let shake wither on the vine.

      Beg your pardon?

      Apple will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake and no further software updates are planned as we begin work on the next generation of Shake compositing software.

  • by delire (809063) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @12:45PM (#15570746)
    From what I hear their biggest market is Shake on Linux, now a standard production platform in the feature film industry. I wonder if this is due to 64 bit systems being the favourite of big production houses, or whether it's because Linux is also more widely used in 3D animation and rendering roles. King Kong (pictured on the Apple site) was almost entirely made on Red Hat Linux machines running on IBM workstations AFAIK.

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