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Apple delivers Universal Shake 4.1 for $499

Apple on Tuesday announced that it is making the first Universal version of its Shake compositing software available for $499 —an 80 percent price reduction from previous versions of the software.

Users of the company's Final Cut Studio can now take advantage of Shake 4.1 for sophisticated 3D compositing, keying, image tracking and stabilization for the price of a plug-in.

Shake has been the tool of choice for major motion-picture studios and leading effects houses to create award-winning visual effects including this year's Oscar winner, “King Kong.”

“Shake has become an essential tool at ILM for visual effects compositing, playing a central part in our pipeline on blockbuster movies such as ‘Mission Impossible 3,’ ‘Poseidon’ and the upcoming ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,’” said Cliff Plumer, chief technology officer of Industrial Light and Magic. “By pricing Shake at less than $500, Apple has opened up the doors for the next generation of artists to master their craft.”

The new version complements Final Cut Studio by providing a full range of operations from simple re-touching to complex 3D compositing. Launched directly from the Final Cut Pro timeline, Shake uses state-of-the-art optical flow image analysis to re-time, track and stabilize shots with precision.

Particle effects from Motion 2 —Apple's real-time motion graphics software —can be dropped directly into the Shake process tree to add elements such as smoke, sparkles and fire to sophisticated multi-plane 3D composites. High resolution work can flow from Motion to Shake by rendering with the shared OpenEXR format for pristine film quality reproduction.

Shake 4.1 also delivers significant performance gains on the new Intel-based Macs, according to Apple. The company said users will be able to enjoy a desktop level experience on its new MacBook Pro notebook computer.

Performance tests on a 17-inch MacBook Pro have shown that common tasks such as color correction, warping and the application of filters are processed up to 3.5 times faster than on a PowerBook G4. That means artists and editors can start compositing with HD, 2K and even 4K shots directly on location, making Shake 4.1 on a MacBook Pro an ideal tool for continuity, Apple said.

Pricing & Availability

Shake 4.1 is available now through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499. Owners of Shake 4 can take advantage of a crossgrade to Shake 4.1 for just $49 US. Full details are available at

Apple will no longer sell the Apple Maintenance Program for Shake. Current Shake Apple Maintenance customers can contact [email protected] for more information.