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Apple Releases Shake 3

Update gains Qmaster network rendering, new visual effects By Dave Nagel
Apple today released Shake 3, a major update to the company's compositing and effects suite. The new version adds several Mac OS X-only features, including network render management software. It continues to support Linux and Irix as well.

Shake 3 includes a new Shake Qmaster network render management software and unlimited network rendering licenses. This new functionality, available only for Mac OS X versions of Shake, allows rendering tasks to be distributed across a cluster of Apple Xserve machines. It uses Rendezvous technology to identify available render nodes and clusters automatically on a network and handles load balancing for optimizing usage of each machine. It also offers built-in fault tolerance allows to reroute tasks should one render node go down. According to Apple, Qmaster is based on an open architecture and can provide distributed rendering support for many leading third-party applications.

Shake 3 also includes new visual effects features available to Mac OS X, Linux and Irix customers, including motion tracking and real-time broadcast preview. Tracking data can now be applied to rotoshapes and paint strokes for automating rotoscoping tasks. The software also offers new audio support for viewing audio waveforms against animation curves; a new film grain filter for simulating a variety of film stock grain; an improved animation curve editor; and new broadcast monitor support on Mac OS X for playing back composites on a video monitor in real time. Shake 3 also offers enhanced Photoshop import functionality, including support layered files with blending modes.

Shake 3 is available for Mac OS X, Linux and Irix. The Mac OS X version runs $4,950. The Linux and Irix versions sell for $9,900 with annual maintenance of $1,485. Apple says existing Shake for Linux, Irix and Windows customers will continue to be given the option to double the number of their existing Shake licenses at no additional cost by migrating them to Shake on Mac OS X. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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