News Production & Post

Apple Shakes up 2D market

3 July 2006

Apple Computer has announced a drastic price cut in its Shake compositing application, turning the 2D effects market on its head in one fell swoop, writes Andy Stout.

Mirroring changes in the 3D industry which have seen the price of a seat fall from the _25k region to less than a tenth of that in recent years, Apple has dropped the price of Shake by over _1600 to _329 (and yes, that includes VAT). Given that Shake was retailing at over _5000 a license before Apple bought original developers Nothing Real a couple of years ago, that represents a price drop best described as ‘drastic’. And, in much the same manner that Final Cut Pro has set the cat amongst the pigeons in the nonlinear editing market, it brings industry-standard compositing to the desktop at an eminently affordable price.

There is a sting in the tale however. The price drop only applies to the Mac v4.1 of the software (which also adds support for Intel-based Macs). The Linux version, which is the one high-end post prefers to use, remains at the old pricepoint. Previously Apple’s attempts to strong arm post production into use of its machines for anything other than NLE work or sitting on reception desks have run into a certain amount of dogged resistance. It will be interesting to see whether it is more successful this time round with an installed base of 500,000 FCP users and Shake now effectively being the price of a plug-in.

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