Introduction to Shake Tutorial:
In the Node View quadrant, there are tabs that will show you the nodes in full, a colour picker, a pixel analyzer.
The Parameters quadrant holds all the parameters that you can set on any node or clip.
In the Tab Tool quadrant, each tab has many options. A few tabs repeat what's already there in other quadrants, like the Nodes view. Shake comes with an excellent manual, but if you need help fast, you can access help from within the Shake environment by simply clicking the Help button.
Opening a file in Shake is somewhat different from opening files in other applications. It all depends on what a file means to you. Shake is a scripting environment, so what you're going to create with Shake are basically scripts--it works much like Maya 5 which also creates scripts. Opening a script can be done from the File menu. Saving a script is also a File menu operation (or a keyboard equivalent). Shake knows about 20 file formats. The Shake native format is .iff which--not coincidentally--is the same as the native Maya format. A Maya file can be opened in Shake without modifications. However, you can't open a Shake .iff file in Maya. Besides Maya format, Shake can write files in .tga format, and many others.
If you want to open an image for processing in Shake, you don't use the File menu. Instead, you'll use the FileIn node. This node is created by clicking on the FileIn button under the Image tab in the Tools quadrant. Opening many files at once can be done by shift-selecting files in the browser window that opens when you click on the FileIn node button or when you open a Shake script from the File menu.
The compositing in Shake is done with trees and tree nodes entirely. A basic compositing scheme would be to merge two scenes into one. As an example, take a fish created and animated in Maya 5 and a short movie of the underwater world somewhere along the shores of Belize. To make it look like the fish is swimming in the warm waters of Belize, the Maya creature must be placed in the movie of the reefs. This must be done so it appears as if our fish is swimming quite natural before the lens of the camera.
Shake contains a large number of options to correct and adjust color, contrast, and luminance. Most of Shake's nodes to accomplish better color or special effects through the use of color are based on an Add or Subtract model. The minimum value for anything colour-related in Shake is zero, and the absolute maximum is one. This means Shake uses a percentage-based system to adjust color.