Welcome! My name is Alan Shisko, and I'm a freelance motion graphics artist working out of Toronto, Canada. I've been very lucky in my career to have had many inspiring teachers, and decided to start this blog to give back to the community that has enriched me both technically and aesthetically. Perhaps my words and images will inspire you to do the same! If you wish, take a minute to view my demo reel at Shisko.com, or view a comprehensive gallery of my past work Here.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Zaxwerks Layer Tools In Production

Working in 3d space in After Effects can be a tricky business at best, and downright confounding at worst. I recently completed a project for a client and dealt with a couple of these issues in a quick, streamlined way using a new 'plugin' from Zaxwerks called "Layer Tools".

At issue was how one can quickly distribute layers in 3d z-space such that there wasn't any 'ringing' when two intersecting layers fight for the same worldspace. Kind of a 'Layer Smackdown', one might say. I also talk about how "Layer Tools" gives you creative options that were previously achievable only through persistence and much time away from family and friends.

Take a look at the finished animation here (11 megs, h.264, 1:20). Then take a look at this tutorial which describes how I used "Layer Tools" to overcome a couple of technical and creative hurdles.


Anchang said...

wow, Alan, I'm a very big fan of your work here, but this is AMAZING, it's always nice to watch all this stuff while you're learning AE, to challenge yourself to be better and to learn more and more. Thanks again, man.

Anonymous said...


Wow! doesn't begin to describe my reaction to your latest piece. Very elegant.

Would this piece have been possible without Layer Tools? Or is LT simply that good that it is going to transform our finished projects to new levels?

Thanks for all that you do!

James Wicks
West Palm Beach, FL

Alan Shisko said...

The project could have been done without Layer Tools, but it would have added a certain degree of complexity (and therefore time) to the project. As the tut sez, simply distributing layers in z-space CAN be done by hand, but z-tools simplifies it. Creating the 'dollar' z-space effect, though, would be impeccably difficult without z-tools.