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, February 21, 2008


Most of my projects these days involve the creation of moving title sequences and show packages. My usual approach is to first create the "hero" frame in After Effects (usually close to the end of the intro, where you see the main title rendering) and then work backwards from there. I find that from this seed grows a mighty oak tree. Or sometimes a lush forest. Or on occasion just some modest shrubbery, as the script may well call for.

I've just finished (or perhaps started) a project that's going in a slightly different direction. A local independent film maker is putting together a proposal for a documentary and wanted to put some imagery into his written grant proposal. Something to "set the mood" for the granting agencies. This was a great opportunity to establish the 'look' of a project from the outset, not only in terms of what might happen once the financing is arranged, but also in terms of putting together a seamless, well-designed production package, which is a necessity for those of us in a creative industry.

Click on the header image at the top of this post to see a larger view of the image that is going on the title page for the grant proposal. Now, I do most of my work in After Effects these days, but it's really nice to get back to my Photoshop roots now and again. Although the application continues to evolve, the fundamentals remain the same.

The interesting thing about this project is that even though it was designed in PS, I had to start planning for the mobile future. Assuming that financing comes through, the doc is going to need motion graphics title sequences, intersticials, credits and such, and I kept all that in the back of my mind as I was laying it out. For instance, when shooting commences, it would be VERY helpful to get some footage of dancers shot against a green screen. Put all of the elements in the title image in 3d space with keyed imagery, and it will be a very compelling motion graphics spot. You might well call this image a 'key frame' from which the entire graphical look of the film may grow.

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