motion/3D, design and production

Versatile: technical visualization, training, infographics, explainers, pitch videos, logo/IDs, film titles, and storytelling

for more work, please visit:
instagram: @sheldondrake_pixel
behance: /sheldondrake
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Pretty fine tools we have these days.
I can remember being crushed by the technical ferocity of the first Toy Story, but now beginners can do that.
Things that used to seem like impossibly distant dreams are just another tool in the box now.
I’m in this business over 20 years and still the time just flies when I’m working.
It is such a glorious privilege to have this power, and I am grateful.

From time to time available for freelance projects, how can I help you?


a selection of 2D and 3D work for various visualization/education projects, for clients including Fraunhofer/PYCO, Heinrich Hertz Institute,
University of Maryland, and ZDF.


a few ID projects,
all design and production by me.

Pause (edit)

project for big promotion event in Austria, with theme of transforming difficult situations. I was given vague outlines, like, five words: rainstorm approaches, find charming cafe; traffic jam, phone call from old friend; miss train, nice sunset. oh and please stick with blue/green/silver. Not really a whole lot more, a branding powerpoint and that’s about it. Full movie is bookended by logo treatments.

The kicker: design for interaction with two dancers (who I decided would be facilitators to the story, rather than directly characters), try to make the viewer the character…on a 3 x 5m screen. So, tell the story with objects, and make sure the back of the big room can follow easily. Fun job!!

audio edit composed from 8 different remixes of Toto Africa
additional sound FX added by Oliver at

Planet Food

I was given a ten minute edit of an earnest gentleman in front of a white background and a bit of beats, and did my best to keep you in it until the end. a fun challenge, to come up with slippy visual metaphors and make it all flow, with a mix of whatever stock models I could wedge in, tweaked (or rebuilt entirely) as needed, and of course modelling new stuff, with simplified lighting/texturing, to get the most bang for the bucks, lively and various, dancing the eye around.

Promo ID 17

one thing leads to another…

Back when entire apps came on 4 floppies, I would comb through books on Illustrator, Photoshop, and Quark, and diligently huff everything, and I practiced any chance I got. I found someone who needed a flyer, and spent all night making what would have taken me an hour if I had known what I was doing, but that led to an entry-level job with a fledgling pre-press firm, and away we go. A year and half later I was strutting tall on my way to work on the 27th floor of the Sony Building in midtown, working in the new CD+ department: hey interactive. By then AE was in version 2, and I felt very late to the game when I entered in version 3: cute. The desktop revolution hit affordable motion graphics just as cleanly as it did print, and the CPUs stayed busy. Every few months I would go dub 30 or 40 VHS tapes, take them all the post office and send them off, and the phone would ring. I was fortunate to freelance often at Curious Pictures; talk about playing tennis with people better than you, and it worked.

In 2004, I  took a huge apartment in Baltimore, in part to spend more time painting, and continued to work in animation, in particular with LabTV (for client Vanderpool Films), a pro-science education show for teens, sponsored by the US Dept of Defense, for which my work received special mention.

In 2009 I swung for the fence and bought my ticket to Berlin, and time has continued along its tangly way. A few years ago I dove hard into the wealth of video tutorials that have generously flooded the web, and my 3D skills have come up a good ways, and continue to improve all the time. My preferred pursuit is visualization and explainer videos for whatever purpose, from mechanical processes to more abstract concepts. I’m also a capable hired gun for sharp art directors. Almost every job I’ve ever done has required me to figure out something I’ve never done before, and i’m still here. This is the best job in the world.

Hope Wave

I was given the girl/boat and the 3D camera move, and created everything else in After Effects. Art direction on that, too.

2013 Reel

after a sustained burst of 3D autodidactication*, I splashed a bunch of ideas against a wall of new tricks and few things got all cute and flew around. Or so I say…

*it wasn’t a real word but it is now.


opening ID for African film company.
There, 13 is a lucky number, and a fatman is something between a rainmaker and a jack of all trades, a guy who can make lots of things happen. Client specified music and big blue boom thing.
Achieves the Epic.

2010 Motion Reel

Yes, 2010. I’ve been focussing on developing my 3D skills since then, but the first 10 or so years of my digital career were in NYC, where I worked on all sorts of projects. I’ve been using After Effects since version 3, and have taught 10 college courses in it, and a whole bunch of private lessons. Best job ever, this stuff, love to do it!!


An older project showcasing After Effects’ powerful 3D space. All (supplied) art was 2D, but with a little finesse, one can create a convincing illusion of something more, at least enough to plan out the next level of work. Fantastic sound work by Kevin Hill at Studio Unknown, Baltimore; crunchy noir VO by Frank Lama.

2D Characters

A selection of shots created with GoAnimate, a rather crude but vast tool for creating fairly custom animated characters. Control is minimal, so I typically created assets in GA, then made my own scenes in AE from stock elements and custom art, for more precise control over action. This is at the low end of what is possible for infographic-style characters, but for some jobs, it’s really all that’s needed.

audio: mild remix of Prospect, by Harpa

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