While attending the museum school, he and five associates formed Lisberger Studios. Their first project of note was Cosmic Cartoon which earned a Student Academy Award nomination in 1973. It was also featured in the Fantastic Animation Festival in 1977. Lisberger directed the production, from 1974–77, of commercials, title sequences and feature segments for such shows as the ABC-TV children's series Make a Wish.
He was hired as director for Slipstream, but the film did not do well. He tried for years to get a sequel to Tron developed. This effort led to Disney greenlighting Tron Legacy, for which Lisberger served as producer.