Make Animation Simple With Signal

Closed: Retro

It’s time to throw it back to another time. A time before all the wonderful things that make our life so awesome. Back to a day where laptops were for hambone and cellphones were as big as Vanilla Ice’s hair-do. So, let’s see how YOU would have made animation back in the day before modern miracles like iPhones, Go-gurt, and even the interwebz.

What Are Five Second Projects?

We all want to make cool shit for our demo reel right? Sometimes you just need a theme to get you started… Some rules to fight against. Use the theme “Retro” to make a five second motion piece and enter it into the form below. If your new to five second projects, why not check out the Five Second Projects Archive to see all of the past themes.


1. Submissions must be Five Seconds Long!
2. Only animation is accepted. Video only submissions will not.
3. The animations has to do with the theme in some way.
4. Original Work only. Don’t cut out 5 seconds of already made work.
5. Link back to GSG on your Vimeo Post

Why Should You Enter?

1. Try new techniques or software
2. Limitations help get the mind working.
3. Make short, awesome pieces for your reel.
4. Get critique from your peers.
5. Promote yourself.

How Do I Enter my Video?
1. Create a five second animation based on the theme.
2. Upload your video to Vimeo. Don’t forget to add a link back to this blog post.
3. Submit your link to the form below and I will add it to the channel
4. Deadline is Monday, September 20th.

Submissions are now closed!
Thank you to everyone who entered! If you missed this one get prepared for the next which should be just as awesome!

Watch the videos at the vimeo channel, or at the FiveSecondProjects Archive

Winning Entry

Honorable Mentions

Latest Five Second Projects

Broken  Christmas tree  Toy emojithumb paradise-thumb ButtonButtonThumb
Light Kit Pro
HDRI Studio Pack

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


  1. MartinB

    You just HAD to set an awesome topic right before IBC, didn’t you? :P

  2. Junior

    Hey Nick could you do a tut on how to animate text flying through the scene while leaving its trail like you did there?
    Im not good enough to enter yet.

  3. rafaelinux

    Nice blog, nice website, but I keep finding that each and every video you embed is from Vimeo. And somehow, the player doesn’t play from your webpage, only when going to the vimeo website. And.. well.. that takes out the advantage of embedding the player :\

  4. Booyah, sounds like an awesome theme, hope i’ll manage to make something this time =)

    and who is Neal Carrol?

  5. Steven Jenkins

    Hey, Nick, I noticed you are a vimeo pro user. For all of your videos that are 30 minutes or less, there is an option for pro users to encode video for mobile viewing. Hint hint it sure would be cool to be able to view some of your tutorials on the iphone!

  6. Junior

    Hey Neal that would be really great of you, where would I find that?

    Christian thanks for the tip, Ill see if I can get round to experimenting with it.

  7. Late 80s/early 90s retro then? Or can it go all the way back to the 20s or some time else in the 20th century?

  8. Just double checking the rules (as it doesn’t say anything) are you limited to one entry per person even when there’s no prizes?

    Obviously as you [nick] have said before you don’t want people cranking out a bunch of crappy animations done in an hour or so. But if do quality entries and have time for more than one..

    • would be nice if nick could answer this question. at the moment im ill and i cant do anything expect of sitting in front of the pc or tv. so i have alot of time for animating.

    • Even though I’m not Nick, I might be able to help out as this is a rather common question, with a rather simple answer.

      One man, one entry.

      So if you got a lot of spare time, put it into your one entry.

    • Thanks Chris, that’s right. Although don’t let that stop you from creating multiple ideas and picking the best one you like.

  9. Mine is almost done! My very first entry in a 5sec project! I was lucky enough to be watching prof. Bernoit Mandelbrot’s talk on TED when this was announced, and was thinking about those early fractal-based mountains renders and got really inspired. Also remembered theese album covers that i LOVE then i decided to make a humble “homage” to theese things that inspire me :) . Hope someone else gets inspired by theese too!
    Man, i’m excited!!

    • Chris Slowik

      wow i like your entry more after seeing those album covers.. great representation of some of your inspiration too =] i like.

    • Thanks, always good to share inspiration :)

      Nice entry you got too, those elements in the back remind me of Singnal Noise’s stuff, cool! Got me inspired to do something with some sort of “hue wheel” on it, my stuff tend not to have this much color variation on it.
      And if i may advice you with my very little knowledge, i would just remove that “curviness” from the text’s surface (maybe it’s a phong tag doing it, or the way you wanted, idk, just thought it might look “cooler”) and insert some sort of movement, maybe a camera, but not sure if this would compromise the retro feel… but again, it’s your design :) you know best what to do.

    • Chris Slowik

      yea i wanted to make it kinda similar to his style.. the style itself doesn’t really scream retro to me, but it does remind me of a jacket I had as a kid.. had like a rainbow piping down the sleeve. seems totally retro to me. AND… I love colorful things. I usually go for a more limited palette but rainbows can be fun =] Plus, I feel like people were really pumped about seeing color on tv.. why not put lots of it haha

      the text actually is just extruded with a fillet cap.. the curviness you see is an illusion from the excessive starglow I put on the text.

      as far as the camera move.. I originally had a move, but I felt like it took away from the retro atmosphere, especially with the 3d text.

  10. Kenneth Lee

    Interesting theme to work on, looking forward for awesome stuff from others

    • It’s simple as .. 1,2,3:
      1 create a sphere and make it editable
      2 select some polygons and delete them
      3 extrude all polygons with preserve groups and create caps selected.

    • caio portella

      OK BUT HOW I CAM MAKE IT? “extrude all polygons with preserve groups and create caps selected”

    • Hey, your video seems to be protected by a password, if you want other people to watch it and browse through your channel, it might be a good idea to disable this :)

  11. I will enter this time :] When is the deadline? Saw that someone said 20th sep?

    Thank you for a cool theme :]

  12. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for and awesome theme and such a great website !

    Here is my entry:

    Tried to use a few things I have learned from you – had fun with dynamics, texturing and aftereffects for this.

  13. Here’s my entry. It’s a bit longer than 5 seconds, but whatever. :)

    I actually took an old project that I worked on 10 years ago, opened it back up, and re-did it from scratch using new tools, and sort of stumbled on this while making it.

  14. Hey guys, I wanted to try to crank something out last second, but I had a technique question. You know that ubiquitous 70′s and 80′s text animation, when the text or title echoes and glows behind it as it moves? How is that done? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  15. Here’s mine…

    I submitted it using the form yesterday morning but it’s not on the main channel page yet (@Nick – is that thing automatic or do you guys still need to manually add them?), so I thought I’d drop it here too :)

    • Yeah, we add them manually. After you submit give it 72 hours. All the entries come straight to my inbox and I add them as I have time.

  16. This is my first time submitting a 5SP, couldn’t think of a better one to get in on the action!

    Thanks Nick!

  17. craig

    i think i posted mine twice by accident… with with my name… 1 without :\ sorry….

    • I’ve just forgotten to give a high five to Nick an Neal…!
      Feels like beeing reborn in a creative World, when watching the Tuts or beeing Part of the 5SP… Thank you guy’s!!!

  18. Couldn’t find time to make something cool.. Too bad.. Saw some nice entry’s though..


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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.