Start With A Photo

November 9, 2009 - By 

The deadline for this project has passed. The winners will be chosen this week. Stay tuned.


This one should be fun. You must use photos you have taken to make your animation for this weeks theme. Use a photo as the main element in your animation. Why not try something you haven’t done before. Cut out a person or elements from photos. Or, maybe composite something into a photo. Whatever it is, just make sure to take a photo and incorporate it in to your entry.

What Are Five Second Projects?
We all want to make cool shit for our reel right? Sometimes you just need a theme to get you started… Some rules to fight against. Use the theme “Start With A Photo” to make a five second motion piece and link it in the comments of this blog post. Please be sure to post a link in this post’s comments to ensure me seeing it. If your new to five second projects, why not check out last week’s theme here.


  1. 1. The animation can’t be longer than nine seconds. FIVE SECONDS is highly recommended!
  2. 2. The animation must fit the theme.
  3. 3. Only submit animation. Any and all animation forms are accepted (stop motion, hand drawn, cg, 3d, motion design, etc… ). Unmodified, videos will not be accepted, however.

Why Should You Enter? Check out the video…

How Do I Enter my Video?

  • 1. Create a five second animation based on the theme, “Start With A Photo”.
  • 2. Upload your video to Vimeo. Don’t forget to add a link back to this blog post.
  • 3. Post a link to this posts comment thread and I will add it to the Channel.
  • 4. Deadline is Sunday November 22nd

It’s really great to see so much participation. Tell a friend about the five second projects and get them involved too. Don’t forget to push yourself to try something new every week. What about a new piece of software or technique you have wanted to try? Take control of your creative output and Make Cool Shit!

Check out the entries below or visit the Vimeo Channel.

Posted In:  
  • So stoked for this one, I love using photography in my projects.

  • Rickard Bengtsson November 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Sounds great!

    Just got to find someone with a decent photo camera.

  • That’s what I did for upside down. 🙂

  • It’s Holga, Lomo, Leica, Minox Spy, Pin-Hole, Diana, Polaroid Time!

  • Dude! No freaking way! I was just about to start working on a very similar project! Then I see this.

    This is going to be awesome!

  • Is there any price?

  • Very excited to get to work on this one.

  • Yes!!…awesome!!!

  • Excellent idea Nick !! I’ll make it !

  • Hi Nick, great theme! Is it mandatory that I take the photo? I don´t have a decent camera. Could I use some cool photo I find online or something like that?

  • Ah…Nick…I am going to have to think….Darn, I dont do that very often!….

  • I find this theme very abstract and challenging. Way harder than last one. 🙂
    I hope i will be able to come up with something.

  • Hey Nick what happened to the keyframe intro theme that you were gonna do?

  • This kinda a silly question but do we just use A photo or can we use a bunch of them?

  • I have a question that is not related to this project directly, i hope it is is ok if i poste it here?

    Do you have any ideas where to get good audio files for projects this and other?


  • “Video ONLY entries will not be accepted, however.” Kinda sounds like silent entries will not be accepted…? Would I be right in assuming that you mean to say you un-modified videos will not be accepted?

  • Great theme !
    But can I extract a photo of a video?

    Sorry for my bad english, your blog is huge.

  • Hi Nick! Here’s my project! Tnx!

  • wow, I hope I will find some time for this one! my 2 favourite and animation!! maybe even some pixilation or stop motion..or is that “cheating” in some way,just one picture?

  • I have a video to submit but Vimeo is not letting anyone login as of this writing… hmmm.

  • this is my first five seconds proyect Wish me luck!!

  • NIIICKK!! the photo has to be taken by me? or can I download a photo from internet?

  • Hi Nick,
    I’ve been enjoying all your tut’s for about 3 weeks now, going through them all on-by-one and having a blast!!
    I put this one together a week or so ago and it just happens to fit the theme of the week’s 5 Sec Project.
    I used Cinema 4D to build the ‘logo’ and did the compositing in AE CS4 Then finished the sound mix in FCP. ( it was originally 14 second but I tightened it up to fit the 5+ secs)
    Thanks for all the tutelage! Keep it coming.

    compositing is my favorite, its tough to get it to look nice, but its so much fun!

  • here is my video from a photograph i took in Chicago last winter

  • hey Gorilla!! que onda viejo!!
    Here are my 5 seconds proyect I hope you like

    nos vemos amigo!!

  • I am sorry but i haven’t found this info:

    What is absolute dead line for this project?


  • I need a tutorial to convert text into smoke
    anyone can help me please?

  • Hey Nick, here’s my submission:

    First five second project but certainly not last 🙂 Yay.

    (P.S. if it looks like there is too much motion in there for photos, read the vid description, I took 3 octo-photos with my iPhone and then 2 extra with a d70).

  • Hey Nick,
    Check out this very cool piece of news:
    Vimeo to Add iPhone Support

  • Here is my first 5 second project. Just starting this Motion Graphic stuff and its a lot of fun!

  • I love this picture and really wanted to replace sky and add a sunset. Twus fun I say.

  • Here is my photo. Or should I say whats left of it? :O)

  • Hey Hey! This is my first attempt ever:
    Hope you’ll like it guys

  • Got there, but it just ain’t right. Help/suggestions would be good.

  • I have a question. Does it have to be AfterEffects or can it be Motion?

  • I am working on it. Trying out som realflow simulation. It is really killing my computer, and the simulation takes ages.. Luckily, I still have a week to deliver 🙂

    Great theme Nick!

  • Alright – Here is mine. The picture was taken by my lovely and talented wife (her site will be up soon!).

  • Hey! 🙂
    Here is my entry. (First time I’m in this “5 seconds project”) –

    I have a simple question; Can I upload another video too? Or I’m I only allowed to enter with one video?

  • Heya Nick!

    Many thanks for the helpful tips and tutorials!!!

    Here is my very first 5 Second Project:

    Greetings from Germany

  • Hi everybody.

    Just uploaded my animation at:

    Take a look and let me know what you think.

  • Hi Nick!
    Here is my entry:
    Greetings from Warsaw!

    Here it’s still uploading!

    First try ever for this kinda contest

  • Hey Nick! Here’s my video!

    It would be awesome if you could critic my work so that i can improve it! Thanks a lot for these projects, I’ve learn a lot just from these 5 seconds!

  • Hi Nick, this is my first five seconds proyect.

    Thanks for all.

  • He Guys,

    this is my 5 second stopmotion video

    Greetings from Germany

  • Hey, these projects are an excellent idea to get me creative again, you should see me often

    here’s my 5 seconds

  • First time I actually join the project and make my entry. I was so excited, I actually did in less than 1 hour. I used two pictures I took. My composition is called Rainy Day.

  • Here is my submission. Thanks for doing this. I often try to make up little projects for my reel but I it can be hard to think of something if you don’t have any direction. Having a set topic or theme makes it much easier to get creative.

  • My submission from France!

    “Five second Project” is a very good idea.. 😉

  • A revision of my previous entry. Thanks for the advice!

  • hey Nick, here’s a quick play-around…
    Good Work on the site, loving it… steinnalex

  • Nick,
    Here’s my 5 second photo project. Had a blast making it. TMNT is back!


    Just had to take another approach.

  • Hi, Nick. I’m glad to share my work with creative people. Nice blog.
    Here is it

  • Great !!! im in, glad to know you guys, i’m sure i’ll learn a lot from you, thanks for the project gorilla, doing my best from this side

  • hey Nick, loved your blog, very useful.
    here is my link for the first time:

  • Hi everybody, here is my first entry to five second project!

    I really enjoy making it!

  • Hey Nick, I used a photo that I didn’t take myself for the 5 second project, because I didn’t have the kinda of picture I needed and was unable to take one. Can I still submit it to the group for feedback on my work?

  • Hi everybody,
    Sorry if I made several comments, but I can’t see them, I don’t know why…

    Here is my first entry to five second project!

    I really enjoyed making it!

  • Hi Nick,
    a friend of mine pointed me to your website. Really nice stuff.

    Here is my five second project. It’s done with XSI and AfterEffects. I took the photo a while back in the Boboli Gardens in Florence.

    It was fun making it.

  • Thank You Nick. Here is my Entry into the contest.

  • Hi everybody!

    Here is my video:

    Please feel free to comment and criticize 🙂

  • Here’s mine:

    Got to like camera mapping!

    Made with this photo:

  • Here is my first entry, this was allot of fun, completed in a night. The image was taken last year when I took a trip in the London docklands with my girl, I used camera projection mapping, in Maya and used after effects to composite.

  • Hey, i gave the link in my comment previously. Sorry for my newbiness, its the first time I join: Are we supposed to upload our videos in the Vimeo channel for the “Start With A Photo” or just leave them here?

  • Thanks Nick for hosting these 5 Second Projects. It’s great to see all of the different approaches people take.

    Comments and critiques are more than welcome.


  • Hi there, here´s my link to my 5sec project.

    Thank’s a lot

  • Just uploaded my project.

    I’m loving these projects, thanks for putting this together, it’s great motivation.

    Also, everybody else is doing really great work, so keep it up!

  • Hi there, here´s my link.

    Thanhks from Spain

  • Hi Nick I ve posted a comment above with a link to my entry for this content. Please let me know if somethings wrong. I dont see it on the channel. Regards.

  • Hey Nick,
    just uploaded my first project :

    P.S : It’s not really an actual photo, but at least it’s me on the video.


  • Hi Nick! I got some problems with the compression earlier, so now here it is my project, please add it to the channel.

    Please watch it in HD, it’s so much better 🙂


  • Ok, Kind of painted my self into a corner. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good tutorial for creating a equirectangular panorama? Including the stitching process. And, can it even be accomplished with a shite digi camera?

    If not it would be an awesome couple of Tuts Nick!

  • hey nick,
    just finished this one. Its my first entry to the five second projects and a mix of camera projection in 3d and after effects anim. Watch in hd if you can.


  • hi nick, here my entry, I just finish it

  • FINALLY, I finished the challenge this time …

    and … here it is :

    btw, thanks a lot Nick for that great project, it helps me doing some great and valuable stuff for my reel …

    thanks again, I guess I will cry from happiness 😀

  • Here’s my first try at one of these..

  • …and here’s my entry


  • hey nick,
    thanks, it was lot´s of fun! well..I wanted to model some parts in 3d, but gave up at some point, maybe next time..

  • I finally got a Saturday free so I’d thought I’d give it a go.


  • Hi !
    I updated my entry with some texture mapping

    Everybody is doing real good job! It’s really a good exercise.


  • Hello,
    this is my entry from a photo i took in NYC subway…
    hope by the time you’ll see this the video will be avaiable on Vimeo:)

  • Hey People hope you like it!,

    I am waiting for your comments! 🙂

    Greetz from Holland

  • Hi Nick,
    sorry i didn’t have time for sounds yet, i leaving now for the rest of the week end. It’s my first participation, really fun.


  • Hi Nick
    Here’s my first 5 Second project! This was fun, I hope to be able to do more in the future


    We’re going to do a lot more 5 sec projects!
    Simple shapes sounds like it’ll be a great motion series too!
    PROPS to everyone who have submitted and will submit!

  • Hi Nick,
    So here is mine:
    Was refreshing to work with just a photo

  • Here is my project.

    It was a good excuse to experiment with some dynamics that I have been wanting to mess with. Thanks!

  • Hi, Nick

    Here’s my submission


  • hey everybody, here is my first submission
    lots of paper, AE and a digital camera

  • He Nick,

    Here is my submission for 5 seconds project.
    I had a lot of fun with this one.


  • My 2nd attempt. Thanks GSG and Nick, ive learned a lot just doing a few 5 sec. projects!

  • Here’s my attempt.
    Any suggestions/criticisms are more than welcome.

    Swing and quiet possibly a miss…

  • Hi 🙂
    Here’s my Entry:

  • Hello, here’s mine, still converting :

  • had so much fun doing this and learned a huge amount along the way!! thanks a lot and well done to everyone for all the great entries!!

  • This one was a combination of a number of mediums. Live model that Chris painted with acrylic paints, then we shot her in a number of different positions, chose the photo, brought it in to photoshop, then Kyle got to work in after effects and our new intern Mike did the sound design… so like 7 or so mediums to make our 5 second piece… good times!

  • This one was a combination of a number of mediums. Live model that Chris painted with acrylic paints, then we shot her in a number of different positions, chose the photo, brought it in to photoshop, then Kyle got to work in after effects and our new intern Mike did the sound design… so like 7 or so mediums to make our 5 second piece… good times!

  • My 1st entry, please comment, i found great stuff here and i’ll do my best to keep improving my skills.

  • I noticed that the quality was really bad on the first submission so I re uploaded it.

  • Great site & a really cool project Nick!

    Here’s my first submission: “Hello?”

    72 days – 02/02/2010

  • Great site & a really cool project Nick!

    Here’s my first submission: “Hello?”

    72 days – 02/02/2010

  • I’ve been meaning to participate in one of these for a while. I finally made the time and here’s my entry

    • Looks like there was a problem uploading my video. Tried uploading a new video but now it says my time in line is almost 3 hours! I guess that’s what I get for waiting til the last minute.

  • Here’s my entry…Hoping for some good feedback…

  • Here’s my submission, had fun playing around with camera projection and HDRI!

  • (The date stamp on my submission says November 23rd, but it’s 11:19pm on November 22nd here in Kansas City)

  • Here’s my entry:

    Any comments are always welcome!

  • Here is my first 5-second project.

    Comments and feedback are welcome. Thanks!

  • Motion from still image. Done right.
    Any suggestions? Comment PLEASE!

  • This is my first FSP. This was really a fun thing to do…
    Here’s my entry…

  • Hi Nick,

    Here’s another last minute entry, utilizing the amazing time bender powers of Pacific time, Vancouver, where it is 10:49pm.

    Love these projects. Looks like there’s going to be an epic number of entry’s this time round.

    Finger’s crossed:


  • Last minute entry. Work has been pretty busy lately, so I haven’t had much time for the fun side projects.

  • Crap. I forgot to post a comment here. Well, here’s the link anyways:



  • Here’s my video: Everyone can feel free to leave comments!

  • A lot of these are very good. But…

    people should not feel forced to include text saying the name of the project!

    Many of these would be far more interesting without random text popping up that has no relation to the visuals!!

  • here is man, is the same link, but now more shortest:

  • Hey Nick,

    I’m new to 5 Second Projects and I posted my link on the Channel Shout Box. My video wasn’t added to the channel and I thought it was either because I uploaded it after midnight or that you just didn’t see it. It looks like some other people entered late last night or today, so I thought I’d post again here.

    I’ll get it in earlier next time. 🙂


    Tried getting this rendered in time, didn’t end up doing so. Still would love some comments.

  • Oh crap!
    i was sure this was due to the 24th :$ lolz…
    Anyways, if theres a chance to squeeze in, it would be cool of ya, Nick! 😀


    Hey, I decided to redo this project, please feel free to give comments. It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! (:

  • Great site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your effort!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.