I'm trying to achieve the following effect:


Here is the problem: I can't achieve the effect using particles. Some of them spread and linger around. Is there a way to achieve a similar effect without using particles or is there a way to solve the extra particle issue? Thanks in advance.

I uploaded the animated version in youtube, so you all can see how the effect looks in motion.

3 Answers 3


A quick and dirty solution would be to try applying a fast blur effect over the particle layer to the point they look like smoke.


The particles are a good start, as Edgar suggested a blur - probably vertical only would help. If this is too obvious, you could use temporal blur or in other words, echo. The echo effect would smear them all together. Setting the number of echoes to something like 16 or so and winding down the echo time to say a 10th of your frame duration would probably work (though you will find that echo slows things down dramatically. I usually turn it off after I've got it set up and only re-enable it at render time). To give the trails a more swirling look I'd apply a little bit of turbulent displace. This will give some atmospheric er, turbulence to them.


You might check out the fantastic 'Saber' plugin from Video Co-Pilot. I've used it for similar "smoky trails" effects before, and it works like a champ. There's also a video tutorial on the same page to show all the various parameters to get the look you want.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.