In several video documents from the 70s or 80s, usually TV shows or live music shows, bright objects or bright lights leave behind a color trail when the subject or the camera moves.

I remember first noticing this on a live performance of Queen recorded in the 80s. Here's another occurrence on Michael Palin's white shirt from an episode on Monty Python's Flying Circus:

enter image description here

I own an old 70s television camera (Pathé KC-V1) which produces the same effect, but setting it up requires a lot of time, and I haven't found yet how to digitize the video it produces, but I'd love to try and reproduce it either to make shots look vintage, or to use this effect creatively.

What is this effect called, and is there a way to reproduce this effect with digital video equipment, or in post-production?

1 Answer 1


I don't know if it has an official name but could be classed as "ringing". Tube cameras would do it if you had any bright lights in the scene. 70's music videos are full of it.

You don't mention any software, so I'll give a platform agnostic solution. This would probably be easier in a node based workflow, but I've included the AE names for things because it's what I know best.

You could use a threshold effect ("extract" would probably work in After Effects) to grab just the bright parts of the image, and feed that into a delay ("echo" in After effects) then adjust the colour before compositing it back on to the original layer, probably using an additive compositing mode ("add" or "screen" maybe in AE).

  • 2
    That is more likely tube lag, instead of ringing. Ringing wouldn't bounce around that way and usually shows up in finer detail. Jul 23, 2019 at 22:28
  • @stib do you have an answer for a node based app like blender? Sep 1, 2019 at 3:44

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.