[ANSWERED] Light trails circling a person

I want to be able to create light trails with tails that will swirl around 2 people in a scene.  I know I have seen this effect some where, but I can find a tutorial on this.  

Does anyone have any links to ideas or suggestions on where to start?  I was looking at lens flares, but there are no persistent tails.  

Something like this, though I would prefer solid/translucent lights instead of "sparkles"



  • Another example, though this is in AE  



  • This is older but gooder. Is that a word?


  • Yes along those line.  Is there a tutorial for this?  This is a demo (though I might be able to figure it from this as well).


  • The is an old particle video in Hitfilm by Hitfilm showing you how this is done.


  • @DarrynGlass I remade this exact tutorial on my channel in HitFilm 4 Express back in 2016.


    If you are working in Pro, then this is a piece of cake. If you are working in Express, then it would be harder, but not impossible to get a pretty good effect.

  • I whipped this Express project together in short order this morning. It can definitely be done in HitFilm Express, but it is a lot easier in Pro, that's for sure...


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @FilmSensei Lightsword abd a fair amount of masking, I expect... 

    I... have an idea... 

  • @Triem23 Yes, but now I am playing with using the missile smoke as a matte.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @FilmSensei Sure! Just take the glow out of the Lightsword and add it with separate Glow effects after the matte.

  • @Triem23 Exactly! Works like a charm. Using a modified duplicate the "missile matte," I was also able to put in an auto light flare effect for a leading light source, and then, putting an actual light on it, create the illusion of interaction.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited October 2019

    @FilmSensei for the record, my idea didn't work. I was gonna try using camera clipping to cut the render of the trail at 0 z-depth. This would require two copies of the trail as two embedded comps (one camera near clip at 1, far clip at >default camera z-distance for comp size<, the other with NEAR clip at >default...size<).

    Lightsword doesn't pay attention to camera clipping.

    EDIT: None of the Pseudo-3D effects like 3D Extrusion, Sphere, Lightsword, etc pay attention to camera clipping, only true 3D layers/particle sims and models. Good to know.

    @CedricBonnier I don't know if the above note on Psuedo-3D effects is considered a bug. Probably not since those effects probably use a different pipeline and are PSEUDO 3D, but I certainly can think of creative uses for those effects paying attention to camera clip values.

  • @Triem23 That is a very creative idea. Too bad it didn't work. Here are the unpolished results of my idea...


  • edited October 2019

    Oh my word!  Thank you!  I'm working on a script with a friend and this effect is needed for a couple of scenes, and since we have like a negative budget right now (oh the joys of indie work) I wanted to see if I could do this myself with Express.  I am considering buying the particles addon as that would make it easier, but these are wonderful.

  • @DarrynGlass If you would like, I would be happy to make a tutorial on how I did this in Express.

  • @FilmSensei, Oh yes please!!!  I have watched a lot of you tutorial and they are all very good.

  • @DarrynGlass I would be happy to!

  • @FilmSensei ; Thank you so much!  I have found I really like editing video, but there is SO much in HitFilm I have no clue where to start most the time.

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