I would like to create a trail of polygons that follows an animated object. Initially, I used the following node tree:

Node Tree

To create the edges that should compose the trail, it produces the following result:


This was created in an old version of AN to make use of the frame option of the Input Transforms node. I then used the method described here to create the polygons.

Modern version of AN don't have the frame option, so I was wondering if there is a solution that would work for Animation Nodes 2.0.


I've transferred his answer to the version of AN I'm using. So I've changed up with some nodes (for AN 2.0 in Blender 2.79b): enter image description here


1 Answer 1


You can use F-Curves. F-Curves are functions that describe the value of attributes in Blender. So by evaluating the F-Curves of transformation channels at a certain frame, we can get the transformation of the object at that frame.

First, we create a group that computes the transformation of an object as a matrix and returns it. We will assume that only transformation channels are animated and that they are in order for simplicity.

Evaluate Transformation

We then create a loop that iterates over a float list that represents the frames we want to evaluate at.


Then we will replicate a line of matrices based on the output matrices of the loop, where the input frames are arithmetic sequence starting from the current frame. We use the indices data from a Grid Mesh to create the polygons between the replicated matrices.

Node Tree

In this node tree, the step size of the sequence controls the length and direction of the trail:


Blend file for AN 2.1:

  • $\begingroup$ RIP acceptance button! THANKS A BUNCH, FOR PATIENCE!!!! $\endgroup$
    – Omeleto
    Jan 16, 2019 at 12:17

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