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I am trying to show a sphere with a trail, like the one shown in the image. I have tried using keyframes and moving the object from one point to another, and then enabling motion blur. This is not giving the desired effect. Any advice on how to achieve enter image description here this effect?

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With current experimental build 2.91 you can base this on Volume Object.

  • create the shape from a Mesh Object.
  • add Volume Object and in modifiers choose Mesh to Volume, as source Object choose created shape one
  • add Point Light object in trail direction (close to a sphere)

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With second modifier Volume Displace you can use texture to distort. Here is a few examples of Cloud texture (variations in texture properties level).

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Since I don't see an option to animate Texture position (for now) for Volume Displace modifier, here is a basic node material ...

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With additional Curve modifier (for mesh Trail) or Wiggle bones you would be able to animate motion in more natural way (like a flame moved from one place to another).

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    $\begingroup$ That's great to hear about those new features for volumes - I really like the prospect of volume displacement - and a really good way of using them to get the effect. Some really exciting features coming in 2.91. $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Oct 20 '20 at 13:31
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You can do it with particles:

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Create your meteor, give it a particle system, in the Field Weights switch off the Gravity, in the Velocity give a bit of Normal and Object Aligned X to give the particles a direction. Create a stretched sphere that will be your particle, in the particle system Render panel choose Render As > Object and under Object > Instance Object choose the sphere. Set the other values like the life length of the particles, etc... Then give the particle the following material so that the particles fade out:

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Add a Force Field > Turbulence just behind the meteor, and a Force Field > Force with a negative value a bit further, so that the particles are a bit agitated and then converge to the same point. Create a long mesh that contains the meteor and its tail in order to add a kind of smoke around the meteor and behind:

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