Here is an example of how I wanted to do those types of trailing effects as seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXOAtC7MOLE

animated gif exampe of incoming fade effect

Now how do I do this effect in blender?

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    $\begingroup$ This might be what you're after - (top comment) - blender.stackexchange.com/questions/71400/… $\endgroup$
    – Edgel3D
    Feb 23 at 4:45
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    $\begingroup$ The simplest (and worst quality) solution would be to just have a few colored texts flying with the same animation (but each next one having an increased time offset of the start of the animation), and then in GIF or APNG format, disabling frame disposing, so that the pixels aren't cleared before drawing each frame. $\endgroup$ Feb 27 at 8:28

In order to reproduce the effect it is useful to know how it would have originally been produced.

At the time of the original effect being produced (early 1970s) there were not the digital tools available now. All video effect would have had to have been produced either via completely manual processes or via analog video editing techniques. In this particular case the effect is produced via video feedback where the existing image is fed back into the next frame so as to produce the 'ghosting'.

The video would have been shot in reverse (so the ghost images would have projected back from the text instead of coming out of the background) and the frame sequence reversed (by playing back in reverse). Multiple instances of the same shot would have been overlayed (with colour adjustment) and used to mask out the preceeding sequence so as to layer multiple colours over each other to produce the final shot.

We can produce similar results with a very similar (but much less labour intensive) process.

The first step is to set up the 'video feedback' to produce the ghosting. This has already been covered in https://blender.stackexchange.com/a/212906/29586 where it's used to feed back the previous frame for a 'life' simulation. The same technique can be used for other feedback effects.

Setup the scene with the camera pointing at a plane. Place your 'text' object (or whatever you want to 'ghost') in view of the camera.

camera and text

Set the output path in the render output properties to a suitable location and create the material for the plane.


The Image Texture is set as a 'sequence', pointing at the same location as the render output location. The number of frames should be set to at least the number of frames of your animation and the Offset set to '-1' to indicate it should be one frame behind the render.

Rendering the animation should result in no change in the image (since the rendered image from the previous frame is the same as this current frame).

Alter the material so as to inject a difference between the frames and show/hide your text at appropriate times. I opted for a rotation, zoom and distortion - similar if this had been achieved with a 'real' camera, producing the following material and result.

distorted material

animated result of a single cycle

Now the VSE can be used to combine and layer mulitple sequences together with Modifiers used to adjust the colours. The final frame is retained at the end for persistence.

VSE setup

Note that here I've imported the Strip from the relevant frames of the redered result. In the strip properties (on the right) the 'Reverse Frames' allows you to reverse the sequence. I've added a 'Color' strip at the bottom for a black background and set each of the 'layers' Blend mode to 'Screen' so that they overlay. Duplicating the strip and offsetting each duplicate gives the different 'layers' and the Modifiers can be used to adjust the colour with a Color Balance modifier.

This produces the following result :

animated result

  • $\begingroup$ no that wasn't I was looking for. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 at 9:24
  • $\begingroup$ @cd20 Update your question with more clarity as to what you’re actually looking for if this answer doesn’t match. I’ve done my best to interpret what you were asking. More detail in the question will give someone more to go on as to what you’re actually expecting. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ ...or if you’ve solved it yourself just add your own answer and mark that as ‘accepted’ - instead of replacing an existing answer with an edit. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ I already solved it myself with a different solution. So I think it's okay... :/ $\endgroup$ Mar 20 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. This site works by users taking the time to share their experience and help solve each others problems. It would be good if you could add an answer to allow others to learn from your solution. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 at 13:05

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