I want to create a motion trail effect for a sword like known in games look at that example if you have an solution that looks not as fancy as in the picture don't mind to post it. I'll accept anything useful.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Just an idea: How about emitting glowing particles from the sword while it is swung? $\endgroup$
    – maddin45
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ There is an experimental adon called motion trails. Its for blender internal but the materials can be tweaked for cycles. It doesn't work on 2.73 but it might work on older versions $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Related blender.stackexchange.com/questions/93921/… $\endgroup$ Commented May 2 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


Here is what I achieved using transparent nodes and AnimAll addon. enter image description here

Create a plane and give it a 'slashy' shape. Add a curve and place a mesh along it using a Curve Modifier. Add a Subsurf Modifier also if you like. enter image description here

Prepare two textures- a color map texture (in this case I used a hair photo) and a mask texture (a simple oblong b&w gradient image). enter image description here

Create two UV Maps- first for a color texture and second for a mask (which will be helpful in achieving the fading effect). Unwrap the mesh using Project from View (Bounds). Scale the island of the second UV map as shown below. enter image description here

Set up the nodes as pictured below. We want to use the color texture for the emission color and as a mask for a transparency. Optional you may add an extra overall transparency to the mesh (just add one more transparency node and mix it with existing nodes). enter image description here

Now we'll set up an oblong gradient texture as a mask for a fading effect. enter image description here

Place the uv island as pictured below, enable the AnimAll Addon and check the UVs box . Go to the desired start frame and insert a keyframe. Next, place the uv island in the dark part of a gradient texture. Go to another chosen frame and insert a keyframe again. Play the animation in Object Mode and you'll see the fading effect. enter image description here

Here is the same animation as on top, but with less transparency and played slower. enter image description here

Here's the .blend file:

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    $\begingroup$ looks great dude gonna try this. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Great! It's much more efficient than particles system. Is it possible to use this texture along a parametrized path or a curve ? $\endgroup$
    – vejn
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulGonet could you link slash texture ? $\endgroup$
    – vejn
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ @vejn I just modified a simple hair texture from net. But if you haven't got time for that I posted a .blend file, which contains all packed textures. Download it, open, then go to File-->External Data-->Unpack All Into Files-->Use files in current directory. This will create a folder with all the textures you need. $\endgroup$
    – Paul Gonet
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulGonet ,thank you. Could you look into blender.stackexchange.com/questions/42731/… and give me an insight or idea how to start. $\endgroup$
    – vejn
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 21:29

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