im trying to have an object emit defined lines of trails like this but that consist of particles. Ive seen it done once but cannot figure it out myself and have lost my reference. Can someone help?
You could make an object follow a curve with a Follow Path constraint, then give it a particle system with Emission > Number > as many as the amount of frames you need for your animation, Source > Emit From > Vertices, Velocity > Normals > 0, Field Weights > Gravity > 0, Vertex Groups > Density > Group (with a single vertex as vertex group so that the particles are aligned). Here is what it gives: