So I was attempting at the "Houdini Trail Effect" in Blender as shown:

enter image description here

but got stumped with the whole particle system.

I managed to create the following through trial and error with the Vortex on each pole, and added Forces to the Emitter (Sphere)

& then this was the result:

enter image description here

I am wondering if anyone knew how to create the Swirly Trails in the Emitter, then maybe convert to spline afterwards? I know the Ivy Generator is the closest thing but it relies on the Origin Point and etc. I'm not sure if Forces would affect Ivy, but who knows.

Anybody that has a clue, it would be greatly appreciated! I will try again but I doubt I will find a workaround with the Trails. Thanks!

  • $\begingroup$ You can use trail particles, so you only have to figure out how to make the particles move in that manner. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 3:48
  • $\begingroup$ @NᴏᴠɪᴄᴇIɴDɪsɢᴜɪsᴇ Yes, I am aware of the trail particles, but how would I go about converting them into splines? or real objects? to apply an emission material as shown above. $\endgroup$
    – Art Jr.
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ blender.stackexchange.com/questions/7744/… $\endgroup$
    – eromod
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 4:13
  • $\begingroup$ @eromod I already have that addon installed even though it's still in development. Is that really the only way currently? $\endgroup$
    – Art Jr.
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 4:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You may want to try this solution. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


I think it can be done.

Unfortunately it requires skill.

In this example I used a sphere emitter and a slightly smaller sphere that had collision physics enables, dynamic painting as a canvas, and a negative strength force field to attract the particles.

The slightly larger emitting sphere isnt rendered, and the render starts after the particles were alive for about 100 frames and had enough time to settle and get going.

So the emitter would drop all the particles and the colliding sphere would attract them and get dynamically painted on its surface.

to make the particles move on the surface, I made three vortex forces. Although in your example it looks like there are six, plus two forces(one on top one on bottom)

I also saw that your example had lots of compositing done ontop of it so I attempted a transition to a bokeh blur... Have next to zero experience with compositing atm.

enter image description here

Here is the file But you will need to re-bake the canvas for dynamic painting and set the timeline to start at frame 1.

P.S. temporarily make the particle scale(in particle panel) super tiny before dynamic painting or else you will get super wide paint marks.


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