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Light-painting tutorial: how to make video trails using Adobe Premiere

13 Jan 2018

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About 18 months ago, we released Signs of Light. It was our first video demonstrating our one-second tube light-painting technique. In that video, there's one scene which I got asked so many times about how to do it. Here's the answer in 10 easy steps. 

  1. Drop your video into your sequence. If your video is very long, break it into smaller sequences so it gets faster to preview and render.
  2. Step to the beginning of the light-painting shape
  3. Add the "Echo" filter on your video
  4. Change the "Echo operator" to "Maximum". That is going to prevent the non-moving parts to burn.
  5. Toggle the animation "on" for the "Number of Echoes" option. That is going to create the first keyframe
  6. Move to the end of the light-painting shape, create a second keyframe
  7. Move one frame right, and create a third keyframe
  8. Get the number of frames between keyframe #1 and keyframe #2 (you can get the number of frames by right-clicking on the time, and switch to "frame" mode). Tip: use the next/previous keyframes arrow to move precisely from one keyframe to the other.
  9. Go to keyframe #2, and change the "Number of Echoes" to that number
  10. Render your video

You're going to need basic Adobe Premiere skills, but each step is quite simple and easy to replicate. 

UPDATE #1 - January 2018


For a high-end real time version of this (for live shows, performances, etc), check out

If you ended up here trying to find info about the light-painting tubes, search no more, everything fully explained here: