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Speed Trail Effect like THE FLASH (Premiere Pro Tutorial)

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Video Effects

blend mode, directional blur, flash, lightning, speed, speed trail, The Flash

Learn how to create a speed trail effect like The Flash in this beginner tutorial in Adobe Premiere Pro.

How to make a speed trail effect like the Flash in Adobe premiere pro?

I’ve been watching a whole lot of Flash episodes from the CW Series on Netflix lately. And I’ve noticed a lot of effects but what stood out was the speed trail that Barry Allen has behind him while he’s speeding through a city. And that got me wondering: Can we make this speed trail effect in Adobe Premiere Pro? Sure we can!

easier than it looks

Step one is taking your shots ofcourse, shoot yourself from a tripod while running through a scene. Also take a clean plate of that same position. Place the running shot above the clean plate in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Then duplicate the running clip and offset it a couple of frames. Set the duplicate clip to 90% opacity and the blend mode to darken. Then duplicate this one again, offset it and set that one to 80% opacity. Keep on repeating this and this will create the trail. You can alter the look by altering the amount of frames that you’ve offset the tracks.

Next select all of the duplicate layers and nest them together. Then set that nest to the darken blend mode. Place the directional blur effect on the nest and set the direction to 90° and the blur length to 35. Then from the opacity property, make a circular mask around your subject with a lot of feather and animate the mask so that it follows your subject around the scene.

speed trail
Speed trail

Once you’re done tracking the mask, nest all layers and speed ramp it. You can also make an animation of the speed trail so that it dissappears on a specific part of the video. This can be done by offset cutting them and then let them come in back again, with a bit of offset.

Quick tip!

All of these effects and layers together will probably make Premiere Pro go really slow, so if rendering your timeline doesn’t really work you can export everything inside a nested layer as a Quicktime 422 file and replace it with that file.

And if you want to spice up your effect a lot more you can add some sound effects, overlays like lightning and so on. These can be found online on Storyblocks, Production Crate or FilmLearning.

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