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do you have a problem trying to have the visibility fade out or do you have troubles creating the lightstreaks?
hopefully you know that you can animate tranparency via keyframes or expressions.
Just trouble creating the streaks at the moment. The fade-out I'll worry about later.
Are you trying to use only standard AE plugins, or have you tried using something like Trapcode Form or Trapcode 3D Stroke ?
There used to be a plugin for AE 5.x-6.5 called AEFlame... hmmm...
I hadn't looked for it since then, but you can find it here:
I don't know whether or not it's any faster than it was when I tried it. (one of those Cool-but-slow effects).
Thanks I'll try the flame plug-in. Don't have any trapcode unfortunately, just using stock CS3. Cheers.
Create any kind of random swirly, use the Bulge and Polar Coordinates effects to turn it into a sphere or use CC Sphere to map it onto a real sphere. Random strands can easily be created by ramping up contrast in Fractal Noise and scaling it excessively in one direction. For wiggling them a bit up, you can always use Turbulent Displace and the like. For fading the trails, you would simply use a linear wipe applied before your distortion effects.