[[quoteright:318:[[VideoGame/PsiOpsTheMindgateConspiracy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PsiOpsFootprints_2830.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:318:[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Aragorn]], eat your heart out.]]

Rather than track by means of [[SherlockScan conventional detective skills]], the character uses something akin to AuraVision to track the footsteps of their prey. Even on surfaces or terrain that would never show their passing otherwise, or where their tracks would disappear into those of a crowd. TheEmpath may even be able to tell the emotional and physical condition of the person being tracked by the color of their footprints.

Robots and characters/animals with SuperSenses can get in on this too by using infrared sight to track the heat left in their prey's footsteps. Here the downside is that in extremely hot environments it's useless, or if too much time passes.

This is usually because of the {{Rule of Perception}}: if the trail didn't light up, it [[EditorialSynaesthesia wouldn't be visible to the audience]]. The ScarilyCompetentTracker usually has their tracking and/or SuperSenses depicted this way.



[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Taken UpToEleven with Captaine [=DuBois=] of ''WesternAnimation/Madagascar3EuropesMostWanted'', who not only can see the tracks of animals but colorful afterimages of their whole bodies as they re-enact their last movements.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In a deleted scene in ''Film/TRONLegacy'', Rinzler uses this to determine the heroes fled on a Light Train.
* Not quite ''footsteps'', but in ''Film/ShortCircuit 2'' Johnny Five is able to spot tyre tracks in a similar way.

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, Angua in her wolf shape sees the world through a sort of synesthesia: smells show up as different trails of colors, which she then follows.

* The TV series ''Series/{{V 1983}}'' had a Visitor use this technology in a fold-down eyepatch to track LaResistance members.
* A variant in a ''Series/TheManFromUncle'' episode. One agent sprays the soles of his shoes with a chemical before carefully walking through a minefield with a hand held detector. His partner who lacks a detector uses a pair of special goggles to see the ultraviolet footprints left by the first agent and walks in his footprints to also safely pass through the mines.
* Michael and Fi in ''Series/BurnNotice'' found infrared paint a thief planned to use to retrace their footsteps after they stole an item and shut off the power in the building. [[spoiler:This turned out to be a diversion that the real thief used to frame a patsy.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* On tailing missions in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' and ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherHood Brotherhood]]'' you can turn on Eagle Vision to have a glowing trail appearing after the target you're trailing. There's also the mystical red footprints in modern day Monterriggioni in ''Brotherhood''. The red trail is [[spoiler:where a bleeding Ezio entered the villa after he was shot.]]
** WordOfGod [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QoEt3F-RYg states]] that the footprints in modern day Monterriggioni were simply put there to lead lost players back to the hideout; the red color (which led to some WildMassGuessing by fans) was simply an oversight.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' displays clues this way in Detective Mode.
* Agent Norman's [[GogglesDoSomethingUnusual ARI]] in ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' highlights the footprints this way.
* In the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series, footsteps can be seen this way with the aid of thermal/night vision goggles, notably in [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4 MGS4]], where there is an entire segment based on following footsteps this way.
** "Whose footprints are these?"
* In ''VideoGame/PsiOpsTheMindgateConspiracy'', AuraVision allows you to see footprints leading to secret rooms and secret messages.
* "Senses" mode in ''X2: Wolverine's Revenge''. See the world through Wolverine's enhanced senses, which includes glowing footprints, smells, and mines.
* The Trace biochip in ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject''.
* One quest in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' requires the heroes to [[InvokedTrope Invoke]] this by collecting some glowing moss and spreading it on the feet of a monster so that they can track it to its hideout.
* A variation exists in the ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' series -- in the world map, tracks of NPC parties are depicted as bright arrows, giving more information on the party leaving the tracks on mouseover (the information available depends on your or your highest-skilled party member's tracking skill).
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Doom 3]]'':
-->'''Ethereal Whispering Voice From Nowhere:''' "Follow me!"
* In ''VideoGame/MySimsAgents,'' your magnifying glass has the power to make ''regular'' footprints (among other things) that would otherwise be rendered invisible into highly visible, colorful trails for you to follow.
* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' level "Rabid Transit": in a certain area, you can use your night vision goggles to see big bearpaw footprints (that lead you to a secret). The message "TELLTALE FOOTPRINTS" also becomes visible nearby.
* ''Star Trek: Encounters'': In one of the early levels, you have to track a spaceship by it's warp trail. Just sweep your sensors through space, and ''swoosh!'' a bright neon green track will be found!
* In ''[[Videogame/{{Crysis}} Crysis 2]]'', one of Stealth modules for the Nanosuit is the Tracker, which displays recently-made footprints of enemies. In multiplayer, it can be upgraded to display the direction the enemy was walking, and then upgraded again to display the footprints almost immediately after they appear.
* The Siren in ''Videogame/BioShockInfinite'' leaves behind glowing footprints as she moves unseen throughout Emporia.
* The Mask of Kan'ami in ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' can see the trails of people who are feeling strong emotions. These emotion trails are shown as brightly colored ribbons of light.
* ''Videogame/TwilightPrincess'' uses a floating colored fog of scent which you track using your wolf's senses. It also prevents you from taking in much of the scenery.
* ''Videogame/DarkDawn'': Sceta's Track ability works like this, but only sees use once or twice.
* ''Videogame/{{Evolve}}'' uses this on the monster's footprints, allowing hunters without more specialized gear to track the monster. The monster can also use this to see the hunters tracks while smelling, allowing it to track down fleeing hunters or locate cloaked ones.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt'', [[ScarilyCompetentTracker tracking]] a quarry for a quest often involves following a trail illuminated by focusing [[PlayerCharacter Geralt]]'s [[SuperSenses Witcher Senses]].
* In ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfMordor'', the player can track Gollum by going into Wraith mode and following the glowing footprints.

* ''{{WesternAnimation/Young Justice}}'' has the villain Cheshire have an infrared camera inside her mask.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TronUprising'', Dyson is able to create fluorescent footprints just like Rinzler. Which is a brilliant bit of an homage [[spoiler:considering his former boss Tron becomes Rinzler]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' episode ''The Exterminator'', Dale finds a rat by detecting urine trail through a bright light.
* Used in the 1969 ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooWhereAreYou'' episode "Kooky Space Kook."
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror segment, the town holds a meeting regarding pranksters who have been pulling tricks through a magic stopwatch. Mayor Quimby reveals he covered the room with ultraviolet powder to find out the culprits and turns off the light to reveal glowing footprints leading to Bart and Milhouse.

[[folder:Real Life]]

* When walking or driving, you actually warm up the ground a little bit as you pass by. An infrared camera can actually pick this up. Googling for infrared footprints can get you a lot of examples.