Reference. How can i do this?

hello everybody! im in a long and beutiful road of learning shaders. right now, im using a lot the render to texture technic, passing a buffer as a texture to a shader and render that to another texture… etc. im using Processing lenguaje, saving buffers in PGraphics Objects. but i wish expand my rendering technics so i could get differents results. is another technic that i must to know? i see some people works using shaders and i wonder how it do…
for example this:

its look like a sphere with a texture, but the trail is what i wish want to know how can i do it, seems particles, or smoke… what are they?

similar to

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