I did have the opportunity to use the beta version of Particular 2 over some period of time and can really only recommend to update to this version. With Particular 2 you will be able to do even more magical and astonishing effects and your customers or friends may not believe what you create in post production with Particular 2.
One of the new feature allows you to shade all particle types from multiple lights in After Effects. Spot, Point and Ambient lights are all supported with natural light falloff available for spot and point lights. The Video below shows a quick example. It did take only 5 min to set this up all together and render it.
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With Particular 2, you no longer need your favorite 3D modeling/animation program to create virtual 3D textures or adjust lighting as text or objects tumble in 3D space. Particular 2 lets you do it all right inside After Effects (CS3 and CS4).
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