WiRyPoCkEtLiNt, you're right on the money! I used an old version of Illusion (before it got acquired by Wondertouch) that's on someone else's computer (the one I used extensively when creating The Horror Gothic
). I'm really falling in love with that program, and will save up to buy version 3 when it's finally out. IMHO, Illusion is the perfect complement to AlamDV2, because you can create the fantastic visuals there, turn them into plug-ins, and then manipulate them in AlamDV2 (which is much more intuitive when it comes to the positioning and movement of effects).
Illusion is very fun to use, and once you understand how to create your own particles, the possibilities are virtually endless. I can't exactly write a tutorial right now, because I'm real busy, and besides, my knowledge of Illusion is still pretty hazy, but I'll get on it once I have a chance to really scruntize the functions of the program (subject to the availability of the aforementioned computer, of course).
I'll try to come up with new power beam variants whenever I get to use that computer. I can't wait to own my own copy of Particle Illusion though, because right now it's an absolute pain transferring the images from the other computer to mine at home. Hope to have new ones for ya soon!