Yesterday I posted my first go around with some particle effects.
Today I have a new example using Blitting, which has improved performance but I am having trouble with the look and feel. I have tested it on two machines and the new version seems to get around double the frames per second and uses one-fifth the CPU usage. However, I am having trouble getting the bitmapdata to alpha out. I used a ColorMatrixFilter but that only seems to gray out the smoke... which ends up look much more polluting. You can view my progress here.
Once I figure out the alpha and clean up my code, I will post in more detail about the Blitting.