You are right about the "tweak" issues. Because with the time dependent nature of Time Particles you can have the same settings work on one video clip and fail on another. For instance with the WTC clip I have the particles following paths of luminance. So light areas in the source image steer the particles in one direction, dark areas in the other. This makes things very sensitive to the brightness and contrast of your source.
For your purposes, I'm guessing that most important settings contributing to the World Trade center piece are:
That the particles follow lines of luminance:
TP2>Path Angle: Lum
That the particles only live for a while:
TP1> Fixed Time=60 (I'm guessing here... I don't have the original paseq anymore)
And that I do not erase the canvas, but fade the canvas to black to increase continuity:
Image Operation> Fixed Color >Black >Mix:(approx)15%
This causes the particles which have been painted on the canvas to fade to black over time... in effect a 15% black eraser which slowly removes what's old on the canvas. This is a classic approach; leaving trails, creating some continuity from frame to frame and adding to an overall sense of smoothness.
Other than that, play with the number of paths, the size of the brush, the spacing of the particles... and do your development and tests on the very clip you intend to use...because too many things change from video to video. Keep "exporting as" all your test paseq's so you have all your incarnations in case you need em. And when you have something you like, use that paseq as your starting point to tweak for other source video. There's a good chance you'll go through 10-20 different versions before you find the one that works just right for you.
hope this helps,
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