I've been trying to do different things with particles in Maya. There's a lot to learn. One of the cooler things I've found out is you can add an emitter from the particle menu and then choose the particles and then choose a 3d object and then set the goal weight of the object to 1 and then the particles will rush towards the object. Pretty cool. Then you can set the goal weight to 0 for later frames and the object will dissipate. You can hide the 3d object on a layer.
If anyone knows how to keep the object on and then have an opacity map of the object match the particle degeneration that would be great. Let me know if you do.
Also for some reason it didn't catch all the vertices of the guy. It wouldn't fill in his arm and leg even though there were vertices there. Weird. If anyone has the answer to that as well it would be appreciated.