so i found this really cool standalone plugin/renderer, especially for particles and it's called Krakatoa. unfortunately it's compatible for 3dsMax. damn. the latest one is more stable in terms of connecting with other 3d platforms, so i'm really hoping i could figure out how to connect it with Maya and create that awesome tornado i saw. and then manipulate it to my desire. >:)
i'm only scared of the time that i have left, to figure it out and execute it. i really hope no extra headaches (as in technical issues, licensing, blah etc) will block my way.