Animate Material of Particles with Blender 2.6

Hello, there is a tutorial for blender 2.4 for a nice steel welding effect. Now I more or less managed to follow all steps but the after glow step. If I assign keyframes to the material of the particle system, then the material of all particles changes. What I want is to somehow couple the animated material with the lifetime of the individual particles. Has anyone an idea how to do this with blender 2.6?

I recently did some alpha-fading of particles and found that it’s better to use a material animation than particle lifetime to have them disappear. Also learned that if you want to vary the fade-out times for the particles, set up similar materials for your emitter object, and create multiple particle system for it. Each will have a different fade-out time, or other material shift that is animated. With around 3 systems, you can get a fairly random look to the effect. The particle’s lifetime is set to exceed the fade-out time, so they don’t just pop off screen (unless that’s wanted, that is).

Each material for the emitter will have the same settings except that being animated (alpha in my case). Each particle system will be assigned to a different material slot. While this is not correlated to particle lifetime, it at least allows some variation in material effect timing.

Have a look here