The emitter catalogs are great. It's an easy way to see what an emitter looks like.
But what it doesn't do is show what that emitter actually does while it's in motion. Since Illusion is particle based and is so dynamic in that way, wouldn't animated .gifs in the the catalogs be even more helpful?
Take Adobe Bridge, it's nice to see what some of the presets are going to do once applied. I'm sure they use animated gifs.
And with Indexed Color, and relatively low quality (which is all that would really be needed) we could see the emitters in motion or see their chracteristics before we apply them.
Are you using particleView and it's search feature?
To me it's much more useful than the catalog, which I rarely (never?) use.
Does anybody find that the catalog is better than particleView's search function in some cases?
On a technical note, IE7 takes quite a while to load the catalog page as it is now. I wonder what it would do with 2000 animated gifs? Plus, I currently make the catalog by exporting the existing emitter thumbnails -- to make animated gifs of all emitters would take a huge amount of work.