@MackeyK24, I wasn’t clear enough when I said that. When I say extract the alpha, that means in Photoshop the process of converting a layer with transparent pixels into a standard layer by extracting the alpha information into a layer mask. That’s why in the image above that you see two thumbnails, the left is the composite RGB channels and the right is the layer mask that was extracted from the alpha in the original file. That way you can disable the layer mask and see exactly what data is in the RGB channels without the alpha interfering.
What the original contains is the exact same data in R, G, B, and A meaning that any pixel that was highly transparent due to a lower value in alpha was also a low value in R, G, and B as well. When these pixels would stack up with others at the set emission rate of 1000, you would end up stacking dark, semi transparent pixels over each other and they would add up to an opaque pixel with a dark value.
What I did to combat that was to use a single color for every pixel in the R, G, and B channels with your original alpha data retained in A. That way you control the opacity of the texture with alpha, and rely on your color over lifetime gradient to add some variation in the particles. At this point, fewer particles are more advantageous so that you don’t have stacks of particles creating opaque shapes. Using a lower emit rate and a fast velocity at the start that quickly ramps down will spread out the particles and give you more texture in the system which gives more interest in the final look.
I hope this makes more sense, but if you still have questions, I can create a quick tutorial video so you can see all of my steps and why I use this technique.