One of the best ways to test Dynamic Paint stability and workflow is to actually use it to do all kind of test demos. Yesterday I was playing with idea of laser beam digging into ground, eventually it turned out to be cool enough to post online. :D
This scene combines all my favorite Blender tools: Dynamic Paint, smoke simulator and particles. I used a Dynamic Paint canvas with multiple surfaces to get results for displace, color trail and fading glow. Laser beam is simply a cylinder with volumetric high emission material.