Dynamic Effects, are designed to affect objects and the environment around them by manipulating them via certain factors. The software I am using is Lightware for 3D animations.
A perfect example is to create a fire or water in Animated films such a How to Train Your Dragon or Kung Fu Panda. This can be done by creating particles and then editing them to how you see fit e.g. making them fir out quite rapidly which can be done by increasing the velocity of the y setting. So in order for the particles to move the velocity of them has be altered either the x, y or z vector, gravity can also be applied in the participial set up menu. The set menu for this can also contain reflection options so that if it was designed to be a reflective material of some sort it can show that. The birth rate in the generator sector can be used to increase or decrease how many particles are produced every frame and other features such as this can be found in the particles options but it depends on the users preference.
A preset materials can be found on the systems as well but their options can be found in the windows screen. Other options can be found under dynamic effects such as Gravity or wind and the effects can be adjusted to affect like stated previously various elements, objects or environments e.g. wind blowing smoke.