To create the avalanche simulation for Snow Fall, I mapped data captured by Swiss scientists of the actual avalanche onto a model of Cowboy mountain, produced by Jeremy White from LIDAR data. I used a camera in Maya to track the leading edge, and then combined several render passes in After Effects.
Here is what the raw data mapped to the mountain looked like in Maya:
Here is the framing from the camera, and the layering/styling done in After Effects:
The published piece: