I had the opportunity to work with Cheetah 3D recently and to review it.. More than a modeling, animation and rendering, the software includes something called Bullet Physics, which enables collections of objects to move relative to gravity – for example several balls bouncing off of a wall or each other.
Running under Mac OS X, this software also includes the ability to create particle emissions. These can be generated a different rates and may also be dispersed over wider or narrow fields of view. They can even be impacted by wind or turbulence, and then veer to one side or the other depending on wind direction and speed. The connections of these features to 3D GIS databases or energy studies is obvious.