Clovis Gay demonstrates snow projection with projection direction in this new video.
Terrain for 3ds Max
You can generate landscapes from real world elevation data with the Terrain plugin for 3ds Max.
Marius Silaghi has released a plugin for 3ds Max called Radial Symmetry.
Creating Volcano Smoke - Tutorial
CG Cookie have a cool two part tutorial on creating a smoking volcano with FumeFX in 3ds Max.