This tutorial is dedicated to the use of Hair&Fur in 3ds Max, a modifier that grows hair and fur over any object. Usually H & F is used to generate hair: in tufts, sparse, curly, long, short, braids, etc. ... but will occasionally be used for other purposes too. This short tutorial will show how to create and animate sea anemones in a few clicks (Fig.00).
Create a seabed by modifying a plane as you like. This will be the distribution object (Fig.01).
The second step is to create an anemone strand. To do so you can add a lathe modifier to a spline. Be sure to add enough subdivision to the mesh as you will have to bend it (Fig.02).
Apply the H & F modifier to the plane. If needed it's possible to select single faces for the distribution. Initially hairs are oriented by the face's normals in a uniform way (Fig.03).
At this point, open the panel "tools" of H & F, then click in the empty box "Instance node" and pick the anemone object. Instance node allows you to use any mesh instead of the default hair object. Settings like hair segments, passes, etc will be ignored. Certain qualities belong to the mesh used as instance, so if you want more subdivisions you have to edit the original mesh (Fig.04).
Now you will see the distribution of anemones on the floor. The scene is beginning to resemble a seascape. Next you need to refine some settings as while certain settings are ignored, others are not.Â Density, scale, thickness are still influencing the shape of the anemones. Increase the size of the hairs (Fig.05).