Automating/Simulating Bin of Teddy Bears
In an advanced animation class I worked on an animated short that required a model of a bin of teddy bears. Placing the bears individually seemed like an arduous task, so I wrote a simple script to automate the process. Similar techniques could easily be applied when generating any heap of objects such as piles of trash. The result of simulation is generally more realistic looking than what is achievable by the average hand, or at the very least a good base to work from/tweak.
Basic Idea and MEL Script:
The code here is commented clearly. Reading it should outline the basic process.