I had the pleasure to create a 3D animation of a sand sculpture disintegrating for King Krule's music video "Seaforth" (starting at 40 seconds) . 
Using Houdini, I created a vellum grain simulation and rendered it with Redshift. This is the raw render that was delivered.
With a very short turnaround and the direction of the shot not yet set, I know that I had to keep things swift and nimble. 
I created dozens of different iterations to find that sweet spot. Here are some examples of the iterations I went through: