A lot of rotation control for instancing in Maya is still hand coded. Here a leaf rotating on all 3 axis using one particle system and ID to determine rotation.
Using expressions for rotation means you can control spin rate by the speed of the particle so the slower the leaf travels the slower it would spin. One could also use a switch statement to cycle through the different rotations on a single particle based on wind particle direction (velocity) so as the leaf blows forward - rotate forward - if it gets blown to the leaf - rotate left for example. Sure you could create a bunch load of nCloth leaves but its quite difficult to get nice 360 degrees rotations then.
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