Gerstner waves interacting with objects

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It’s been too long since my last blog, but I guess that’s what you can expect of ‘internal’ projects, they get pushed around endlessly. Anyway, FMX was great and it was cool to see my wave tools shown as part of the Houdini Master Classes.

In the coming days I hope to post a short video walkthrough on using the wave tools to create a breaking wave animation live :).

In the mean time I’ve done a test I’d been planning to do for a while now. It’s all fun to have ocean wave displacements that look ok, but without interactions with objects in the water its quite limited. So I had some idea’s on adding some stuff to create wave-object interaction without having to run a full fluid sim. In the end the goal is still to create water tools that are as much as possible interactive.

Anyway, after an hour or so of playing around with my gerstner displacement tool and a pole in the middle of the water surface I got the result I was hoping for: the waves moving towards the pole forming a ‘bow wave’ in front and a wake behind the pole as the water is pushed around by the waves.

It might not look much at this point, but only the white water particles are a simulation. The interaction of the wave surface itself around the pole is not simulated and is fully interactive and mostly real time as well. But the main goal I had with this first test is to prove my theory on how to achieve this kind of result easily and fast and it definitely succeeded in that 🙂

What I like about this solution, is that it can easily applied to bow waves and wakes on moving boats, where the movement of the boat and the movement of the waves together influence the animation of the interaction directly and without simulation. For final results it would still be required to add simulation to the mix, but this animated part makes it really easy and fast to art-direct the basic motions which then get enhanced with particle fluid sims for all the fine detail.

Ok, that’s it for now. I hope my next post will be that short video on creating a wave from scratch with my new broken up tool set.