::Edit:: Thank you, respondents.

I now have the desired z-transforming camera, the second part of my question is: I would like a sphere to be able to roll on top of the wavy plane due to the wave motion of the plane. I can't seem to get the sphere object to make contact with the wavy plane during animation. The ball should rise and fall with the wave, and also roll due to gravity when the wave is vertical under the ball. I have it close, but the ball is going through the wavy plane.

enter image description here Please visit http://gph.is/2EpCrto for a better gif picture. The ball's y-transform is locked because it kept going off the side. The plane's and ball's rigid body source includes all modifiers via "final" mode. There is no collision modifier yet applied to the ball. enter image description here

The Blender Docs mention something that could be of help: "The changing collision shape is available also with Change Shape button in the Physics tab of the Tool Shelf." https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/physics/rigid_body/properties.html#rigid-body

Thank you.

Answered - ::I would like to modify a mesh, either a plane or cube, to have a wave modifier. I would like an object to rest on the surface of this wavy plane and receive forces from it. Basically, I want the object to transform its Z-location value (Z axis is up) based on the waves of the plane. I do not wish to use the Ocean modifier.

So far, I've had minimal success; the wave-riding object seems to accept vertical forces from the waves but it's awkward, unrealistic, and just not right. What's the right way to have a stick-mounted camera move up and down with the waves?

Thank you.::

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ it would help if you further describe what you want to achieve. Are you trying to animate an object on the surface of the plane, or the camera, or both (together/separately)? Are you looking for realistic waves as one might find in a real body of water (and if so, how big?), or stylized sine-type waves? When you say "wave modifier," do you mean that you actually need to use that particular modifier, and if so why? what's wrong with the ocean modifier? in what way is your object's motion "unrealistic"? are you looking for "bobbing" like youtube.com/watch?v=q23WFVrQ7GI $\endgroup$
    – risingfall
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ The link you provided is actually what I used as guidance before asking this question. As you can see, he used the ocean modifier. I think my problem is that my wavy plane is an "array"-modified object, so the three vertexes that I select apply to all the copies of the wavy plane, which skews the motion of the wave-riding object. I've now reduced my experiment to using one plane and now have the camera motion I desired. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Please don't write "Thank you" between every line, don't say "answered" and don't write "Edit" every time you edit the question, we can see exactly what you edited. $\endgroup$
    – Omar Emara
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Please don't exaggerate in order to belittle others. I am a polite and grateful person. I thank three times, whereas there are 13 "lines", do you mean sentences? Otherwise, your exaggerated claim would appear as an attempt to defame me. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 0:56
  • $\begingroup$ @silvermanj7 I meant a markdown line (paragraph), but it is not my point. Sorry if exaggerated. I simply was advising you to a better question format for the future. The first line in your question is "Edit : Thank you", don't you think that this is a bad way to start a question? and the sentence repeat two or three times. Thank the community by upvoting, accepting answers as well as participating. Also, edit log is available, so you don't have to type in "Edit" unless necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Omar Emara
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


Create an empty where your object touches the surface. It's usually good to have an inbetween empty for additional freedom.

Go into edit mode of your mesh with the modifier.

Select the empty with CTRLLMB. Then select 3 verts of your mesh that are close to the point where the object swims.

Hit CTRLP to make a vertex parent, formerly know as face parent.

Now that's not exactly forces acting on the object, but the parented empty does what the 3 verts tell it to do. Now you can parent anything to the empty and adjust it.

If you use only one vertex as parent, rotation will not be taken into consideration and the empty will only be moved.

You could be even more flexible by having several empties with several single vertex vertex parents and then use constraints between the empties to handle the rotation of the master empty that bears the camera.

  • $\begingroup$ This works for me because I can use the actual empty object to manipulate my camera as desired. Thanks, Haunt_House. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 3:08

This technique is not a physics based simulation, it is just a fake approximation but might yield what you are after.

enter image description here

Just add a single faced small planar object above your "wave surface" object.

Add a Shrink Wrap modifier to it and set it to Project mode. Make sure you tick the Negative option if necessary.

enter image description here

This will make your object stick to the waving surface. Now just parent whatever object your want to this plane and use Duplifaces from the Properties Window > Object Tab > Duplication > Faces to duplicate it at the face center.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree that this one's better since you can still place the camera elsewhere. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ Yours works fine too :). Upvoted $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ Likewise. I used the shrinkwrap on several occasions just like you describe. I'm a bit absent minded of late. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ I can't seem to get anything to move by parenting it to the shrink-wrapped object because the origin of that shrink-wrapped object never changes. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 0:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are probably missing the Duplifaces Step $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 2:05

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