I've been trying to simulate a very natural boat water wash in blender, using dynamic paint and wetmap. but it just doesn't look natural. i've been searching online. and i found similar cases for different application.

this is a sample photo done by aaOcean Suite http://www.amaanakram.com/plugins-shaders/aaocean-suite/

enter image description here

firstly, i want to get my ocean to look as close as possible to this. i'm using bump textures, since my ocean is too big to use the ocean modifier. and i'm using texture coordinates to animate it. and it look like this. enter image description here

and this is my material node for the ocean. enter image description here

i want to make sharper waves that matches my reference photos.

and i'm interested to know how to create that wash, using blender material. my current node setup is something like this: enter image description here

and the result are something like

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ "my ocean is too big to use the ocean modifier" Are you sure? The ocean modifier has a "repeat" option and you can use the array modifier in addition to this. Cycles handles instanced meshes like this very efficiently. You can still reduce the quality of the ocean and use your noise-based material on top of it. $\endgroup$
    – piegames
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @piegames that's exactly where ocean modifier shows its weakness, the repeat function means repeated textures and when you look from far it's very obvious where tiles are being repeated. i did try baking the ocean and mixing it with noise texture and other things but still I'm not very satisfied with the results. $\endgroup$
    – BardZH
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


First of all, a noise bump texture does not make for an ocean. You need waves, not noise. Either go for some online textures, or create your own one:

  • Generate a smaller mesh with the ocean modifier (as large as possible)
  • Bake normal and height to a plane
  • To render your ocean, apply both the normal map as well as the height to the plane using microdisplacements
  • You can even do this texture baking for the whole animation (I'd recommend you to do it in a separate blend file then)

For the boat, you first need to have realistic materials. Have a look at "physically based rendering" to get true photorealism (Blender Guru is your friend).

  • $\begingroup$ No more than your noise texture. You can still fake animation by blending in multiple displaced version + displacement or multiplying two displaced layers moving in different directions. Maybe I'll add a blend file if I find time. $\endgroup$
    – piegames
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ @piegames microdisplacements it's a fairly complicated process and it's more like a rabit hole to get the results you want. plus, when you look at it in a bigger picture, what microdisplacements and noise or other wave textures do are fairly similar. now it's just a matter of finding the best optimized way. for now i ended up mixing 3 different colors together, noise, and Voronoi and Musgrave in different scales. $\endgroup$
    – BardZH
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Leander you could just animate Z layer, but i found animating X and Y (but less than Z layer) makes it more realistic. $\endgroup$
    – BardZH
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 6:46

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