I'm trying to create the waves made by a ship as is sails. I've had success doing this with vertex displacement, but as I'm going to use it in a large body of water and from a distance I can't subdivide the surface enough to keep everything running smoothly.

This why I'm trying to do this with dynamic paint and using the output image sequence in the displacement node of of a glossy texture which acts as the water surface.

While I get some result in the wake, I don't get the V shaped bow wave normally found in a wake. See my test scene below:


The settings I used:


The displacement map that resulted:


This is an example I found online of what it should look like:

Proper displacement

Can anyone help me get this right?

  • $\begingroup$ I dont think this is supported $\endgroup$ Apr 3, 2015 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ But it does work for vertex displacement. Could there be some way to output the result of that into displacement maps? Then I could run those in isolation first and then add the result to my complex scene. $\endgroup$
    – cybrbeast
    Apr 3, 2015 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yes you can Bake the displacement with texture baking from the high-poly dynamic paint mesh to a simple plain. You would have to do that for every frame though or use a script to bake it for you.. $\endgroup$ Apr 3, 2015 at 20:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @David can you share the file you are using? $\endgroup$
    – Chebhou
    Apr 3, 2015 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


the problem is the settings you are using ( the clear one is the smoothness which is killing all the ripples leaving only a sharp tail ) you have to adjust the settings according to the object speed and size to get the desired results :

using the following settings on the canvas (default plane with no subdivisions ) :

enter image description here

I get the following results :

enter image description here

bake the dynamic paint and set the result as a texture for the plane


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