I wish to create the illusion of an object that is stationary to be moving along a surface.

I have a sphere and a plane, and the desired outcome would be for a water "wake" effect to be behind the sphere.

the sphere is to be stationary.

here is an image of what i would like to acheive, though this image is using dynamic paint and me dragging the ball across the surface. enter image description here

Is this possible?

The user out come is a wave I am creating. https://i.imgur.com/waLSK5I.jpg I am going to have a surf board on the wave.

I am looking alot into gemetry nodes now that the simulation node has arrived.

this is inspiring https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITWq5sEPYbs

Thankyou in adance for all your input

  • $\begingroup$ I would think so, weight paint and instance some particles with initial velocity $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ @AllenSimpson But particles shooting out behind the sphere would look like something swimming away from the sphere, not as if the sphere was moving forward... if I got you wrong and you could elaborate further on your idea this would be great, since I would like to know a solution for this problem, too. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ DP does work, if you move the water, not the ball.. could you rig a curve-deformed conveyor-belt of water? I'll try it, when I can, if you don't get there first. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ thankyou for all responses. I can update my question with more information to give you a better understanding of what i have tried and what I intend to use the effect for. I will update in a few hours after work $\endgroup$
    – ben
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ @RobinBetts I've tried the conveyor belt method, but the waves on the moving canvas are not working in the same way as if the brush was moving: "static" wave $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


This can be done with a conveyor-belt of water.

  • Set up a subdivided plane-strip of water
  • Curve deform it along a loop with a flat top and bottom
  • Adjust the length of the belt to close the loop, and assign a Weld modifier to stitch it up
  • Animate the belt along its deformation axis, as far as you like.

Here are the settings for the example file attached, at my scale, for the brush and canvas:

enter image description here

The result is a little large for a BSE .gif, but can be found here

There are a couple of hitches to iron out, I think. The weld doesn't seem to play well with the simulation, when first encountered, but seems to settle down. The wake travels all the way round the belt.. if you needed a perfectly smooth surface ahead of the ball for a very long shot, that would require some thought.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ wow this looks good. It certainly answers the question. I will give a plus 1 as its on the right track and has demonstrated a possible solution. I am still looking at other ways. $\endgroup$
    – ben
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @ben For sure. Fair enough. It's not perfect. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ I might have an answer with geometry nodes . If it does not work and its been a week fro this post I will set the answer to be Robins $\endgroup$
    – ben
    Commented Aug 31, 2023 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ There was a geometry nodes solution however its made by someone else and they are selling it as a product. $\endgroup$
    – ben
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, @ben, I wonder, are they doing the whole simulation? A spring-force and damp on edge-length would do it ... That seems a bit re-inventing the wheel.. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 7:19

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