I can't solve a problem I'm having with the ocean modifier. It's the last major thing before I can start to render the animation. I have a boat moving through waves with equipment being towed coming to a standstill. At the standstill equipment is deployed over the side. With these I'm quite zoomed into the side of the boat and need detailed waves at the moment they're horrible!

I can sort the foam out later and general choppyness / scale of the big waves, just need a decent detailed ocean to work on

I can't seem to get detailed waves no mater how high I put the resolution, I've adjusted the spatial size etc. I know I'm missing something simple!!

My settings are: generate Repeat X 2 Y 4 Resolution 25 Depth 200 Size 1 Spatial size 25 Choppiness 3 Scales 0.250 Smallest wave 1mm Wind &m/s

enter image description here

Any help would be much appreciated


1 Answer 1


You can't modify the scale of the texture internally displacing the mesh, like you would do with a procedural texture like Noise...

I think one good way to get more details on the waves here is to increase the repeat X Y, and decrease the (spatial) Size...

This will work fine working with tiny waves like you have on your screenshot, but as soon as you are working with big waves, it gets uggly because you immediately spot the repetitive pattern:

enter image description here

To make the ocean feel more realistic you can increase the random amount so you don't have this uggly thing you see above. Although, this will not remove the "pattern" of the water completely, it will just change the way it looks until it's good for you.

An other solution consists in using procedural textures in top of the actual displaced geometry.

We can use textures as normal maps without uv unwrapping the plane because they are procedural, and work with generated uv map.

I'm not going to go into the process of creating ocean textures proceduraly because the community already did this messy work for us. For oceans, I'm using the ocean shader available in the Blendermada addon.

This addon is great if you don't want to get into the mess of creating realistic materials yourself. Here you can find a link to the download of the addon. If you don't need the addon and just need the extra waves, here's the ocean material in a blend file. (use Shift+F1 to append and go into the node tree of the blend file to append all of the node groups)

You can experiment with the shader. It's a bit complicated if you go inside it, but if you don't want all of the extra things it provides, you can try to steel some generated normal textures and append them into your original material.

I think the shader looks fine though, here is a simple plane with no displacement. It's unbelievable what you can do with 4 vertices and generated textures:enter image description here

If you get a grey result, use a hdr environnement texture to light the scene, because by default the light comes at even strength and color from every direction. Your sky texture will do the job as well but you will get less of the glossiness I got in my render.

By combining these two methods you can get some really interesting results.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you! Why didn't I know about this site sooner!! It's genius. I couldn't get my head around the nodes setup for the foam they'd used so I just borrowed and modified the the bumps and I've got it how I wanted! Thanks again $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2017 at 15:59

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