Air Ripple Texture

First of all, has anyone played the Force Unleashed or watched Fantastic 4? If you have, then you will notice that when Sue makes a forcefield, or when Darth Vader’s Apprentice double-jumps, the the air ripples and distorts the image. I was wondering if this effect was possible.

Hello? Anyone there?


Heellllo? It’s been a day, and I’ve had plenty of views. If you don’t know how to do it, at least tell me how you think you could do it.

Patience is a virtue young padawan. :wink:

Try this:
Subdivide a plane, add a subsurf modifier, and place it in front of the camera so it fills the image.
Assign it a material with alpha at 0 and give it ray transparency with IOR above 1.00.
Add a Wave modifier and tweak as necessary.

That’s the only method I can think of. I hope it works for you.

Another way of doing it is in post as a displacement map. Render your ripple as a grey scale movie and use that to displace the original render.

Edit: Just tried it and it works, having the ripple in another scene and using a displace node to warp the main scene.

I don’t know how to achieve this in the game engine, though.

Now, Freen, I would like to know if this ripple of yours could operate at a fixed areaof the render. Thanks, by the way!

Yep, it’s all down to the size (and geometry) of the ripple object. I tested with a plane that has a wave modifier on it, as TauVertex suggested,
It has to have a ramp material that is black on the low points and white on the high points.
Hmm… Maybe I should post a blend…

Good idea! That would make an awesome material for all- purpose use! Post it up!

… the ripple objects are in the scene called “ripple”.

I’ll admit this looks a little lame at the moment, but I only spent about ten minutes on it. To make it look more powerfull, the the ripple objects would have to be tweaked.


air_ripple.blend (268 KB)

Thanks, Freen! Maybe I could make a cool superhero that has a forcefield power…

No worries. Good luck!

WAIT! I tried out the file, but there was no blur- just a bunch of monkeys!

You renderered an animation, and there was no ripple?
I just downloaded and tested it here at work (on a totally different system) and it works fine.

OH! An animation! I just rendered 1 frame.