Character moving through surface of water.

I’m trying to put together a scene with a crocodile slowly approaching a shore. I’m trying to figure out how to create the ripples created by the character. I learned a lot about the fluid simulation in this attempt, including the fact that it’s probably not best for my goal. I’ve found many tutorials explaining how to create a realistic lake surface using a cloud texture linked to an animated empty object. While this creates some great results in a static environment, it also won’t give me the ripples I’m looking for.

I know that there must be some simple way to do this, as it is even quite common in real time in games. I’m imagining adding a displacement that somehow follows a path based on a characters movements. Any ideas I come up with would take quite some time to develop, and I know I’d just be reinventing the wheel by going through the trouble.

What’s the best way to accomplish this ripple effect? Thanks in advance.

I believe this is what you’re looking for.

Fluid sims are good for flowing water, but for things like ripples, dynamic paint waves will probably be the better choice.

That is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thank you!

This is great, and it will work for a lake, maybe along with an animated cloud displacement texture. However, for the sake of knowing, is there any good way to make the surface act as if it were flowing, such that a static object in a river would create a V shaped ripple?

I have a wacky idea that might or might not work. I haven’t tested it, but I want to know if you make it work.

  1. Animate your croc swimming.
  2. Make a riverbed object that encompasses the bottom of the river and the shore.
  3. Make your water object (a modified plane of some sort) big enough that it’s not all visible in the shot. Specifically, make it too big along the length of the visible riverbed.
  4. Keyframe the whole water object to move in the direction the river would be flowing. That’s why you need it too big: so you don’t run out and start dragging a flat edge of a plane across the camera’s view where the water ends.
  5. Set up the dynamic paint so the croc makes some waves. At least in my head, the movement of the water object will drag the ripples in the direction of flow, making the effect you’re looking for.
  6. Come back on here and tell me how wrong I was. I give this a 40% chance of actually working the way I expect it to. And I’m totally making up that percentage too.
  7. If I am right, I’ll bet you can make the riverbank affect the apparent flow of waves too. But who knows? I might well just be crazy.

Thanks for the idea. I was beginning to have a similar idea with the river following a curve. It definitely works way better than I could have anticipated. I haven’t tried posting attachments here before, but I will post a simple .blend for anyone who finds this post helpful.

When you’re all done, you can make a tutorial and look really cool. :RocknRoll:

Haven’t had any blender time lately, but here’s the result of my simple test.

Hah! They called me crazy! They called my ideas insane! No, wait, that was just me… :yes: Yeah, definitely let me know when you’ve got a final result.