Making Physics for Roman Galley

This is my first post and I have a few questions about a project I am working on. The project is a roman galley that I want to move through the ocean. I have already modeled the ship but I am having trouble figuring out the physics. I am very new to Blender so I would appreciate if any answers explain it in ‘simple words’.

  1. I want to have the oars of the ship make disturbances of water, I also want to have a bow wave and a wake behind it. My current solution is a plane with an ocean modifier but I would like to use fluid physics to do this. I would also love to know how to make foam.

  2. I would like to have the sails move like cloth. I would like them to fill with the wind and move with the ship, pinned to the yard arm and to the deck by ropes.

Thanks in advance for all your help!


first of all: welcome to the forum!

Your project is quite ambitious to start out with blender, but I will do my best to explain it as easy as possible :slight_smile:

  • The ocean modifier is totally fine, DONT use the fluid physics. It will screw up your ocean completely! You should use to the ocean modifier but add some other things to make it behave like a “real” fluid ocean.
  1. To make your ocean react to the ship and the oars, you’ll have to add the physics type “dynamic paint”. To do so, select your ocean plane, go to the physics tab and click on dynamic paint, then add canvas and select “waves” as surface types in the 2nd panel. You may play around with the values here later. Now your ship and your oars must be recognized as “impact sources” to your ocean. Therefore you need to add a dynamic paint brush to all your oars and the boat. Now the ocean shold react to your ship.

  2. Foam is a special functionality of the ocean modifier - and already built in: just check “generate foam” in the modifier’s settings (give the “Foam data layer name” a descriptive name, i.e. “foam”). To make your foam visible, you’ll have to adjust your ocean material. You may take a look at this setup:

  3. For your sails you may use blender’s cloth physics. Just check out some tutorials on youtube. A short, but good tutorial is this one: (if you can create a flag, you will be able to also create a sail - the process is quite similiar).

Hope that helps,