As mentioned in the previous blog post, I’m exploring the excellent WaterLine water system, which is enabling me to ~finally~ get some decent results with shorelines – something that is clearly a subject of active development in computer graphics, as the physics are so complicated and hard to simulate from both distant and close-up views. In conjunction with their clever WaterStamps a workable solution is emerging. I’ve been looking closely at recent animated movies and VFX for big feature films and you can still pick out the smoke-and-mirrors of shoreline CGI if you know what to look for. Having said that, things are improving rapidly, and I would expect Deep Learning approaches to have a significant impact in on-shore shader photorealism in the nearish future.

This is a demo of work-in-progress. The onshore waves are looking convincing under certain lighting conditions and at certain angles, so that’s progress. I tried a cheap and cheerful approach using Niagara for some splashes/crashes of waves against rocks and onshore, but the results are very unconvincing at this stage – but I’m still getting my head around how best to approach this. It may be that will I end up using the Houdini Niagara plugin and generate simulations this way, but that might introduce problems with timing and triggering events if it all has to be baked. I was impressed with Ryan Bruck’s demo of analytical splashes using some raycasting techniques, so will look into that in the next few weeks.

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