Home > 3-D, Maya > Creating a Stormy Ocean in Maya

Creating a Stormy Ocean in Maya

Starting Off And Creating The Ocean Surface

To start off, fire up Maya. If you are not in the Dynamics module interface, hold down the H key on your keyboard, and then left click anywhere on the scene and drag the mouse onto Dynamics. This will change the menu buttons on the top panel of Maya.

From the top panel, go to Fluid Effects>Ocean>Create Ocean and click on the Option Box as shown in the screenshot below.

An attributes window will open, check the Attach to Camera and Create Preview Plane boxes. Preview Plane Size is the preview plane that shows the effect of ocean on the scene when playing with attributes, you can give it any value you like. In this case I gave it a value of 15 which is pretty reasonable while playback, you can forward play the animation if you would like to check the ocean’s movement flow.

Your ocean should look something like this now in perspective view.

While the preview plane is still selected, hit Ctrl+A to open up the Attributes Editor. Once the Attributes Editor appears click on the Ocean Preview Plane1 tab, you will come across few options over here like ResolutionColorDisplacement, etc. Resolution increases the segments of the preview plane and that will lead to a smoother result on the scene. However, the increase in Resolution could lead to lower playback speed and system performance, in other words, rendering will take much more memory out of your system and preview playback will be slower than usual. Color and Displacement are locked, you don’t need to play with those so just leave them at their default values. Height Scale increases the height displacement of the preview plane. Make sure you also keep it at it’s default value.

Once you are done with Preview Plane 1 click on the Ocean Shader tab. We are going to spend most of our time here to modify and achieve the desired shape of our ocean.

Creating The Stormy Ocean

Creating a specific ocean effect simply requires using specific configuration in the Ocean Attributes rollout. To start off, simply expand the Ocean Attributes rollout to reveal its parameters. Assign the values stated below:

Scale, 1.000
Wind UV, -0.700-0.700
Wave Speed, 2.000
Observer Speed, 0.200
Num Frequencies, 20.000
Wave Dir Spread, 0.200
Wave Length Min, 0.200
Wave Length Max, 100.000

Go down to find the Wave Height rollout beside the color coded window. Set the Interpolation option to Smooth and add some points in accordance to your desired shape.

Scroll down to the Wave Turbulence rollout, set Interpolation to Smooth and play around with the Wave Height the same way we did before.

Scroll down to Wave Peaking, set Interpolation to Smooth, play around with the the settings to get your random ocean effect by adding some points along the graph to get peaking ocean waves.

Wave Peaking basically works well together with Wave Height. Again, change the Interpolation to Linear, play around with the settings and add some points along the graph to get peaking ocean waves.

The final step here is again adding Foam. Find the Foam options under the Wave Peaking rollout, set the parameters as specific below:
Foam Emission, 0.140
Foam Threshold, 0.675

That’s it, you can create a test render to get an image similar to this:

Source: Republic Of Code

  1. December 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Hey, Baseline films

    This is cocobirdcoco from youtube, I’d like to say your tutorial is great!

    I’ve followed your tutorial with ease and created a stormy ocean like in your video 🙂

    I’m new to maya and want to learn.

    In the future I may realease a maya video who knows?


  2. Ricardo
    March 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Great tutorial, simple and work.! thank!

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