Saturday, 20 August 2011


Week 7 of The Nature Academy,  seascape.

EDIT:  The animation has finished baking, here is the video:

The basic modelling for the sea surface was surprisingly easy, using the Ocean Generator.  However. the tutorials did not cover creating the illusion of distance over the sea surface and produced a bumpy horizon.  That is ok for a shot taken at water level or rough seas but not for a camera placed more than about a meter above the surface.

After a lot of trial an error, I found that using a lattice on top of the generated ocean surface allowed the mesh to be flattened as you get further from the camera and stretched to create some real distance and fill the camera view.

Seascape in Blender
Note: I tried animating a shark fin cutting through the water but until I figure out how to have that interact with the surface, it looks too fake to post just yet.

Here is the lattice set-up:

Lattice set-up to flatten horizon
  1. An inner 2x2 lattice covering the ocean mesh.  After the lattice modifier is added to the ocean,  scale the back edge on the Z axis to zero.
  2. An additional outer 1x1 lattice added to the ocean mesh under the 1st lattice modifier.  This allows you to scale out on the X axis to fill the scene.
  3. After the lattices have been created, the ocean mesh can be moved and rotated to avoid repetition showing up in the view.