“Synthesizing Waves From Animated Height Fields” by Nielsen, Soderstrom and Bridson

  • ©Michael B. Nielsen, Andreas Soderstrom, and Robert Bridson




    Synthesizing Waves From Animated Height Fields

Session/Category Title: Fluid Grids & Meshes




    Computer animated ocean waves for feature films are typically carefully choreographed to match the vision of the director and to support the telling of the story. The rough shape of these waves is established in the previsualization (previs) stage, where artists use a variety of modeling tools with fast feedback to obtain the desired look. This poses a challenge to the effects artists who must subsequently match the locked-down look of the previs waves with high-quality simulated or synthesized waves, adding the detail necessary for the final shot. We propose a set of automated techniques for synthesizing Fourier-based ocean waves that match a previs input, allowing artists to quickly enhance the input wave animation with additional higher-frequency detail that moves consistently with the coarse waves, tweak the wave shapes to flatten troughs and sharpen peaks if desired (as is characteristic of deep water waves), and compute a physically reasonable velocity field of the water analytically. These properties are demonstrated with several examples, including a previs scene from a visual effects production environment.


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