“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 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.


    1. Angelidis, A., Anon, J., Bruins, G., and Reisch, J. 2011. Ocean mission on cars 2. In ACM SIGGRAPH Talk, Article No. 17.
    2. Bhatacharya, H., Nielsen, M. B., and Bridson, R. 2012. Steady state stokes flow interpolation for fluid control. In Proceedings of Eurographics ’12 Short Paper.
    3. Bridson, R. 2008. Fluid Simulation for Computer Graphics. AK Peters.
    4. Darles, E., Crespin, B., Ghazanfarpour, D., and Gonzato, J.-C. 2011. A survey of ocean simulation and rendering techniques in computer graphics. Comput. Graph. Forum 30, 1, 43–60.
    5. Fattal, R. and Lischinski, D. 2004. Target-Driven smoke animation. In Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH’04: Papers. 441–448.
    6. Fournier, A. and Reeves, W. T. 1986. A simple model of ocean waves. SIGGRAPH Comput. Graph. 20, 75–84.
    7. Frechot, J. 2007. Realistic simulation of ocean surface using wave spectra. J. Virt. Reality Broadcast. 4, 11.
    8. Gertz, E. M. and Wright, S. J. 2003. Object-Oriented software for quadratic programming. ACM Trans. Math. Softw. 29, 1, 58–81.
    9. Gondzio, J. and Grothey, A. 2007. Parallel interior-point solver for structured quadratic programs: Application to financial planning problems. Ann. Oper. Res. 152, 319–339.
    10. Hong, J.-M. and Kim, C.-H. 2004. Controlling fluid animation with geometric potential: Research articles. Comput. Animat. Virtual Worlds 15, 3–4, 147–157.
    11. Huang, R., Melek, Z., and Keyser, J. 2011. Preview-Based sampling for controlling gaseous simulations. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA ’11). ACM, New York, 177–186.
    12. Lautrup, B. 2005. Physics of Continuous Matter. IOP Publishing Ltd.
    13. Mastin, G. A., Watterberg, P. A., and Mareda, J. F. 1987. Fourier synthesis of ocean scenes. IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl. 7, 16–23.
    14. McNamara, A., Treuille, A., Popovic, Z., and Stam, J. 2004. Fluid control using the adjoint method. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH’04: Papers. ACM, New York, 449–456.
    15. Mihalef, V., Metaxas, D., and Sussman, M. 2004. Annimation and control of breaking waves. In Proceedings of the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. 315–324.
    16. Nielsen, M. B. and Bridson, R. 2011. Guide shapes for high resolution naturalistic liquid simulation. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH’11: Papers. ACM, New York, 83:1–83:8.
    17. Nielsen, M. B. and Christensen, B. B. 2010. Improved variational guiding of smoke animations. Comput. Graph. Forum 29, 2, 705–712.
    18. Nielsen, M. B., Christensen, B. B., Zafar, N. B., Roble, D., and Museth, K. 2009. Guiding of smoke animations through variational couplings of simulations at different resolution. In Proceedings of the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. 206– 215.
    19. Peachy, D. R. 1986. Modeling waves and surf. SIGGRAPH Comput. Graph 20, 65–74.
    20. Perlin, K. 1985. An image synthesizer. In Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH ’85). ACM, New York, 287–296.
    21. Rasmussen, N., Enright, D., Nguyen, D. Q., Marino, S., Sumner, N., et al. 2004. Directable photorealistic liquids. In Proceedings of the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. 193– 202.
    22. Shi, L. and Yu, Y. 2005a. Controllable smoke animation with guiding objects. ACM Trans. Graph. 24, 1, 140–164.
    23. Shi, L. and Yu, Y. 2005b. Taming liquids for rapidly changing targets. In Proceedings of the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. 229–236.
    24. Soderstrom, A., Karlsson, M., and Museth, K. 2010. A pml-based nonreflective boundary for free surface fluid animation. ACM Trans. Graph. 29, 136:1–136:17.
    25. Spencer, L., Shah, M., and Guha, R. K. 2006. Determining scale and sea state from water video. IEEE Trans. Image Process. 15, 6, 1525– 1535.
    26. Tessendorf, J. 1999. Simulating ocean water. In SIGGRAPH’99 Course Notes.
    27. Thon, S. and Ghazanfarpour, D. 2002. Ocean waves synthesis and animation using real world information. Comput. Graph. 26, 1, 99– 108.
    28. Thurey, N., Keiser, R., Pauly, M., and Rude, U. 2006. Detail-Preserving fluid control. In Proceedings of the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. 7–12.
    29. Treuille, A., McNamara, A., Popovic, Z., and Stam, J. 2003. Keyframe control of smoke simulations. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH’03: Papers. 716–723.
    30. Wong, M. W. 2011. Discrete Fourier Analysis. Springer.

ACM Digital Library Publication: