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Houdini has tools for simulating the propagation of waves and ripples across a surface. This can be useful for simulating, for example, an ocean surface.
The solver compares the “current” shape of the surface to a “rest” surface to determine which parts of the surface are “high” and “low”, then uses that information to simulate ripple propagation.
Waves cannot be concave, since the solver only displaces points on the surface “up” and “down”.
The Ripple surface node deforms a grid to add concentric ripples. You can animate this node’s parameters to “fake” simple ripples, or use it to set up the initial conditions for a true dynamics ripple simulation.
The Waveform tool deforms a surface into a wave shape with a direction. The Ripple solver has specific code to propagate waves created with this tool.
Create a Grid.
Apply the Ripple tool to deform the surface.
In the network editor, go into the grid’s geometry object.
Create another Null node after the ripple node and name it
Go into the DOP network and create a Ripple Object DOP. In the parameter editor, set Initial SOP Path to the path of the
/obj/geo1/RIPPLE_OUT). Set Rest SOP Path to the path of the
Click Play to play the simulation.
While ripples are easiest to understand on a height field, use of these nodes is not restricted to grids. Ripples can propagate along a curve, through a 3d lattice of points, or even across a complicated triangular mesh.
Waves can rebound against edges. You can paint attributes to create areas of fast, slow, or no wave propagation.