aaOcean Deformer


Default value: 2

This specifies the resolution of the procedurally generated ocean texture map. Recommended settings are 3 through 7, generating maps of the following pixel resolutions:

  1. 32x32
  2. 64x64
  3. 128x128
  4. 256x256
  5. 512x512
  6. 1024x1024
  7. 2048x2048

Resolution settings above 7 are not recommended. They do not add anything of value to the displacement, but will increase memory significantly.

A useful feature of aaOcean is the fact that increasing resolution adds more detail to the ocean surface, but does not change it's fundamental form. This means low resolutions can be used for testing and development, and higher resolutions at render-time.


Default value: 1

The basic empirical model of the shader is based on the 'Phillips' wave spectrum model. See note(1) below. Spectrum values range from 0 through 3. I have not been able to find documentation or description for these settings. However, my own experimentation suggests the values all generate the same basic ocean structure, but with wave frequency separation, as follows:

This separation of frequencies can be used to break down the creation of the ocean surface into low frequency waves (spectrum 1) and high frequency waves (spectrum 2) for maximum control and/or efficiency. These layers can be created though the use of stacked deformers, or stacked displacement shaders in a material network; or a combination of both deformer and displacer.

One example of this approach might be the creation of large wave / low resolution poly displacement for basic scene development, then adding higher frequency wave detail with render-time sub-poly displacement and shading using the aaOcean displacement shader. See aaOcean Shader Parameters below.


Default value: 0

Seed value for the random number generator used to calculate the wave pattern.

Ocean Scale

Default value: 100

Size of the ocean patch that you are simulating in metres. The larger the ocean scale, the more waves you will see being generated in the ocean patch.

aaOcean patches are fully tileable if the ocean scale is an integer multiple of the ocean patch size.

Ocean Depth: [deprecated]

Default value: 10,000 Slows down waves as the depth decreases. Minor effect. It is recommended to leave this value at default and use Wave Speed parameter instead.

Surface Tension

Default value: 0 (off)

Used to drive the generation of small-scale, quick moving capillary waves (ripples) that travel across the ocean surface.

Velocity (Wave size)

Default value: 10

Simulates wind velocity. The higher the wind velocity, the bigger the waves - as they get whipped up by the wind.

Wave Smooth (Cut-off)

Default value: 0

Removes waves with a wavelength smaller than the one specified in this parameter. Visually, this parameters smoothes out the surface.

Wind Direction

Default value: 45

Wind direction, and therefore prevaling wave direction, in degrees.

Wind Align

Default: 0 (off)

Stretches the waves so they increasingly align perpendicular to their direction of travel - the wind direction. Such waves are typically seen close to shore in shallow water.

Wave Reflection (Damp)

Default value: 30

By default, Tessendorf waves splash about in two opposite directions and hence do not give the look of waves moving in any particular direction. If directional wave movement is required, use this slider to give preference to waves moving in the direction of the wind. A value of 1 will completely eliminate waves that move opposite to the wind. A value of 0 will have waves moving in towards and against the wind with equal magnitude.

Wave speed

Default value: 1

Controls the speed of the waves traveling over the surface. Increasing the ocean size will seem to slow down the waves, as they will have a longer distance to travel.

Wave Height

Default value: 1

Defines the height of the waves. Essentially a contrast control for the wave pattern.

Chop Amount

Default value: 0

Controls the sharpness of the wave peaks by applying additional lateral displacement to the vertices. A value of 0 has no chopiness, higher values sharpen the waves. Too high a value will cause the tops of the waves to self-intersect.


Default value: 0

Time in seconds. Animate this to change the ocean surface over time.

Repeat time

Default: 1000

The time at which the ocean animation repeats, in seconds.