Modelling water surface

Hi there :slight_smile:

As the title says I’m trying to find a way to model a surface of smaller waves, looking somewhat like a sea.
It is for a physical model that is to be milled (if I succed 3D modelling it!). Therefore it need to be modelled and not just rendered.

It could be something close to this:

Any help is appreciated!


If you find a good picture that looks straight down at the surface you can use the Heightfield command to turn it into a surface.

Also check ZSurf (an external program written by @jim) to make such surfaces based on a picture.

Further reading:

Thanks wim!
I’ll look into that.
I also wondered if i should try to look into grasshopper, event though in is unknown land to me…

If you have the time, sure, look into Grasshopper. You’ll probably find lots of uses for that down the road.
A lot is available on the net but here is a quick tutorial on how to extract information from a picture and build geometry based on that:

Thanks again! I’ll see if I get to Grasshopper this time :slight_smile:

I now have a new problem, maybe you can help me out again @wim?
I used the heightfield command to create a surface that has the water texture, worked well!
The thing is that i need to apply this texture to a shape consisting of four surfaces that are not plane. The shape is created by using the blendSrf command and the four surfaces are therefore kind of concave.

Another easy way to do it is using a water bump texture to apply displacement to a flat surface and then use the ExtractRenderMesh command to get the new geometry.

We do this all the time, for machining purposes.
Unfortunately, we find that this is not one for Rhino until you reach the “import back into the model” stage. Our solution is to block up in Rhino, export a basic mesh model then either use Realflow or Cinema 4D. The resultant mesh files are eventually imported back into the model.
Unless you come across a nurbs based solution or have software that will autosurface meshes, you will quickly get to understand how a large mesh file will slow everything down, from auto saving to rendering. A couple of hundred meg is not unusual. We find 64GB of RAM is about the minimum requirement.

if you want/need the quality of your reference image, you might want to check out the maxwell rhino plugIn. It has the option to simulate maxwell-sea(from realflow).
It is possible to “bake” the geometry into mesh.


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