aaOcean Suite

aaOcean Suite v2.6 is an ocean simulation system based onĀ Tessendorf waves for Softimage, Maya, Houdini, Mental Ray, and Arnold.

Most recent stable version can be downloaded from:

Deformers are included for DCC apps to allow simulations to be run on a low resolution representation of the ocean surface, which can then be combined with higher resolution ocean surfaces in the renderer. Efficient frequency spectrum sampling ensures that higher ‘Resolutions’ only add more detail to the ocean surface, and not completely change the ocean surface.


  • Open sea ocean waves based on measured/statistical wave movement data, approximated by the Philips frequency spectrum
  • Calm and non-folding, stormy ocean waves
  • Ability to detect region & direction of ocean spray (via Eigen vectors)
  • Arnold/Mental ray shaders for:
    – render-time displacement of ocean tiles
    – wave-peak foam (eigenvalues)
  • Deformers for Maya, Softimage, Houdini
  • All shaders do render-time catmul-rom interpolation to produce smooth surfaces
  • All parameters fully animatable
  • Completely tileable grids for large ocean vistas
  • Ability to layer multiple oceans on a surface to easily break up visible
  • Custom multi-threaded code to help with performance at larger resolutions

Tessendorf’s paper shows a method of making a tileable ocean grid with user-defined grid resolutions. This method is based on data collected over many years about how the surface of a typical ocean varies with time. Tessendorf shows that the data can be approximated with mathematical functions and then proceeds to lay down how the mathematics can be used to generate a realistic ocean.

Below are some quicktimes that have been rendered with aaOcean Suite and show how Tessendorf’s waves look once implemented.