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Raging Seas of the "The Summoning"

Author: Zhan

Tools Needed

  • Bryce 4 or 5


I combined all the techniques I learned in doing the image 'The Summoning into this tutorial, it will only deal with how the raging sea was created. I will try to be as explicit as possible so the beginner and seasoned users both can utilize the infomation.


Step 1 - Creating the water terrain...


Create you first terrain, this will be your water so name it 'waterterrain1' or something similar this is important to do. Give it a large resolution in the terrain editor,

I used 1024×1024…and smooth, smooth, smooth, also make sure your terrain is not 'solid', I explain why later…


Adjust the height of the terrain map down so that it looks like rolling waves, rather than a mountain of water….


Step 2 - Appling the Seawater Materials


Now go to the materials lab and from the 'water and liquids' menu select 'foamy seawater'. Tweak the color so that it is more towards the green cast.

Step 3 - Duplication and Organization


Duplicating the Terrain to create the foam. By stacking layers of cloud terrains on top of the water terrains, you can create the illusion of foaming water. Duplicate the first terrain, name it 'foamterrain1'. Make it slightly taller than the original, and slightly lower down so that the peaks we will create show through the original.

Step 4 - Creating the foam effect


NEXT, go to the materials lab and change the 'foam' terrain's material to a cloud preset, I used marbled clouds, you can use weekend clouds or something fluffy and white, but make sure it's somewhat dense.


By adding lots and lots of 'basic noise' to the terrain and then cropping the bottom of the terrain until only the noisy peaks of terrain remain you create your 'foam'.To add noise, go to the terrain editor, I used a lower resolution on the foam terrain because it gave a more irregular pattern when the noise was added. You can experiment with this to get the 'look' you're after. This is still a little spikey so smooth as needed, remember to crop the bottom of the terrain, and your 'foam terrain' should look something like this…


Step 5 - Positioning your sea


Now you have your water and foam time to position them to look the way you want. Drop the foam down into the water, so as little, or as much, as you need shows for the foamy water look, tweak the foam some if you need to. Select both the water and the foam terrains, group them, name the group the same as the terrain. This will help you keep track of what's where, should they become ungrouped, you'll know which two go together. I also saved them to my object preset library. I did about three different ones and saved them so I'd save time, when I needed a wave….make some smaller ones with the foam shifted to one edge of the water terrain and group, and a few small ones of just the 'foam' to scatter where needed. We will need them when we assemble the scene. And you get roughly the above pictured effect…

Step 6 - Assembling the scene


Background waves…Start a new scene, select your sky, this sets your mood. I used one that was similar in feel to the one in the finished image. Place your rocks, shoreline, building, whatever you had in mind for the waves to break upon. Give the ground plane the water material you're using for the waves, this disguises any spaces that may appear between terrains. Start in the background and work forward, placing a large terrain as the background water, depending on your image, this is not absolutely necessary, however my image required it.

Step 7 - Assembling the scene cont...


Middle ground waves…As you place your water-foam terrains tilt them slightly to form troughs between the wave swells…In the middle ground I needed the bubbly effect of water over hidden rocks and so that terrain was left more bumpy. Below I have added additional terrains, as I move to the foreground of the scene.


Note: on a larger scale, they could be radicaly titlted, in keeping with the scope of hurricanes (just make the ships tiny).

Step 8 - Foreground waves, crashing surf and lighting


Work forward placing terrains until you're ready to place your breaking waves. Waves crashing on rocks with spray may be done by placing the small grouped water-foam terrain against the rocks. Spin the small water-foam terrain around so that it is concave (the reason for not making the terrains solid), experiment tilting them against the rocks until you get the look you want. Mass them for effect if needed…the more you have the beter it will look; it will increase your render time though….

This is when I did my lighting, I have a radial under the waves near the rocks and one above the waves in the same spot, I used a pale champagne color and a setting of 15. I know some do their lighting first, that's okay too, I needed to know where to highlight, so I waited till the end. Just render, and postwork any minor flaws in the waves…

Step 9 - Additional Effects


Additional effects can be had by shifting and tilting the foam terrain around on your water terrain, extreme clipping produced a small enough foam to use as 'blowing foam'. You can also tilt your water terrain on the x until it's almost vertical, and then elongate on the y, then tilt it back horizonal again for wind driven water (which also makes terrific landscape terrains)….try it out and just have fun…

I hope this was helpful and I wasn't too confusing, this was harder to do than the sea…Comments, misspellings and general confusion, e-mail me, or