Day 15- Blendable, Paintable, Dynamic Gerstner Waves

I’m new to all of this. By that, I mean that 16 days ago, I didn’t know what a sine wave was, I didn’t know what PBR stood for, I had never heard the term HLSL before, and I had opened Unreal Engine and World Machine twice before in my life, only to close them when I couldn’t navigate the interfaces.

But 15 days ago, I finally found the motivation to make my own game. Largely due to finally solving a piece of the puzzle of high-level design concepts I’d not been able to solve for several years, that had prevented me from thinking my ideas were fully worth sharing. Once I had that, my confidence was in place and I set my sights on learning whatever I needed to learn to make these things a reality.

Though I have learned a lot these past 2 weeks, I feel the hardest thing to accomplish was to successfully layer so many different effects into an ocean material that I can now simply “paint” to make quick alterations to wave layers, wherein the waves respect the depth of the water from the moment of import, and are somewhat pre-prepared for later functionality relating to gameplay such as weather effects and entity triggers to alter their behavior in real-time.

This is arguably the least excited I’ve sounded in a video since the inception of this project, but that’s just because I’m highly sleep deprived. That being said, here’s my day 15 outcome where I finally solved how to tie so many effects together without excessive anomalies. I’m not finished, I plan to go much further on this. But blending the waves was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to learn thus far. Probably the most difficult.

I’ve always been an unusually fast learner. What I’m most proud of is that I’ve stuck to it and not allowed myself to lose interest as I gradually realized just how much work this will really take. I’m one of those types who lacks ambition despite being open to choose many paths. So I’m happy to say that I am showing a change in my ability to self motivate through my time spent learning the many stages required to make a game.

Lastly, I know there are still several issues with my waves. I intend to resolve the two translucency issues I noted, as well a break up the patterns and randomize the waves into more isolated points. But I don’t see that being as difficult as getting from zero to where they are now.