Wave Simulation on OpenGL (Mac)

Hey folks! There are a lot of tutorials out there that cover making oceanic waves in Unreal using displacement.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time following them, being completely puzzled why mine didn’t work. Then, after doing the same on windows, realizing that Displacement and Tesselation are D3D features that don’t work on Mac.

Why Unreal doesn’t prompt you that certain material functions don’t work on Mac is absolutely beyond me, but that’s beside the point.

Of course, a material can access vertexes and move them, but this seems like a very expensive operation that would need to be happening by distance.

Is there anyone that has some good links or advice on how to get waves / ocean displacement going that works on Mac?

Any point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.


One possible solution that we’re using now:

  • Create a large circular water plane that spans all the water in your landscape
  • Slowly rotate the plane around with a water shader applied
    This creates some movement of waves, al be it fairly primitive.

Let’s hope Apple upgrades the new OS to the latest OpenGL so we can actually use displacement and tesselation…