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Blender Tutorial

by Dave Jarvis
Last Updated: (none)
Blender Version: 2.43


This tutorial shows how to create ripples, with an interference pattern, on a plane. Exemplified are:

Create Plane

  1. CTRL-x, Enter
  2. Del, Enter
  3. Add » Mesh » Plane
  4. w
  5. Click Subdivide Multi to prompt for the number of faces.
  6. Change Number of Cuts: from 2 to 100.
  7. Change OK to divide the plane into 100 faces.
    The number of faces controls how smooth the ripples will appear.
  8. Tab

Ripple Texture

  1. F5
  2. Under Link to Object, browse the existing choices and select Material.
    You could also click Add New for a new material, but that would waste memory, since there is only one object in this scene.
  3. F6
  4. Click on TE:Text to rename the text.
  5. Type Ripples, then press Enter.
  6. Change Texture Type to Wood.
  7. Click Rings.
  8. Press F12, then ESC when finished viewing.

    Ripple Pattern

  9. F5
  10. Close down the Links and Pipeline panel.
  11. Click Clear in the Texture tab.
    The texture will be used by the displacement modifier, which offers more control than the Disp button in .


Ripples need depth, which can be accomplished using a displacement modifier.

  1. F9
  2. Click Set Smooth.
  3. Click Add Modifier » Subsurf.
    Optional step to smooth the ripples even more.
  4. Click the small arrow to collapse the Subsurf modifier.
  5. Click Add Modifier » Displace.
  6. Click Texture: to change the texture used for displacement.
  7. Type Ripples then press Enter.
  8. Press F12, then ESC when finished viewing.

    Large Displaced Ripples

  9. Click Strength: to change the strength of displacement.
  10. Type 0.075 then press Enter.

Displacement Offset

  1. Click Local » Object.
    This allows the offset of the ripples to be controlled by an object. In this case, it will be an "empty" object (so that it does not take up render time).

    Modifiers Tab

  2. NUM1
  3. Add » Empty
  4. g, x, .5
  5. g, y, .5
  6. NUM7

    Top View of Ripples and "Empty" Object

  7. Click RMB to select the ripples.
  8. Click RMB in the Buttons Window area.
  9. Select Horizontal from the Panel Alignment menu.
    This should reveal an unseen field in the Modifiers tab.

    Revealed Ob: Field

  10. Click Ob:.
  11. Type Empty then press Enter.

    Offset Ripples


A single set of ripples does not interfere with itself (except, perhaps, at the quantum level). Add more ripples, as follows:

  1. Repeat from Step 5 under the Displacement section until Step 4 in the Displacement Offset section.
  2. Repeat from Step 4 in the Displacement Offset section, but change the following:
  3. Press F12, then ESC when finished viewing.

    Interference Pattern

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