RW - Control Points

With this type you have full control over the origin of your waves and the number of wave generators. You can choose as many control points as desired from the RealWave mesh. Each of these points will then act like an oscillator. In other words: the points perform an up-and-down movement according to the adjusted parameters. It is even possible to define different start times for the oscillation of the points to create a diversified and interesting surface. With "Control Points" you can achieve very complex patterns. The process of selecting the points is fairly easy. You simply turn on the the edit mode (“EDIT CP”) and choose the desired number of points. The selected vertices appear green. Now hit simulate and watch...




You can choose between “Yes” and “No”. The active switch is normally only needed with more than one modifier or other sources of wave creation, e.g. travelling objects. Under such circumstances you can disable the appropriate modifier and evaluate the underlying wave structure for fine-tuning.


With “Weight” it is possible to define a kind of mixing strength. By default, each set of waves contributes to the final result at equal strength and weight. To reduce the influence of a certain modifier, simply decrease its weight. The range starts with 0.0, while 1.0 stands for 100%.


"Frequency" is a term from physics and describes the number of oscillations per second and is measured in Hertz [Hz]. With growing frequency the waves carry more and more energy. In RealWave this parameter controls the number of up and down movements of the control points. Higher values produce more waves with less distance in-between, but exaggerated settings can also lead to reduced stability. You can also create interference effects by choosing several areas of equal “Frequency” and “Amplitude”. When these waves collide, they become cancelled.


This is another parameter from physics and describes the distance between the highest and the lowest point of an oscillation. Some books define it as the distance between the highest or lowest point and the wave’s baseline. In connection with the “Control Points” modifier, “Amplitude” is the maximum elongation (or "height") of the points given in metres [m].

Begin time

You will be able to exactly define the time in seconds [s] when the points should start oscillating. This is especially useful with more than one "Control Point" modifier. You could start with wave generation at different times and create interesting interactions.


This is the amount of up and down movements. The total number of movements (n) is calculated with this simple formula:

n = Cycles • Frequency

Wave speed

The waves will have some initial speed once they are created. Wave speed is the other measure for the wave’s energy. With activated damping, higher and faster waves will travel longer and not vanish so fast. In RealFlow, speed is measured in metres per second [m/s].


Without damping a wave would travel for ever, regardless from the initial amount of energy. Under real conditions, water waves will always lose their energy. This results in waves, becoming flat and slower over time until they completely vanish. “Damping” controls how fast the waves disappear. With strong or undamped waves, they become reflected at the RealWave mesh’s borders, creating more structures and ripples. For a realistic appearance, waves should always have at least a small amount of “Damping”.


When you click on this button, RealWave switches into edit mode and lets you select the desired number of control points, which are actually the mesh’s vertices. A selection is always rectangular, but with a pressed Shift key you can add more points to your current choice.


If you are not happy with your current selection or do not need it anymore, use “CLEAR CP”.


Related content: