RW - RealWave

This section is responsible for the mesh’s appearance and you are also able to activate some core features here, for example the calculation of foam-maps.




There are two menu entries:

  • Hexamesh” is the default setting for creating a plain mesh surface.
  • Custom” unlocks the next parameter, giving you the opportunity to load an object into RealFlow and turn it into a RealWave object.
Custom obj

When “Type “ is set to “Custom” you can select a 2D or 3D object and translate into a RealWave mesh.

Polygon size

Smaller values lead to longer simulation times and bigger files, but you can also see more details. With settings of 0.03 and smaller and fast moving waves you might see chaotic structures, like spikes and peaks.

Displacement mode

These are your options:

  • With “Auto”, a maximum displacement height is determined for each frame and the other corresponding height values will be related to this maximum. This method can lead to unwanted noise. because the maximum height might change with each frame.
  • To avoid this phenomenon, “Range” can be used. Here it is possible to specify a fixed height that is valid for all frames and the pixels are calculated accordingly.

With “Displacement mode” set to “Range” you are able to limit the creation of displacement maps to a certain height, valid for all frames.

Displacement format

This parameter determines which axis will be considered while creating the displacement maps. The result is a colour-coded 16-bit TIF-RGB picture (colour depth depends on the used format). With

  • XYZ” all three axes are used to write the map
  • YYY” only the height information is used.
Damping factor

RealWave allows you to define static vertices where no wave motion takes place. These zones act like islands. “Damping factor” has influence on waves interacting with these static points. With

  • 0.0 all waves are reflected and the static vertices act like a solid wall
  • values greater than 0.0 the waves still interact with the static vertices, but loose some energy until they disappear.
Autogen static

When active a static zone inside a moving object is created, where the waves will be reflected.


Here you can define a force for creating river-like surfaces, where objects will be pushed in direction of the given “Stream angle”. Please take a look at → “Wave Object Interaction” for a workflow description.

Stream angle

The direction of the downstream force is adjusted here. This value is given in degrees.

Calculate texture

This is the global switch to activate RealWave’s foam maps:

  • To save the foam maps they have to be activated manually in the → "Export" panel.
  • With an object’s or standard particles emitter’s “Texture strength” it is possible to control their contribution to the maps.

Please enter the texture's resolution in pixels here. Foam maps are always squared.


This is a blurring filter. Higher values create a smoother appearance of the foam marks.


Control, how fast the foam should vanish:

  • With 0.0 the foam will last (almost) forever.
  • Higher values make the foam marks disappear faster.
Depth factor

You can either enter a fixed value, valid for the static points of the entire mesh, or load a texture. The depth map's patterns are translated into static points and act like obstacles, where the waves are reflected. Right-click on the chessboard and choose “Load texture”. Information about how to work with maps are given under → “Parameter Maps”.

Particle layer

This option bounds particles to the vertices and polygons of a RealWave surface. "Particle layer” is often used to connect the particles from emitters (→ "RW Crest Splash" and → "RW Object Splash") with RealWave surfaces and mesh them together.

EDIT Static

With this option you can define any of the surface’s points as static. These points remain immobile while waves are reflected at their borders. Multiple selection is possible with the Shift key pressed during selection. Static points appear red.

CLEAR Static

When this button is pressed all static points are removed.

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