Adding a preview plane to an ocean

Because shading is turned off for the ocean plane, you need a preview plane to see displacement and shading in the hardware render. Displacement changes the surface of the ocean plane so you can see the different wave heights.

To add a preview plane to the ocean

  1. Dolly back in to the center of the plane.
  2. Select Fluid Effects > Ocean > Add Preview Plane.

    Maya creates a preview plane that interactively shows the displacement of the ocean on a shaded patch of ocean. You can scale and translate it to preview different parts of the ocean. This plane does not appear in renders.

  3. With the preview plane still selected, choose the Scale Tool (Hotkey: r) and make the patch bigger by dragging the center scale box to the right. Make it approximately 25 times bigger. (Look at the scaling numbers in the help line.)
  4. Play the simulation using the playback controls at the bottom of the Maya window.

    The preview plane ripples slightly showing the small wave displacement.

  5. Light the scene to prepare it for rendering later in the lesson:
    • Select Create > Lights > Directional Light. Maya creates a directional light called directionalLight1 at the center of the grid.
    • Open the Attribute Editor and in the Directional Light Attributes section of the directionalLightShape1 tab, change Intensity to 2 to make the light brighter.
    • Click the directionalLight1 tab and rotate the light as follows to direct the light rays onto the ocean. Rotate: -100 42 20