How to create a realistic ocean and floating boat in Maya

Blue clear sky, a blue ocean, sun, a nice sailing yacht… Okay, if we can’t make this dream come true then we create it!

Let’s open Maya, and get ready to sail on virtual water!

Firstly set your menu set to [Dynamics]

In the [Fluid Effects] menu, select [Ocean] > [Create Ocean] option box

Set [Preview Plane Size] = 50

Select ocean, in the Attribute Editor select [oceanShader1] tab

Num Frequencies = 15

Wave Length Max = 45

In Wave Peaking section;

Create a hill in wave peaking graph

Set [Foam Emission] and [Foam Threshold] values

Foam Emission = 0.4

Foam Threshold = 0.6

In the [Glow] section set [Glow Intensity = 0.03]

Now import your .obj yacht model (you can find model at the end of this lesson)

Select your yacht model and select [Fluid Effects] > [Ocean] > [Make Boats] option box

There is a check box in its option box. If you select [Free Transform] you can move your boat to every direction.

If you keep it unselected, you can move your yacht to only horizontal directions (So waves will move your yacht in vertical direction)

I kept it unselected and [Make Boats]

Now, select your yacht and add key, go to frame 500 and move your yacht forward.

Now when you play, you will see your yacht will sail and waves will shake it.

Download Project Files;

Maya scene file;

Yacht .obj file;

That’s all folks,

Keep in FxfxORG


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  1. helo my name Roman Ghani by rcmtct{roman communication maya training center timergara.
    Very good tutor

  2. Sorry, however I am not able to download the yatch model?

  3. Hello Khan,

    I checked and it is working. Check with diffrent browser or computer.

    Stay in Fxfx,


  4. I am unable to get this. What do you mean by “stay in Fxfx”?

    Thanks for responding

  5. I am in grade 10…. I am new to Maya….
    I hvae to make an animation.
    My animation will be about a rescue.

    Animation Description: My animation will start off with a charcater asking for help standing on icebergs. Within moments, a boat will arrive. The wind is extremely strong. As the boat makes it way, it sinks somehow.

    It easy to come up with the idea; however, I am totally unaware of how to complete this animation. I need help…. Could you take time out of your busy schedule and tutor me through this animation. I will remain extremely thankful to you.

  6. Hello Khan,

    Firstly, you made me smile with your first question about “what is stay in fxfx” 🙂 Umm, it means something like “continue to follow” 🙂

    And your help asking about your animation,

    I understood what you want to do. You can use my yatch scene and your need add something like an inceberg, an environment and a character.

    For iceberg, it is really easy to make it from a polygon object. Make a polygon cube and shape it into a broken ice by pulling vertex.

    For environment, from render settings (will talk for mental ray) select create an environment and texture it with a cloud hdri.

    For character, it is a really complicated subject. Because you really need spent too much time on it. My only advise can be that my “top 5 useful human body rigs in maya” post. Theese rigs are ready to use rigs so you dont need to model and rig it. I am sure they will be useful for your scene.

    I hope, this helps you.

    Stay in Fxfx 🙂

  7. hi…

    How to create ocean in vray,in maya.

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