How to create smaller dense waves with Maxwell Sea

Settings for well-defined waves for pools, lakes.

Ahoy there, Maxwellians! Today the temperature here was around 39C (~102F), but thanks to the miracle of modern technology in the form of very noisy but effective air conditioning, my brain did not explode. It got me thinking about going to the beach and just float in the sea for a few hours until all wrinkly, but duty comes first! I’ve received a few times questions regarding the Maxwell Sea extension – how some of the parameters correlate, and more in particular the difficulty in figuring out how to create smaller yet well-defined waves for smaller bodies of water such as swimming pools, lakes.

So I hope you find this tutorial useful and as always please help spread the word by liking and sharing it on your favorite antisocial media outlet 🙂

EDIT: I just had confirmation that the manual is outdated, so keep in mind: The larger the Dimension parameter = the lower your Vertical Scale needs to be to avoid too high distortions.


One issue I didn’t touch on in the video is: what if you have a patch of sea with the look you want, and now you want to scale it up say 5x so that it fits a bigger boat, or scene? This is pretty easy to do as well, the basic recipe is:

  • multiply the Dimension parameter by the same number you used for scaling the patch. If you have a patch of sea 10m big with a Dimension setting of 250m and you now scaled your patch to 50m (5x bigger), then set your new Dimension parameter to approximately 1250m.
  • decrease your Vertical scale by quite a lot since we have increased the Dimension parameter. I realize “quite a lot” is not such a precise term 😛 . I haven’t found a too clear correlation, so decrease it until you get about the same height in the waves as before.
  • of course since we increased the size of the patch by so much we need to also increase the Quality setting. If your patch was 10m with a Quality of 256×256, and you scaled it to 50m, I would recommend increasing the Quality to 1024×1024 at least.

Changing these three settings is all that’s needed when scaling up/down your patch of Maxwell Sea. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to tweak them while using FIRE.

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