New swells, spray, and whitecaps in Triton 2.78Our latest version of the Triton Ocean SDK features some big improvements in swells, choppy waves, and the effects associated with them. We even considered calling this Triton 3.0 – but we’ve got some other big features planned before we take that leap. Triton 2.78 is available now and well worth upgrading to.

Improved swell wave accuracy and phase offsets

Triton is being integrated into a high-profile US Navy training program. Their rigorous testing revealed that swell waves added through the Triton::Environment::AddSwell() API weren’t always quite the right size, and we’ve fixed this in Triton 2.78. If you ask for a swell of a given wavelength and wave height – that’s now precisely what you’ll get. Remember swell waves are added into the thousands of wind waves generated by Triton. so at some points the ocean surface may be higher or lower than your swells – but this is how it should be.

We’ve also added a phase parameter to AddSwell(), which opens up the possibility of blending Triton’s JONSWAP wave model with your own. For example, you might choose to simulate light wind waves in Triton to get realistic high-frequency waves, but use the AddSwell() API to inject your own lower-frequency waves at specific wavelengths, directions, wave heights, and phase offsets. What’s even better is that there is no performance overhead to using AddSwell(), so you can add as many of your own waves as you would like. Triton will use the same GPGPU-accelerated inverse FFT transforms used for its own waves on your user-provided swell waves, all at the same time.

If you are using the Triton::Environment::SetDouglasSeaScale() API, you may notice that specific swell conditions may look different now that we’ve corrected our swell wave heights. Some users prefer to tune the look of specific swell conditions with the use of a subject-matter expert (SME.) To enable this, we’ve created a new configuration section in the resources/Triton.config file for Douglas Sea Scale parameters, so you can specify your own wavelengths and wave heights for given swell states. These states are only officially defined as broad ranges, so there is room for interpretation to be had there.

Better spray, foam, and whitecap effects

Triton 2.78 also offers a much-improved simulation of spray, foam, and whitecaps on large waves. As a swell wave comes in, you’ll see a line of foam and spray at its crest blowing in the direction of the wind. Foam effects will be concentrated in places where the water is actually churning according to our physical simulation of water motion. The result is much more convincing effects at higher sea states, as well as additional visual cues of the wind conditions and incoming waves.

You can see the improvements in action in our latest demo video for Triton below. Since the number of new spray particles per frame is capped, you can expect it to look even better in your application than it is in this frame-limited video capture:

Triton has never looked this good, run this fast, or been this extensible before. Get the upgrade!