For my work experience with the Sikh Channel I experimented with creating water for use in a small stream. I went over the different settings available from simulating the flow of water to creating ripples and wakes to vast oceans and small ponds. Maya has settings for ocean and ponds, the pond is a small body of water suitable for swimming pools, ponds and the like. Ocean stretches out to the horizon with regular adjustable waves.
It was clear that Maya's Ocean was ideal for my use. When I tried it, the default settings on their own needed only small colour adjustments to create the effect that I wanted above water...
It was just underwater that was the problem, the water surface looked good, but there was no sense of depth to the environment. Normally when things are far away underwater, they appear slightly faded as they are obscured by dissolved material.
In typical underwater scenes, the distance fades into a mass of blue.
I added a cube fog to try and replicate the effect.
It's looking better but it still needs some underwater caustics (like you see on the dolphins above) where light shines through rippling waves. At the moment the house looks a bit like its floating in space, the caustics should highlight the ground and make it look more like a sea bed.
I mapped a sequence of caustic images onto the sunlight directional light to give me the effect I was after.
Unfortunately the caustics also appear above water on the house so I had to break the light links on the house's geometry and add a separate directional light for the house.
I'm pretty happy with this result.
I wanted to see if I could recreate light rays passing through the water like this:
So I added a spotlight with a light fog mapped with the caustic texture to recreate rays passing through the water. Its a nice effect but I think its more suitable for deeper water.
Final underwater effect
As seen from the window