As some might have seen, I am working on a naval combat simulator called Enemy Ahead. Progress is relatively slow due to lack of time, but it is starting to get somewhere. Now, to add some more detail I have added a particle emitter to the ships which creates a simple wake behind the ship. I am using the projected grid water for the waves and because of this, the particles hover above or below the waves. To make it more realistic I need the particles to follow the waves of course.
I have been thinking to make a node for every particle so I can update its height to the height of the waves, but this seems like overkill due to the massive amount of required nodes. The particle emitter is attached to the ships rudder, so the location of the particle is correct when it is created, but already after a short time, the wave will be covering the particle. Another problem with the particle emitter is that I use the speed of the ship to define the size of the particle. But in this case, only the newly generated particles should change size, while now all particles will change size. The result is that when moving slow I have a small wake, but as soon as the speed goes up, the entire wake grows, which looks weird of course.
Any ideas on how to make a wake which follows the waves as in real? Is a particle emitter the way to go here, or should I go think about projecting wakes onto the water or something like that?