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This is a method to create realistic waves in 3dsmax without plugins or reactor simulation, using After effects.

The result:

1/ In After effects create a comp (any size you want, I made a square 400/400, 29 seconds) > new layer, then > effects > simulation > wave generator.
Play with the parameters.
Animate the first source position as you wish and add turbulences to your keys to add more randomness, as for amplitude and frequency. Grid resolution you’ll see below is 90. Render your composition.

2/ In 3dsmax, create a spline rectangle

a) Add a garment maker modifier to have random edges in your rectangle, then apply a displacement modifier and select the image sequence you rendered in After effects, play with the amount parameter to see your rectangle distorted by the displacement map.

b) Use a plane instead of a rectangle, and apply the rendered waves in displacement map slot in mental ray, Vray etc.

3/ That’s all!

That method is not for laaaaaaarge ocean creation, and won’t work with non square/rectangle container.

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