When Surf's Up was released, there was an internet article (couldn't find the one on vfxworld but here's the awn one (http://surfsup.awn.com/?type=article&artID=3)) on its ocean waves vfx and they mentioned another approach to simulating waves. Rigged ocean mesh which would be animated manually to get the basic wave motion going and then layered with some fluids and particle sim on top. This is my attempt at a similar approach. I am using Hajime Nakamura's displaceD (http://www.hajimenakamura.com/hajime/cg/mll/displaceD/displaceD.shtml) plugin to get my mesh to deform in realtime using the ocean texture. The ocean texture is deformin gover time using a simple expression with cos(time) in its "Time" attribute. And I'm using a bend deformer to get the waves rolling.
This is the very first (rough) pass I managed in a few minutes so critiques and suggestions are absolutely welcome and needed.