The middle-aged of you will probably remember those names from the 90s.
Phoenix Tools was a plugin company for Softimage 3D, and I was one of the founders. We did good and bad, and we eventually closed down in 2002.
Arete had an excellent reputation for their ocean and atmospheric library, called Digital Nature Tools. I think their main business was in military simulation, however they had a part in every cg-generated ocean in the movies of the 90s.
In 2001 we joined forces to port their software under XSI (I think it was 2.0). Unfortunately, after the first version came out, both companies shut down.
8 years later, I am working on a feature animation with a few shots in water, and I realized I still had on some cd the arete psunami libraries. So, I decided to give it a try. I removed the license check from the shaders and I compiled them with good old Visual Studio 6, linking against the oldest mental ray library I could find (3.3), and in the end it worked. I was kind of touched when I finally saw the displaced grid rendering in Softimage 2010.
I think I will do no harm to anybody releasing these shaders. Both companies are dead since long, and this is my little tribute to them and the talented people who worked there.
The addon is only available for win32, and no, no chances for other platforms. That Arete library is the only one I have. If you do, use it at your own risk (and fun, i would say. There are probably better ways to do oceans nowadays).
And, you know what, I don’t even know how the full package works. I don’t have anymore the documentation, nor the scripts we provided. If my old companions will find them, I will post them later.
The basic usage however is easy. You have to connect a DNT_Ocean_Sh and DNT_Time to a DNT_Ocean_Evolver. What come out is the ocean instance, that can then go into the other nodes. Also, you want to apply DNT_Air as environment to have nice reflection and the atmosphere.