Okay kids, here’s a somewhat simplified formula to get you started:
That’ll produce a vertical plane. Move p1 and p2 off of zero, and you’ll see it get wavy.
Here’s how to read what’s going on here.
First, you know how objects are UV-mapped, and how one corner is the 0,0 coordinate and the opposite corner is the 1,1 coordinate, and everything in between is some pair of decimals between those? That’s what the u and v here are doing: Every value of U and V between 0 and 1 (in tiny increments) is plugged into the formulas. Whatever results come back, that’s where Carrara puts a pixel, and that pixel will have that uv mapping.
I flat-out multiplied v by 30 in order to get a vertical thing, running from z=0 to z=30.
I subtracted 0.5 from u so it would go from -0.5 to 0.5 instead of 0 to 1. Then I multiplied that by how big I wanted the wall in the x axis, in this case 60. So the wall runs from x=-30 to x=30.
y is admittedly a little more complicated, but much more interesting. I wanted a wavy quonset-hut type corrugated metal wall effect, so I want it to wave back and forth across the y-axis. So I set y to a value based on the sine of x (you know, like a sine wave?) so it would oscillate back and forth.
Sorry, yeah, it does contain a little math. As the old saying goes, “Welcome to the Turing Tarpits, where anything is possible but nothing interesting is easy.”
I multiplied x by both 20 and p1 so I could control the rate of oscillation without changing the formula itself. After I had that number, I multiplied that by p2 so I could control how deep the waves were.
You’ll need to move both p1 and p2 off of zero, but when you do, you’ll see it get wavy.
Different formulas loop across different values using different variables, and use different variables for output. Again, the Carrara 7 manual has that information.
Admittedly, the parser is a bit finicky (it doesn’t like decimals that start with the period, for example), but this provides Carrara with the power to image any shape and effect you can define mathematically.