This little problem has been swilling around my mind for a while now, and I think I've made a breakthrough in terms of wave shape, and in particular getting a breaking curve on the front of an incoming wave. Still needs a lot of work yet, but I'm fairly confident that I can get these waves to crash against a shore slope, I have full control over the height, back & front wave width, where on the wave I want to put displacment and the curl. All of which will be driven by the get frame node. ie it animates.
Things to do: Convert the Get X function to work from Get Altitude. Get some Perlin noise to affect the distance between waves as well as animate the offset of when they rise/fall and break. Animate a small segment and see how the backwash might be simulated. Then start texturing. (With this little set up, I can put a mask anywhere on the wave)
I'm thinking of not using the water shader at all on this, as I figure white foam is going to cover any transparent parts, which means this won't be a monster to render. Hopefully.
Anyway thought you guys might want to have a look.