ANIMATION > DEFORM > CREATE NONLINEAR > WAVE
Play with that on your "ground" plane, and key it to "wave" outward when ya want.
Make sure your deforming geometry has enough spans/geometry to smoothly deform like that
Should be no problem, but the MAJOR trick to making that believable is using HI-RES textures, so they don't loose detail when they begin to stretch a little.
But if you position your cam well, and you don't wave-distort your geometry too much, it should look just the same
I was gonna make things MORE complicated, by saying that you you could setup a SDK between the relationship of your characters' -Y translation to the outward "ripple intensity" (or whatever it's called) of the WAVE deformer.
That way, anytime your character stoops down to start the wave, the wave deformer starts deformin the ground, and there ya go
...but then I didn't think of how the WAVE deformer dynamic placement would work... so, just ignore my ramblings
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS