Made with Blender 2.49b.
Ripples effect made with my RipplesMaker setup.
Once you will have put your eyes and hands on my blend file you will see that it is easy to create your own templates objects to create ripples
of any shapes.
In the example, ripples seem to appear at random, but in fact you can decide exactly where and when they appear, by simply placing vertices at the right location.
The core of the animation is a cloud of vertices moving in the Z direction, and supporting a template object.
Here is the Blend file, released under Creative Commons BY 2.0 license. France :
Instructions for use are included in the text window of the blend file.
Feel free to comment.