Here are some more tests.
Simple terrain generator. Wrapped it onto a circle to see how that would look.
Next I was doing some more tests with distorted quads. Uses Custom Draw plugin, which can be found here:
First I was trying various ways to animate various distortions.
Modified the above a bit. It's a bit cleaner, and you specify the function to use to do the distortion.
Finally here's a 3x3 bezier patch to do the distortions. It's more usable without dealing with math parameters. Seems decent at doing shears, tapers, bends and such. On cool thing you can do is make a square into a circle pretty easily.