How do I render water?

derekmccaughey2010derekmccaughey2010 Posts: 104
edited September 2013 in New Users

I recently got this pretty bathroom set It comes with a daz mat for the bathwater, but when I spot render to test it the "water" just looks like a blue layer of paint, rather than being like water.

How do I make it look more like water, is that even possible?
Do I need to adjust something in the surfaces tab to make it look right? (I attached the default settings for reference)
I'll be doing any final renders using 3delight, is there anything I should know regarding that too?

600 x 1123 - 244K
Post edited by derekmccaughey2010 on


  • frank0314frank0314 Posts: 9,129
    edited December 1969

    If it comes with a DS mat then it should already be set up for you. All you have to do is apply that material to the water plane

  • derekmccaughey2010derekmccaughey2010 Posts: 104
    edited December 1969

    I have already applied the material before making this post

  • TotteTotte Posts: 7,415
    edited December 1969

    Water is one of the most difficult materials to get really good looking without totally going overboard with render times.
    Often what is missing is the sky that needs to reflect in the water to give water the look it has outdoors, compared to water in a bathtub indoors.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,128
    edited December 1969

    Yeah, one of the challenging things about water is that the right settings will vary depending on the situation. This tutorial should give you a good starting point, though. You may need to use a lower opacity value, and a very light diffuse color (if any).

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 21,585
    edited December 1969

    The opacity looks rather high, and I would be inclined to make refraction strength 100% (I've rarely if ever had good results with refraction strength at intermediate values) but the big thing is probably having stuff to reflect and good lighting.

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Render settings also come into play for good water effects in a render.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 21,585
    edited December 1969

    True, reflection and specularity (and I think refraction) are very sensitive to shading rate - more so than plain diffuse. And of course you need enough ray trace bounces for the refraction and reflection to show something - indeed, if it's still set to 2 that's probably why you are getting flat blue water as the bounces run out before the ray hits anything else.

  • derekmccaughey2010derekmccaughey2010 Posts: 104
    edited December 1969

    After plaing around with the settings I've got the water looking more "water-ish" in terms of colour and opacity, but its still 100% flat on the surface. A friend suggested I increase the displacement strength and the min/max displacement (+1 and -1) to make the surface more rippled. Does that sound right?

    Re: shading rate and ray trace bounces, Till now I've been lighting with UE and setting the shading rate to 0.010, I want to try the light set that comes with the bathroom but those lights don't seem to have a shading rate should I change the shading rate to 0.010 in 3delight instead?

    On a semi-related note, do I need to match settings I use in UE with the settings in 3delight (have both shading rates the same for example)

    And how many ray traces bounces should I use?

    Finally, will doing spot renders to see the effect of the setting changes be sufficient, or do I need to render the whole image each time?

  • TotteTotte Posts: 7,415
    edited September 2013

    0.01 on UE2 doesnt do much if you have something higher in the advanced render settings, which is where you should set Trace level and shading rate. And 0.1 is about as low as I go, 0.01 is overkill, like playing pacman on Deep though!

    Post edited by Totte on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 10,438
    edited December 1969

    Reminder: my Art Studio thread has links to various topics from the forums, in one easy place. I've included the water reference section.

    How To Make:
    How To Fine Tune, More Tips:
    PDF: Creating Water From ShareCG

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