Light through water plane help please

I have a water plane with a figure under it and a light source above it.  I want to illuminate the figure with the light but

I can't get the light to pass through the water plane to illuminate the figure.

Do I have to make to do to get the light to pass through like real water?

Thank you for any help.


  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 72,537

    Is the plane at ground level, with the figure below? If so try either moving it up or turning off Draw Ground in Render Settings.

  • 31415926543141592654 Posts: 596

    Probably what Richard said. But if not, you can play with the opacity level of the water or for a more advanced technique you can render with canvases and make layers to work with.

  • ebergerlyebergerly Posts: 3,255
    edited May 2

    Not sure what you're asking. Are you using Iray? If you're looking down on the water from above you'll need to mess with the refraction and some other material settings to make it look like water.  

    Are you talking about something like the attached? Takes a lot of tweaking depending on what you're looking for and the lighting.

    1489 x 888 - 214K
    Post edited by ebergerly on
  • Thanks for the responses.  I'm talking about my character being totally under the water plane because they are underwater and having the light shine down through the plane creating caustic light rays.

  • AnimAnim Posts: 236

    Can you post a reference image showing what type of scene you have in your mind?

  • PhatmartinoPhatmartino Posts: 180

    I'm not in front of my station to give detailed info, but I've been playing around with Stained Glass stuff and caustic light effects and it could be similar...


    You'll probably want a "Volume" under the Water Plane to show the separation of light/color that's coming through...


    If the Water Plane has a Base Color image, that same image can be put in that Plane's Refraction Color Parameter in the Surfaces Tab. 

    I'll try to get a little more specific info later today if I can, if you haven't sorted it out.

  • PhatmartinoPhatmartino Posts: 180
    edited May 27

    @steve_cj_a4e9a2d9a3 Here's a super quick example I just threw together. It's rather dark, but I just wanted to quickly show the Settings that will make the light pass through the Plane...


    There's just a Plane, a Volume and one Spot Light and I have the Environment Intensity set to 0.00 (in Render Settings).



    For the Plane, add a Tileable Water Texture Image to it's Base Color.

    Turn Refraction Weight up to 1.0

    Turn OFF Share Glossy Inputs. This adds the Refraction Color Parameter.

    Then put the same Water Texture Image from Base Color, into the Refraction Color Parameter.



    You may be familiar with Volumes and/or have Products that include a Volume Prop (I use the Volume Prop from this set all the time and it's what I used here):

    You can also make your own Volume pretty easily using this older but totally viable Tutorial:



    This will of course completely depend on the tone and overall look you want. You'll probably mainly want to play around with Spot and/or Ghost Lighting above the water to get the dramatic effect of the light filtering through, etc.



    You can play around with the Water Texture's Base Color and Refraction Color "Color Wheels", the same thing for the Lights themselves, as well as for the Base Color and Refraction Color of the Volume.


    Hope it helps get you at least on the right path, good luck and ask any questions you might have!


    Water Test.PNG
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    Post edited by Phatmartino on
  • Thank you very much for your help I really appreciate it :) 

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