Flooded scenes from the Netherlands #COP26

In anticipation of the COP26 in Glasgow, I made some visualizations of the possible impacts of climate change on the Netherlands, if CO2 emissions are not recuded significantly in the near future.

The Netherlands has always put up a good fight against water, I wanted to show what that looks like when the battle becomes too hard to fight, due to more extreme weather.

I didn’t spend too much time on each image, but the method was so effective I though it would be nice to share.

This is the Dam in Amsterdam:

“Het Binnenhof” in The Hague, the seat of parliament.

Zoetermeer, a place in the west of the Netherlands, built far below sealevel.

And finally the actual House of Representatives

Projection Mapping

For the aerial shots, I was able to use publicly available data (the BAG3D for 3d models of houses, and the AHN3 DSM, a heightmap with a 0.5m resolution) together with aerial photography.
I lined up the photograph with the 3D model, and projection mapped the photo on there.

For the The Hague shot that looks like this (using BAG3D):


And for Zoetermeer that looks like this (using AHN3 DSM, and Geometry Nodes):

The second one is a lot messier, but it doesn’t matter that much when viewed from far away.

For the Indoor shot I built a super simple 3D model by eye. I first used https://fspy.io/ to estimate the camera position, and then just lined up stuff by hand. Works well enough.

The Water

Next up is the water plane. With the 3D model in place, I could just place it by hand and move it to where I wanted:
You get the reflection to line up perfectly like this, and you also get a mask for free.

The material setup is surprisingly easy. I would render out 3 passes that I composited in GIMP.

First, two murky water passes. It’s just a volume scatter material that scatters blue light more, resulting in a brownish tint. Then, I would render out the same material, but this time with HDRI lighting to light up the water surface and add shadows. It’s important to match the shadows with the ones in the actual photograph.

Then, a reflection pass. This is just a Glossy BSDF node with a musgrave bump map.

Notice how the actual projection mapping is missing from the first 3 passes. I used a Light Path mode to exclude the 3D model from view, to only use it for reflections etc.

Last, a mask of where the water actually is.

I used GIMP to layer these together. Where there were imperfections in the mask, I would just paint them out with a brush.

I mix together the two murky passes to get the look I want, and then I add the reflection over top, with a bit of a gradient to fake fresnel. I could have done this in Cycles itself, but this allowed for faster iterations.

The results are pretty convincing I think.

Let me know what you think!


amazing… very realistic.

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I actually thought that the first render was a photo, and was like: whats this doing on here… I thought this page was for cgi… So great job on the realism!
I’d say that the realism is because it looks like an oversharpened smartphone shot…


I find that keeping samples kinda low and letting OpenImageDenoise do some of the work makes it looks a bit more realistic too.

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Brilliant! Now I want to see how Amersfoort will end up too :wink: :sweat:

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Amersfoort aan Zee, as they say

Sealevel rise is not much of an existential threat to the city, but it is right down the drain of the watershed of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and the Veluwe. A bank-burst after heavy rainfall could definitely be a problem.

Apparently the river Eem used to bursts it’s banks in the city center from time to time, so the “Valeikanaal” was dug to redirect the water away from the city.

This is what a serious could look like:

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Ayyyyyy that doesn’t look too good!

One last bonus piece:

The Dutch coastline at ~1 meter of sea level rise.
In a worst case, but possible, scenario, this could be the case at around the year 2100.

It’s one plane for the ground, one plane for the clouds, one cube for the atmosphere volume, and one sunlight.

Cycles is so cool :slight_smile:

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I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!

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