Look into the water... Shader Recreation?

So, Im trying to figure out how to recreate this look. Especially regarding the Light-Falloff and translucency - I tried some node setups, but nothing really turned out to be turning into the right direction…
Is this similar to Fake SSS setups or am I misinterpreting something? Can you help me?
Thanks in advance!

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Is the object under the water being modeled? or are you trying to do that with textures?

If it’s modeled, try this:

Have a plane with water material, just under that a cube with a volumetric material, and inside the bounds of the cube have your model. You will have to play with shadow settings for this to work correctly, otherwise your model wont receive light by default.

You could try a water material with a lower gloss transparency too, but you’d have to customize it to fit with your scene settup.

Thanks for your reply!
Yeah, the model is underneath the water plane…but, wait: I forgot to say, I wanted to recreate this with Cycles, I think you are talking about the Blender Internal (because of the volum. material), arent you?

Ah, yeah… I was thinking BI. Sorry about that. I still don’t use Cycles for my work so I’m not much help there. Good luck!

Im also still using BI, so thats no problem for me, as Im also like to mix both render engines :slight_smile:

Blendercookie tutorial with nice water material for cycles.

IIRC you can look trough the water skin.

Cheers, mib.

As far as Ive seen that, hes using only a glass shader

Hello Piccobello,

I just made a water shader today in Cycles, this might help you.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get the effect of absorption. There’s a tut on BlenderDiplom on how to fake it (http://www.blenderdiplom.com/index.php/en/tutorials/item/104-tutorial-absorption-in-cycles), but unfortunately it didn’t work well with me, and it screws up when you go far from the water. Maybe you can try with a volume shader in BI, then mix with a Cycles shader ?

Anyway, here’s my blendfile. Basically my shader does :

  • transparency according to view angle : the more you look into water, the more it’s transparent.
  • animated wrinkles
  • light can get in and illuminate inside the water

Here’s my blend file :
EDIT : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17029626/water_shader.zip (with sky texture in it, packed blend always screws up with me …)

And a screenshot : (of course you can tweak parameters if that doesn’t look good for you)

Hope you like it !

seems that the world is not working and get a violet render

how do you correct this ?

and where do we get the enviro texture image ?


Oops, my bad, I forgot to pack the textures with it ^^

I updated the file, can you try it again please ?

thanks working now

now how did you do the water waves
was it with ocean modifier and applied it ?

to animate it u just Alt-A i guess?


No, actually they are just procedural textures (Noise and Wave), combined, then put in the Displacement socket of the material. Actually the plane has got only 4 vertices ^^

For the animation, I inserted a Mapping node for each texture, then animated the Location, with different speed for each one.

Everything happens here :

Unfortunately I cant download your blend (but the image). I will try to reproduce the node setup tomorrow and trying to get absorption (I knew the blenderdiplom tutorial, but wasnt sure if this is the wright way to approach)

Ok I watched the tutorial and quite got the point. I tried it out and it looked ok, but I recognize theres a difference between the light absorption of glass and water.

The problem is that the light absorption described in the video measures the length the light travels through the object (or simply the thickness of the object).
What we need for the water is the length of the light from the surface until it “collides” with other objects.
But Im not pretty sure how to achieve this, though Im experimenting :slight_smile:

Yes, like I told you before, I didn’t get a good result with that effect, so that’s not a good solution for me. I just pointed it out so you can know, but I don’t recommend you to use it ^^

Maybe you can test with the volume patch of Cycles, or just mix with volume shader of BI ? That could be a better way.

Have fun :wink:


It would have been great to figure this out, but Im just plain stupid regarding maths :smiley:
Well I will then do it the old way using RenderLayers and BI…however cant wait when Cycles gets real volumes…
But thanks for your help :slight_smile:


I am a bit proud to say that I got a little process. The created shader is far from being perfect (especially the closer your tilt angle to the water surface), but I think it is a good fake and can be used in a lot situation.
PLUS it is stupidly easy and doesnt even need absorption, but see:

The node setup makes a bit sense, but like I said it is just fake and could be better.However, you can play with the values, especially tweaking the “Light falloff” and “Layer Weight” will give you different results, depending on your desire.
I hope someone will find that useful,


Very nice results ! Maybe not enough transparent yet, but I’m sure that’s tweakable ! ^^

Can you explain me how does “Light Falloff” node works, and why do you use it ?

@piccobello Very nice results for such an simple node setup. Good work.

Thanks everyone, I just trial-and-errored :smiley:

Im not sure hot it works. You can even delete the node it and it will still look nice, but I found out that it adds a bit more reality.
Giving a small green-ish or blue-ish teint into the Transparent node will also fake the color absorption: