underwater animation

Is there any good tips, advice or tutorials on creating a realisitic underwater environement (a river stream). The biggest problem for me seems to be creating the underwater lighting effect and the look that you feel like your underwater. I was hoping I could use this if I couldn’t rent out a underwater video camcorder, for a 2d animation (3d backgrounds) I am working on.

So far I have learned this but not sure how to do them.

Alright according to the finding Nemo underwater environment video I will need:

Floating particles (not sure how to do this and the particles would definetly have to come straight at the camera, since that looks cool)

Surge and swell (pretty much animating sub surfaced boxed form plants with bones)

Raytracing and refraction (basically just need to futz around with render and material settings) and use that dancing light advice or caustics (mesh plane rotation)

Murkiness (enviroment fog? not sure what settings would work to give that effect and the color drop off)

and a guy suggest latice deformation for the surge and swell. not sure how to do that either. :frowning:

No suggestions?

env had a pretty good tutorial for this with his Bongo creature (link here). The tutorial is a little dated (uses an older version of blender), but it should still be pretty helpful for tricks that’ll help get that underwater feeling.

I did a bit of playing with underwater environments, have a look at my site, the link is in my signature.


I am playing around with the caustics generator, but I am not sure how to get it into the scene. Do you just use a light and use the avi as an animated texture?

The simple answer to that is yes, just use the avi ,as you say, as a texture for the light, you may have to play with the texture map settings, also when you render from caustic generator, make the background black, you can the use the alpha settings, to just get the caustics.

I haver not played with this blend for a while but if you need anymore pointers let me know and i’ll start fiddling again :smiley:


Yeah I could use a few pointers, and yeah you should get to fiddling again. Fiddle fiddle fiddle.

I just had time to play with blender more and discovered it has soft bodies and looks like an update to the particle system. I think this would solve both the surge and tide of creating moving underwater plants and the particles floating in the water.

Any suggestions for created an a spread out particle field that has particles consistlantly going toward the camera and other directions? Also I have no idea how to use soft bodies.

No suggestions?

Hey womball

Thanks for the pm.
Well, the renderings i made didn’t really have a realistic approach :slight_smile:
I used mist (obviously some blue color) and a blue light that is set in the back of the scene. Particle systems for bubbles and for the swarm of little fishes.
I don’t know if it’s possible to have a volumetric light with a texture in blender. That way you could create streaks of light, coming from the sea surface (animated, because the light would change with the waves).
You should refrain from using hard shadows. Maybe no shadows at all, because only objects that are very near to the ground will cast a shadow.

Do you have a scene allready? Maybe you can post a rendering here and we can help you to improve it?

Add: I was using softbodies for my plants. Model a single plant, duplicate it in editmode and alter it a bit. Model some Plant clusters and place them in your scene. Select a cluster and turn it into a softbody. You can then place forcefields in your scene to make the grass move. You’ll need to play a bit with your settings to achieve realistic results. If you want i’ll look up the softbody settings i used for my scene.

How do you post a blend file, not sure how you host the file, a jpg is easier, but a blend file would let you fix the problem easier.

I am rendering with yavray btw.

I know this works with some other 3d programs, but i am not sure how successful it is on blender. sometimes people actually put something in front of the camera, I have tried it, but it doesn’t work too well. just another way.