Water troubles!!!

My question is two-fold:

FIRST: How do I add an environment/reflection map to the scene so that my water isn’t just reflecting the gray world? I’ve tried a couple tutorials, but most only talk about the mirror option.

SECOND: For some reason, my crystal-clear water is causing my submerged objects to be extremely dark and washed out. What gives?!

I’m brand new to water, so please use smallish words and clear instructions. :slight_smile:

Here’s a simplified Blender file. Court fluid_problem.blend (520 KB)

You are getting darkening by the occlusion element of the Environment Lighting.

You could:
Change the gather to approximate
Reduce the Distance Value
Use normal lamps for your lighting

To use a texture as the environment lighting, add the texture to the world and set it to influence the Horizon, then set the Envionment lighting to Sky Texture. If you don’t want to see it in the background you can disable Sky in the Render Layers

Distance value did it!!!

I have regular lamps in my un-simplified scene, and I need raytrace for the water material. Thanks a ton!

Anyone have any tips for environment/reflection maps?