So I’ve recently started learning to use Blender as part of my course of study, and need to create a waterfall as part of a 3D scene me and a partner have to make.

I was wondering how it would be possible to render water falling downwards?

It doesn’t have to be animated, it just needs to look, well, kind of realistic.

I did one test render which came out like this…

…Using a few displacement and subsurf modifiers, but it just doesn’t take my fancy. Not to mention I can’t control the shape enough to make it appear to be affected by gravity. That black orb you see there is just to show the transparency, it’s not anything in particular.

Any help/tutorials/handy hints are well appreciated. :slight_smile:


I think that a lot of your realism is going to come from putting together layers of effects on a single surface, and possibly, multiple surfaces. I have discovered that most things that you see with your observant eyes can most-appropriately be described in terms of there being several effects going on at one time. (And I don’t mean “motion.”)

For instance, let’s say that you model the waterfall using several, for lack of a better word “crinkled,” well-subdivided planes. You make them translucent, turn off all specularity for all but the front-most one, and then you build up textures. Use a soft noise texture to modulate Alpha so that now the surfaces are semi-transparent. Now you’ve got a sense of depth. (I strongly suggest using nodes here.) Add a directional blur, which is going to give the sense of using a slower shutter-speed. On the front plane, add some sharp specularity that’s modulated by a “noise” texture and maybe use “halo” materials so that you get a sharp sense of spray.

“Play with colors!” There are lots of colors in a waterfall, so you adjust the base colors of the different planes.

With these tricks and with tricks like them, I think you can generate a pretty darned good waterfall without using particles, that would be nice and fast to render and very convincing.

(Hmmm… how about a Weekend Challenge on that?)



Wow, thanks, there was no way I was going to be able to think up something like that, I shall try it and if it turns out well maybe even post it in the artwork section. But we shall see how it goes. Yeah, particles probably aren’t best for this, seeing as it really just needs to be a static image, and the machines we use are pretty, well, average so having a quick render time is useful too. xD


O.O wow. that’s a purdy waterfall, I shall try that too, Thanks so much for your help!