As mentioned in my previous post, I’m working on a Mediterranean scene for the next Master Class. Wading through hundreds of reference photos from the trip, I created a simple test scene (above) where a few HyperTerrains and a simple terrain create limestone rock formations submerged in water with coral growing over them. The point of this exercise is to find the perfect properties for the water elements in the scene.
The first thing I noticed, not for the first time, is that Vue’s water does not really work like the real world analog. If you have spent any time in Vue, this should come as no surprise to you. This is where the experimentation in this exercise comes in. First, I just have to accept the limitations of Vue. Then I have to experiment with workarounds, cheats, and other fun things that can break the visual limits that Vue imposes.
You can’t change the shape of the water, but you can change the perception. In our case, that’s the material. It won’t be a complex function, but rather a simple, harmonious relationship between the highlights, depth, colors, and reflectivity that will change how the water looks and aim for that deliciousness that the scene will need. Since we won’t have time to go into too much detail about how water works in Vue, the Master Class will build on top of our Waterscapes tutorial.
In the actual Master Class, the water and the submerged rocks with coral are just one element of a larger project, but by working in detail on all of them, the end result will boast more realism than any other means.