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A water_mesh_base material simulates water and other liquids and is applied to a Water Mesh object.

Prior Knowledge
This article assumes you have prior knowledge of the following topics. Please read them before proceeding:


In the States tab you can set rendering passes and available options. Enabling some of the states activates additional textures and parameters in the Textures and Parameters tabs respectively.

Material window, States tab.


FieldSpacer Interaction#

FieldSpacer interaction state enables the influence of FieldSpacer object on water object.

Additional Details#

Additional Details state provides additional detail layers for more detailed ripple effect.

Additional Details state disabled.
Additional Details state enabled.
Enabling the option activates Additional detail layers for the Waves Animation parameters.


Caustics allows you to render light rays refracted by the water surface.

Caustics state disabled.
Caustics state enabled.
Enabling the option activates the Caustics parameters.

Caustics Distortion#

Caustics Distortion removes pixelation and makes caustics look smoother. When smoothing is not required, you can disable this option to gain performance.

Caustics Distortion state disabled.
Caustics Distortion state enabled.

Planar Reflection#

Planar Reflection allows you to use planar reflections on the water surface instead of SSR.

Enabling the option activates Map Size and Show Pivot states and Planar Reflection parameters.

Post Processing#

Post processing options activates post processing effects for the material.


Material window, Textures tab.


Foam texture specifies the foam on the water. It will be written into the diffuse buffer.

The engine twice samples the foam texture to create plausibility of the real world foam behavior.

The texture is 1-channeled.

Normal Detail#

Normal Detail map stores normal information required to achieve an additional (detail) effect of Normal Mapping. Normal map helps to create ripples (cats-paw effect) on the water surface.

With absolutely white normal map
With ripple-simulated normal map

The texture is 2-channeled:

  1. RG values store two components of a surface normal.
  2. B value is calculated based on the R and G values in run-time.

Depth LUT#

Depth LUT is a LUT texture, which shows the color of the bottom. Depending on the depth, the engine chooses the color of the water and multiply it to water generated LUT texture. This generated LUT shows how deep the photon goes through the water to till complete scattering.

The texture is 4-channeled:

  1. RGB values store color.
  2. A value is used for creating "transparent" water near the shore. In other words, it defines the fog density.


3D Caustics texture determines the pattern of light rays refracted by the water surface.

The texture is 1-channeled:

  1. R value defines the caustics pattern.


Waves Radius#

Waves Radius parameter sets the radius of waves on the water surface.

Waves Animation Parameters#

Waves for water_mesh material are created by using the Normal Detail map. The engine performs sampling from the map and creates ripples using several detail layers.

There are two base detail layers, additional ripples (Detail 2-4) are enabled along to the Additional Details parameter.

Each detail layer has the following parameters: Detail UV Transform and Detail Intensity.

Detail UV Transform#

This parameter specifies the transformation of the detail map sampling.

First two numbers mean the scale, third and forth specify the wind direction.

Detail Intensity#

This parameters sets the intensity of the detail normal map sampling.

Foam Parameters#

Patch 0 UV Size#

As the engine samples the foam texture twice, this parameter specifies the size of the first foam texture patch.

Patch 0 UV Speed#

This parameter sets the speed of the first foam patch.

Patch 1 UV Size#

This parameter specifies the size of the second foam texture patch.

Patch 1 UV Speed#

This parameter sets the speed of the second foam texture patch.

Shoreline Intensity#

Wave Intensity parameter specifies the foam intensity near shores or different objects in water.

Subsurface Scattering Parameters#


This parameter specifies the Subsurface Scattering (SSS) color.

Ambient Intensity#

Ambient Intensity parameter sets the intensity of the light ray for whole water. It used to simulate SSS for whole water. The lower the value, the faster the ray will dissipate in water.

Intensity Through Waves#

Intensity Through Waves parameter sets the intensity of the light ray that goes through the waves. The lower the value, the faster the ray will dissipate in water.

Intensity Around Foam#

Intensity Around Foam parameter sets the intensity of the SSS near the foam.

Diffuse Intensity#

Diffuse Intensity parameter specifies the subsurface scattering intensity for diffuse lighting.

Underwater Parameters#

Underwater parameters specifies the underwater part of the water_mesh_base material.

The final color of the underwater is calculated by this formula:

Final Color Formula
FinalColor = FogColor * SunLighting^(1/FogSunLighting) + FogColor * EnvLighting^(1/FogEnvLighting)

FogColor, FogSunLighting, FogEnvLighting are parameters that you can specify in the material. Other parameters (Sun and Environment lighting) are calculated according to the sun lighting and environment lighting of the scene. In fact, this formula define how sun lighting and environment lighting affect the final underwater color.

Fog Transparency#

Fog Transparency parameter specifies the transparency of the underwater fog. The higher the value, the more transparent the underwater fog will be.

Fog Transparency: 5.0
Fog Transparency: 30.0

Fog Lighting Depth#

Fog Lighting Depth parameter sets the distance in units, where light will affect the underwater color. Objects placed deeper than the given value will not be affected by diffuse light.

Lighting Offset#

Lighting Offset parameter specifies height offset for lighting.

Fog Color#

Fog Color parameter defines the fog color. Sun and Environment lightings will affect this parameters to create the final underwater fog color.

Fog Environment Lighting#

Fog Environment Lighting parameter specifies how the environment lighting will affect the final underwater color.

Fog Sun Lighting#

Fog Sun Lighting parameter specifies how the sun lighting will affect the final underwater color.

Planar Reflection#

This group of parameters contains Planar Reflection Parameters.

Other Parameters#

Reflection Roughness#

Reflection Roughness parameter specifies the environment reflection roughness of the water surface. It helps to tweak the water surface appearance related to the environment.

Refraction Scale#

Refraction Scale parameter sets the scale of the water refraction. The light moves slower in water and faster in air, that's why we see the refraction of object in the water. This parameter specifies the scale of the water refraction.

Diffuse Distortion#

Diffuse Distortion parameter specifies a distortion factor for diffuse lighting.

Soft Intersection#

Soft Intersection parameter specifies soft intersection of water with shoreline and surfaces of objects.


UV Transform#

UV Transform parameter specifies the vector of texture coordinates transformation for the caustics texture.

Dinstance Fade#

Distance Fade parameter sets the distance from the water surface, at which light shapes fade out, in units.

Distance Fade: 20.0
Distance Fade: 40.0

Animation Speed#

Animation Speed parameter sets the speed of movement of light patterns.


Brightness parameter specifies the intensity of the caustics texture.

Last update: 2020-01-14
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