View Full Version : Oasis

12-02-2009, 06:10 PM
I'm currently working on a mod with some guys over from 3D Buzz, and for one of our level we need an Oasis. As this is going to be the centre point for a section of the level I decided to try and make the oasis really stand out, so I started with the water. This is where I am up to so far, but I've been speaking to with some people about getting an even better water effect, so I'll play around with what they show me and post my next iteration in a couple of days.

Newest Version here (V4) -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tYzLuaCgbM

P.S. Be gentle, it's far from finished.

Edit: The terrain and level are just a place holder, I was just using them as a testbed for the water material so I could get an idea of what it would look like.


Digital Nightfall
12-02-2009, 06:20 PM
Looks good to me. Sort of off topic, but I wonder if there's a better way to graphically transition from underwater to above. Maybe give the screen a full blur (like squint mode) while the "edge" of the water is on screen?

And working with 3dBuzz? Cool!

12-02-2009, 06:35 PM
It's not 3DBuzz per se, but a big group of us from there decided to actually put our heads together and create something. Can't really say much more then that for now.

Yeah, the transition to water doesn't look pretty at the moment, partially because I haven't really spent much time in that area. I just wanted to see what it looked like from underneath with a post-process effect and secondly, I didn't take into account the WorldPositionOffset input when I was thinking about creating a post-process effect when being underneath the water.

But thanks for the feedback.

12-02-2009, 07:28 PM
How did you make the realtime reflection? I tried to do it with the reflection actor but it didn't work out for some reason :\

Though I don't think I'll need a realtime reflection, what do you think?


Edit: ah you have a blog entry with your material setup. Did you figure it out by yourself or did you tweak Hourence's setup? (I did)

12-02-2009, 07:50 PM
I've been working with a lot of water materials lately, trying to see how each one was created and reverse engineer any I could my hands on. Then I decided to create one myself with my biggest inspiration been KazeoHin's water from warm gun. I still haven't got waves working yet, but using WorldPositionOffset (credit goes out to Scruffy for help on that), I've been able to give the texture some depth rather than just being flat, whilst still only using a plane.

There's a few aspects from Hourences which I refuse to add until I understand how to make them work properly which includes adding the location and strength of the sun/light. I can see how it's done but can't replicate it without referring back to the tutorial.

12-02-2009, 08:32 PM
hey ! Are you using realtime shadows or Dominant light ?


nice work

12-02-2009, 08:50 PM
Just using a static dominant light and cheers :)

12-02-2009, 09:24 PM
hey ! Are you using realtime shadows or Dominant light ?


nice work

How would you get a realtime shadow with no light? :rolleyes:
You can have dynamic shadows with a dominant light.

12-02-2009, 10:10 PM
nice sparkles
i need to stop partying and get round to doin up my project lol

12-03-2009, 11:49 PM
Hey! is you Piranhi!
I'll give you a cookie if you can tell where I know you from. :D

12-04-2009, 12:26 AM
haha, I have no idea bud. Refresh my memory!

12-05-2009, 02:26 AM
Second iteration - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfhtH5S6ZjM

I actually turned off accept lights on my last version, can't believe I didn't notice when I put the video up.
The water is probably too blue at the moment, but it's still a W.I.P

Any C&C would be more then welcomed.

12-05-2009, 05:11 AM
Well.. for an Oasis you sure have the wrong tree's :P especially for a desert oasis *hint* palms *hint* :)

Water is as you say way too blue, and clear.

Water edge's is too clear, its hard to see (atleast on vids) where sand ends and water starts.

And lastly ground textures could really use a helping hand (normal, paralax, detail).

But as you said its WIP, and since its all WIP its hard to really give c&c :)

EDIT : Just some water clerification, if i can in english :P

Bright blue water (warm ocean/caribbean) = "dead" water, low to none plankton, usually high salt concentration, less iron.
Normal blue water (ocean, swim hall) = salty water with plankton or freshwater with decent amount of chlorin (?)
Bright Clear water = freshwater rivers, lakes, ect.
Muddy water = well duh! :P

My best guess (from pictures), for Oasis you would be looking at something in between clear regular water and muddy water, depending on location and animals in the area.

Anyways, just as i see it :P

12-05-2009, 05:40 AM
Hey there, I'm quite impressed with the work done thus far: let me drop you some philosophical tips.

The surface of water is comprised of either reflection or refraction. The angle of view determines which. At steep view angles, the water is reflective, at flat view angles, the water is refractive. The surface should never be a specific color, as the 'blue' commonly associated with water is a combination of the sky being reflected and the deep light refraction which removes warm light/red colors as the water gets deeper. The actual 'surface' is not blue, it is reflecting or refracting.

12-05-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

@Brexer - if you read my first post:

Edit: The terrain and level are just a place holder, I was just using them as a testbed for the water material so I could get an idea of what it would look like.

I know that they aren't the right trees etc :p It's just so I can get a feel for the surroundings, I don't want to just use the plain checkerboard material and no sky box while I'm testing or I won't get an accurate idea. (If I could rename the title I would just call it "Oasis water material" :P )
I think you're right about the waters edge though, it probably is too clear atm, I need to find a way to get rid of the hard edge as it looks really ugly, even when using worldOffsetPosition.

@KazeoHin, I'll remove the blue, the last one seemed a bit murkier but as least it was more of a true reflection of the sky (at the time it was the cloudy one). I might look into destColour, I've heard that can be used for changing colour the further away a pixel is.

Thanks both for your comments though!

12-05-2009, 01:35 PM
Nice pond.

12-05-2009, 02:08 PM
Another update:

Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQQFDEz-NjA

I still need to work on the transparency around the edges and try and implement real waves, not just normal mapped ones. There's a few other little things but I don't have much time this week to carry on working with it.

12-05-2009, 03:36 PM
Well, of the photo, its already looking alot better :)

What i think you need (for testing) is perhaps a fog layer or similar to simulate water muddyness and depth (and to prevent sun to shine to buttom).

12-05-2009, 04:37 PM
Cheers Brexer, when I get some time I'll add one in to see what results I get.

12-05-2009, 05:46 PM
Looking nice there Piranhi...keep it up :)

12-05-2009, 09:28 PM
haha, I have no idea bud. Refresh my memory!

buzz brigade ring a bell?
how about mana works studios? ;)

12-05-2009, 11:43 PM
haha well that explains it, what name do you go under? Hopefully our Oasis should really catch people attention when it's finished.

Edit: Nvm, I was being blonde. Good to see you on here. :)

01-06-2010, 07:47 PM
It's been a while since I've had time to work on this, I've been real busy with other work. I had a few weeks over Christmas to tweak it and after this Friday I'll be finished with a client project and can spend more time on this and my other project.

I'll upload a video when I have time. I've modified the shader to change wave strength the closer the water is to the edge. I've also let water light bounce more when it's closer to objects or is in shallow water.

Edit: - Ignore the tree's, sky, scenery etc This is just an environment I put together quickly to test my water.


01-06-2010, 08:26 PM
My favorite thing about creating water shaders in the Crysis2 engine was that sweet button that turns on white foam at the shoreline. I wish there was a a way to copy that feature in UDK. Really sells it in my opinion.
My page with a video sample (http://john-brock.com/blu_art.htm)

01-06-2010, 09:33 PM
There is a way and I added it in but it really didn't suit this scene so I took it out. The thing is, when people have options like this available, they believe they should be the norm and in every scene. However, if you do a search for an oasis, you'll find that no oasis have this white asset at the edge. Someone told me once that only salt-water has said effect, but I haven't read up on it so I can't say whether that's true or not.

01-07-2010, 11:33 AM
In my old water shader I had white seafoam, but in truth, most bodies of water don't generate that real frothy foam, often the 'white' areas of water are for parts of the water that are 'splashing' or have some disturbance, so its much more of a drastic, quick effect than a slow, constant effect. Good work so far, btw

01-08-2010, 09:24 PM
It's looking really quite impressive now, nice job! The near left edge looks like you may be getting bit of gfx tearing...

01-08-2010, 11:04 PM
Cheers guys, really good to hear crit's, good and bad.

@KazeoHin: It's really good to get a praise from you as your work is really what inspired me to start a water material of my own anyway!

@daxfrost Cheers man. If it's the black bit in the bottom left of each picture, then it's a static mesh. I'm trying to deal with weird lighting problems on meshes that are submerged in the water but I'll fix that when I'm happy with the overall look.

01-09-2010, 12:50 PM
If you want to make the white foam I believe you'd want to make a depth check in the material, check where the depth of the surface to the underlying mesh is less than X units, then use that as a mask and render a foam texture where needed.

I know a friend used a depth check for making the water less transparent the deeper it became.

01-09-2010, 03:22 PM
Yeah, it's called a DepthBiasedAlpha node and you use it with Pixel Depth to get the distance of the pixel behind it in unreal units.
I've actually used it a few times to change the the transparency as you get deeper and also to change the things such as the speed and height of the ripples/waves as you get closer to the 'coast'.

Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white. The term is also used loosely to refer to less-turbulent but still agitated flows..
You will usually find whitewater on coasts of the sea, rivers, or streams with a high velocity. You won't find it in ponds or pools of water such as an Oasis.
Actually I hope I didn't sound like a jerk writing that, I'm just trying to give my reasoning for not adding the white water to my water shader, when I have a go at creating a sea shader then I will definitely add the whitewater effect.

But again, thanks for the input Denny, really appreciated :)

02-26-2010, 03:31 AM
I decided I needed a break from uni work, and especially that god awful GoW editor, bluddy crashing every two minutes. I really wanted to work in UDK again, so I opened up my Oasis map and I didn't realise it was so dull and plain. It was only intended as a testbed for my water shader, but I decided to give it a makeover.

This is only what I've been doing today, and I won't get much time to work on it with my final year coming to a close, but it was a refreshing change to work back in UDK again. Remember it's not finished yet, but any feedback would be great :)


02-26-2010, 01:57 PM
Added some extra detail, worked on the lighting an post processing a bit more. Shadows are still giving off a really dark shadow though, need to work on that.


02-26-2010, 04:31 PM
The birds are an awesome touch imo 8)

For shadows, you can adjust the post processing. Shadows highlight or something like that.

02-26-2010, 04:37 PM
Nah for shadows it should be set to semi-dynamic in DDL and the last option in shadows projection type PC-something.

02-26-2010, 04:48 PM
@Xendance, Cheers :D

@iniside, Where do I set it to semi-dynamic? It already affects the Dynamic channel on lighting channels if that's what you meant? I'll try the shadow projection setting now, cheers.

02-26-2010, 05:11 PM
awesome job.
I would say you need to change the shadow color maybe. Add some really light blue in it and you create some more contrast without erasing all the shadow.

02-26-2010, 06:58 PM
looks really good. Love the water and waterfall.

02-26-2010, 09:30 PM
Cheers again. Took your advice Sueds, I had to alter the post processing for the blue to really show, although I think it works better now.

Anyway, I don't know which composition works best, but this all I have time for now.

Edit: Just noticed I had the birds selected in one of the pictures, that's why they're blue lol


02-26-2010, 10:29 PM
Looks nice, now create particle emitters for where the water hits the rocks and for spray at the top/bottom of the waterfall. That'll hide the obvious water plane edges better.

03-15-2010, 08:06 PM
But there are still problems - while it's great that you've removed the excess of orange, and removed the pitch black shadows..

But I don't like how well and evenly light the foreground trees now are, and there's an excess of light green light hanging around

Keep up the good work, it's gonna make a stunning portfolio piece

03-17-2010, 01:30 AM
Yeah I agree, it felt too green. My final version was actually

It's not too different, but I guess it's the subtle things that can make a picture feel right or wrong.

But now that I know how to programme ambient animals in uScript, I think I'll actually finish off the level to let the player explore it instead of having a static image.

03-17-2010, 10:06 AM
It looks a bit overbloomed. Maybe lower the radious of the bloom but keep the intensity of it?
Looks great overall. :)

03-18-2010, 03:31 PM
I love the layout or the water falling and the color scheme you chose, and it seems consistant, blending in well with the environment. Some people are right about the bloom and brightness. I had the same problem with my level and I only bloom what I pretty much have an emmisive material on. Just pick and choose. I wouldn't choose and bloom everything. Still the environment looks great and just by looking at it, it sets up for a story and kind of engages the player to want to venture forward to explore. That's what any developer should be striving for and you did it to me. Sounds wierd but sort of like a graphically hypnotizing game. This is one of my favorite scenes on this website. Keep it up.