No announcement yet.

accurate shoreline reflection in the water

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    accurate shoreline reflection in the water

    Hi all,

    I did the outdoor water tutorial found at -->

    It gave me a great result considering I'm somewhat new to this whole thing, and thank you for this great tutorial. KazeoHin's water looks a hell of a lot better, from what I can see. Unfortunately, the above mentioned tutorial is the only one I found that actually tells/shows you how to make it, not just drool at the end result

    I understand the basics - pan, add, multiply, texture coordinate, etc., but once it gets into math, like power, clamp, vector transform, camera vectors, or linking specific normal channels and why, I get lost.

    Now onto my topic. I am using the material I have built with the above mentioned tutorial, but I have swapped my own sky dome texture into it. I have a night scene, so bright sunset sky just doesn't work in my case. I get a nice reflection of my sky in the water, but I would like to push the material even further and get the shoreline reflecting in the water.

    I have done the fluids tutorials that are provided on this site (for a smaller pond within my level, not pertaining to this big body of water under question), but the cube map reflection looks absolutely horrible. I'm fairly certain I followed the tutorial correctly and yet, this is what the reflection looks like

    sorry, the reflection is pretty dim, but I think you can see the difference. I take two steps to the right and the reflection stays in the same spot at the same angle in the water, like it is reflecting something infinitely far away. I would like some help on how to make this right, since a reflection like that... well... I might as well not have any reflection at all then.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,


    I would suggest following this tutorial


      A lot of good tutorials on the link that Piranhi has posted, have watched all of them.


        Tried to follow the tutorial... epic fail. All I see reflecting in the water is the "green". I have triple checked all my values and they all match to the tutorial's data. I can't click to enlarge any tutorial images and it took me a lot of squinting to figure out all the numbers (not all of them were written below the images!). At some point, the nodes started to not look like the ones in the tut, and no matter how many times I went back to check it (and my numbers matched to what was given in the tut), I could not get the same result. Also, when you look at the full shader pic, you can see some nodes that are not explained nor illustrated in the tutorial, and the pic is so small, you have no idea what they are or where they are plugged into.

        I am just too nub to troubleshoot this kind of a complex shader, and guessing games won't get me anywhere, just kill a bunch of time. I will just stick with hourences' shader. The tutorial was well put together, clear images, easy to read numbers and it came with the textures needed to complete the tut.

        Having no reflections sucks... but at least I have something... sorry for the aggression, but I just wasted 4 hours trying to make this shader and get it to work...

        For shader nubs like me, I suggest tutorial, if you actually want water that works and is easy to understand.




          Did you link the scene capture reflect actor in your level to the render to texture (the green thing) in your generic browser? They need to know what to do otherwise it'll stay green. I don't know how you can't see the values, if you scroll down the page, not only does he enlarge each segment of the material, but he provides the values in a text format. If you, for some reason, still can't read it, press ctrl and + to enlarge the screen.

          If you get stuck after that, post what you're stuck on here, I'll try and help where I can.


            I did that "control +" thing, it just starts getting blurry after a certain point.

            Yes, I linked the reflect actor to the render to texture.

            And if you look at the 'big picture', there are a few nodes, next to the 'distortion' comment box that are not described or shown anywhere in the tutorial. And like I said, there is no close-up on where all these nodes plug into on the material. After doing hourences' tut, I can pretty much figure out where to plug in the distortion, opacity, color, etc, but still I had no good result with chris' tut. I got so frustrated with this that I had deleted the tut shader and I am not going to rebuild it again at this point.

            I appreciate your offer to help, but right now I just want to concentrate on the rest of the level, finish my assets, get the lighting right, animate stuff, etc.

            Maybe in a week or two, I will be up for trying this one more time, but really, I need to actually understand how these nodes work and what each of them does, so I am not just blindly following a tutorial.

            If there is a video tutorial for building a water shader (with reflections) I would love a link, but I think if there was I would have found it by now... since I found both hourences and chrisalbeluhn tuts before they were recommended to me here, just haven't done them until I needed the water material (or intimidated... I guess)



              Also, there is no 'render to texture' when I right click in the content browser...

              There are:

              1) new texture cube
              2) new textureRenderTarget2D
              3) new texture RenderTargetCube

              maybe this is my mistake, but then where do I find renderToTexture? For the tutorial, I had used #2, since it looked exactly as the image in the tut, I assumed the naming got changed as new UDK builds came out.



                Yeah sorry, number 2 is the right one to use. Did you hook it up to your Scene Capture actor via the Scene capture actor's properties?


                  Yes I did. The pond snapshot was done with a cube map, which was my first attempt to get a reflection going, and setting up the actor was the same, so that part I got. It's the shader itself that screws me up...


                    If you want to look upload your material (Screenshot or rar), I'll have a look when I wake up tomorrow.


                      Yea, OK, maybe I will rebuild it today.. and upload it.



                        I have the very same problem.

                        I completed the same tutorial carefully step by step, and was googling around for a solution when I stumbled upon this thread.

                        Material is, for some reason, totally green and the reflected surface is just a little square in the middle of it. Also, there is some strange lines and distortion going on.

                        Here's some pics:

                        Material Editor:

                        Content Browser: Texture is mostly green, this gotta have something to do with the problem, or is it supposed to show up like that?

                        Reflector Actor properties

                        Editor View

                        Instead of using a BSP plane as the tutorial suggest, I went with FluidSurfaceActor... Could that have something to do with it?

                        Anyone got any ideas?


                          Did you check the "Screen Align" in your ScreenPos node?


                            Originally posted by Count_de_Money View Post
                            Did you check the "Screen Align" in your ScreenPos node?
                            Yes, that did the trick, thanks a lot! There's always got to be one check box left unselected...


                              Sorry for the hating previously, that was noob frustration. It seems I had the same screen align un-ticked box issue.

                              I've been slammed with work since may (and it's not letting up anytime soon), but I have found some time this thxgiving weekend and have rebuilt the shader. It worked!!!!

                              Unfortunately, the shader did not have the overall look and color of what I wanted. I did mess with UDK in my spare time the last half a year, and have a much better understanding of the diff nodes in the MAT editor now.

                              I ended up splicing together hoursences and chrisalbeluhn tutorials and got the best of both worlds now!! The color/wave/pattern of chris' tut, and the reflection and opacity of hoursences tut. Rock!

                              My level is getting dangerously close to being done (albeit at a snail's pace, due to work). I will post all the worthwhile stuff and shader builds when I am fully done with this level.

                              Thanks all,