Sanity check with the Water Shader

Started by Hetzen, August 11, 2023, 08:09:55 AM

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Has anyone had an issue with the water shaders depth hard cutting at about 50% transparency? You can see what I'm talking about with the image below, where the deep blue has a hard transition into the shallower depths. This is just the default scene with a water shader added to a plane, to make sure no other nodes were influencing the problem. Any thoughts?

Water Depth issue.JPG

Kevin Kipper

Hi Hetzen,

I tried to create a similar scene but couldn't get the same results.  I realize it's a simple scene, but can you share it so we can get the same results to start with?  

Some quick questions:  Is this a standard render or path traced render?  What is the "Ray detail mulitplier" value?  What is the "Ray detail region" set to?


Thanks for looking Kevin. This isn't the same scene, but it's behaving in the same way.

I've attached a vanilla water shader inside a plane object. There's about 2m above and below the water line to get a sense of scale. The water shader is set to a depth of 10m, I'm not seeing any falloff.

I've seen the same results on a sphere as well.


The dark line is caused by the Ray detail mulitplier that needs to be upped. I've had this issue since many years, especially when making very shallow water.

Back into TG, Jon?


Hey Ulco. Thanks for the reply, I should have guessed it was something like that. I'll do some more exploring. I'm working on a coastal scene from altitude, so was trying to get some underwater fractal sandbanks and kelp beds, for a job that's just come in. It's been a while. :)


Not rusty? Would be good to see the work, if allowed. Sounds interesting.

I misinterpreted your issue, I saw the black line and assumed that was it. So my answer is no use. Sorry. Don't know about the sudden shift in density, I'll check out your file and see....

EDIT: can't replicate it either, it all looks fine.


Yeah a little rusty, which is why this seems odd.

Ok Here's another scene. The density does seem to be working, but something still seems to be off.

This is what the preview begins rendering:
Which starts off with a clear edge that falls off into the deeper volume, as I would expect.

But the preview finishes with this:
And renders this:
Render with reflections.jpg

Which shows the depth lines spaced at a meter apart, disappearing into the depth. But the sky reflection seems to be too strong at the edges.

Looking at the online help shows the effect I'm after:
Help Falloff.jpg

Turning the reflectivity off in the Water Shader doesn't seem to make any difference to the shallow transparency:
Render without reflections.jpg

I've attached the scene bellow. I'd appreciate someone having a look. I'm after a clear edge into deeper colour like the help example above.


You have shadows turned on in the plane. Might that be your issue?



Here's a working sketch. Thanks again Ulco.


Thanks, Jon. Looks good. Clouds are really nice too.