"Wet" shores - a tutorial for beginners

Started by kevnar, May 22, 2009, 01:05:12 am

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kevnar

May 22, 2009, 01:05:12 am Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 01:29:32 am by kevnar
Well, I finally figured it out: how to make shores look "wet". Let's face it--when waves are breaking on the shore, the waterline isn't completely dry as appears by default in terragen.

So here's what you do:

1. Create a fractal terrain for yourself, add a lake, and find a camera spot near a shore somewhere.
2. Create whatever surface layers you want. Sand, rock, moss, etc. I added fake stones too, just for effect.
3. Now create a surface layer and call it "wetness". Uncheck the "Apply color" box under the color tab. We don't need the color. The coverage should be 1. We don't want any places to be dry that shouldn't be.
4. Go into the altitude constraints tab and set the maximum altitude to whatever your water level is at. Set the fuzzy zone to about 0.5m (50 centimeters). Use less for calmer waters. You could also set the max altitude a little higher than the lake, if you wish, for very rough waters. Also, you'll need to check the "Use Y for Altitude" box.
5. Now click the Add child layer on the "Wetness" layer item in the list. Go to "color shader" and add a color adjust shader. Click the Gamma tab in the color adjust layer and set the gamma to 0.5. We want the color of the wet parts to be 50% darker than the normal colors of the shoreline. Water darkens the surfaces it wets. You can use more or less darkness for this part if you wish. Tweak it to whatever looks right in your scene.
6. Click the Add child layer button on the wetness item again, and go to "Other Surface Shader". Add a reflective shader as a child of "wetness". You might want to adjust the reflectivity and intensity to your scenes needs. Higher levels make the shine look sort of plastic.

You're done. Render away. Now your shores don't look so artificial. I exaggerated the levels of wetness in the example below just to show it. With such calm waters the rocks would not be wet so high up.

PS. You can also use this "wetness" layer with small amounts of coverage in a non-shore scene to make a rain-splattered effect. Use a very cloudy sky of course. ;)

FrankB

Excellent method! Simple and good. Adding a good fractal breakup, and some fuzzy zone on the wet layer could improve it further, by making the distribution of wetness not too straight.

Cheers,
Frank

Mohawk20

But keep in mind when using this, the water is reflective, but the ground beneath it is now also reflective. This can result in huge render times (like my Moses scene), and strange lighting effects where you have more than one sun reflection.
Howgh!

kevnar

In which case you could just set the Minimum altitude of the shader to a few centimeters below the water line. I thought about suggesting that, but I wanted to keep it simple.

domdib


rcallicotte

So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Zylot

excellent, this is exactly how I've been doing it, with more fuzzy like Frank said.  The effect is very good.

kevnar

Here's a render I did with the "raindrops" smattered here and there around the map. It's the same project file as above. I just removed the maximum altitude from the wetness layer of the shoreline and reduced the coverage to about 33%. I also reduced the feature scale, lead in, and smallest size in the fractal breakup shader to about 3cm, rain drop size.

Mr_Lamppost

The shoreline wetness method is similar to the one I use.  Reflection below the water can ruin some scenes.

I hadn't thought of the raindrops method; I.m away to experiment.
Smoke me a kipper I'll be back for breakfast.

neuspadrin

Quote from: calico on May 22, 2009, 08:02:19 am
Hey, put this in the Wiki!   8)


I already have :P I've been trying to update the wiki a little and pull tutorials. 

From now on when I notice something useful I'm going to start putting it in tips and tricks or tutorials depending on what it is (if explained well - tutorial, if just concept talk of how to perhaps do something without a real guide - tips n tricks)

kevnar

The darkness factor of the wetness layer doesn't seem to be showing up in the renders. I'm not sure if I used the color adjust shader correctly to darken the underlying layers. Can anyone make a suggestion?

rcallicotte

As long as the person making the tutorial gets the credit, that sounds great.


Quote from: neuspadrin on May 23, 2009, 11:50:18 am

I already have :P I've been trying to update the wiki a little and pull tutorials. 

From now on when I notice something useful I'm going to start putting it in tips and tricks or tutorials depending on what it is (if explained well - tutorial, if just concept talk of how to perhaps do something without a real guide - tips n tricks)
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

neuspadrin

Quote from: calico on May 23, 2009, 01:22:01 pm
As long as the person making the tutorial gets the credit, that sounds great.


of course.  i didn't copy it to the wiki, i simply linked it too anyways, so people just follow the link and instantly can see who contributed it and such.

Mr_Lamppost

Not a completed scene and I can see ways to improve on it but here's what I got making raindrops.
Smoke me a kipper I'll be back for breakfast.

kevnar

Quote from: Mr_Lamppost on May 23, 2009, 02:20:12 pm
Not a completed scene and I can see ways to improve on it but here's what I got making raindrops.


It occurs to me that one might also make a vein of gold running through rock with the reflective shader.