Tweaking The Water Visuals

Tweaking Water Visual Aspect Example

Water Body Properties

Tweaking Water Body Color And Texture in the water material inspector

Body Color

Water Material Color Properties

We can set the water body color to either a Solid Color or a Gradient Color. If we choose to use a Gradient Color, the Gradient Offset property controls how much to shift the gradient-line midpoint position (where the middle of the color transition should be).

Info

The Gradient Offset property range: -0.5 → 0.5

Body Texture

Water Material Texture Properties

We can apply a texture across the water body.

Warning

The texture should have its wrap-mode set to Repeat or Mirror in the texture import settings.

Body Texture Sheet Properties

This texture could be a regular texture, or a texture-sheet (a texture consisting of many frames) by toggling the Is A Texture Sheet property on, and then specifying the number of columns and rows and also setting how many frames to play per second.

Body Texture Opacity

The Opacity property controls the visibility of the texture.

Body Texture Scrolling Speed

We can make the texture scroll, in the X and/or the Y directions, by tweaking the Scrolling Speed property.

Body Texture Tiling Mode

Regarding the texture tiling properties, there are two tiling modes:

  • Stretch: The texture stretches when the water object size changes, always keeping the same number of tiles we specify for the X and Y directions.

    Texture Stretch Tiling Mode Properties

  • Repeat: The texture repeats when the water object size changes. In this mode, we specify the scale in units of a single tile.

    Texture Repeat Tiling Mode Properties

Body Texture Offset

We can provide a texture offset regardless of the selected texture Tiling Mode.

Body Texture Distortion Effect

Distortion Effect Properties

Distortion Scale - Offset

The Mathf.PerlinNoise(x,y) function is used to sample the Perlin noise texture values. The Scale and Offset properties controls the sampled area size and origin, respectively.

Warning

The Scale And Offset properties are used to generate the noise texture (which actually happens only in the editor), and as such they are not animatable.

Distortion Strength

The Strength property, as the name suggests, controls how strong the distortion effect is.

Distortion Speed

The Speed property controls the noise texture scrolling speed.

Distortion Tiling

The Tiling property controls the scale of a noise texture tile relative to a water body texture tile.

Example

A value of 0.5, for both the X and Y axis, will apply the noise texture across 4 water body texture tiles.

Distortion Tiling Property Example

Tip

We can use the Tiling property to lower the distortion strength across one axis, and keep the full strength across the other.

Water Surface

Tweaking Water Surface Thickness, Color And Texture in the water material inspector

Surface Thickness

Tweaking Water Surface Thickness

The Thickness property sets the thickness of the surface line. The thickness can be either Absolute or Relative to the water height.

Script Reference

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waterObject.MaterialModule.HasAbsoluteSurfaceThickness = true;
waterObject.MaterialModule.SurfaceThickness = 0.1f;
// or match the surface level to a world space position
waterObject.MaterialModule.SurfaceThickness = waterObject.MaterialModule.TransformPointWorldSpaceToSurfaceThickness(worldPoint);

Note

We will look into the Submerge Level property later when we go through the water fake perspective effect properties, here.

Surface Color and Texture

Tweaking Water Surface Color And Texture

Just like the water body, we can tweak the surface tint color and apply a texture across the surface.

The description of the surface color and texture properties is exactly the same as the water body texture properties, as discussed here.

Water Refraction

Tweaking Water Refraction

Script Reference

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waterObject.MaterialModule.IsRefractionEnabled = true;

Refraction Bending

The bending property controls how much we would like to shift the submerged portion of an object relative to the other portion above the water.

Example

Water Refraction Bending Property Example

Refraction Distortion Effect

Water Refraction Distortion Properties

The refraction distortion properties description is the same as the water body distortion effect properties, discussed here.

Refraction Layers

We select which layers to include in the refraction rendering using the Objects To Render property under the Refraction Properties in the water component inspector.

Tweaking Water Refraction Layer Mask and Render-Texture Properties

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Refraction.CullingMask = LayerMask.GetMask("Default");

Refraction Render-Texture Properties

If the Use Fixed Size property is toggled on, the Size property sets the refraction render-texture width and height.

Use Refraction Render-Texture Fixed Size

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Refraction.RenderTextureUseFixedSize = true;
waterObject.RenderingModule.Refraction.RenderTextureFixedSize = 512;

But, if the Use Fixed Size property is toggled off, the refraction render-texture will have a dynamic size, and the render-texture width and height are in this case equal to the the water object visible area on screen width and height. We can even downscale this computed size by lowering the Resizing Factor property value.

Use Refraction Render-Texture Dynamic Size

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Refraction.RenderTextureUseFixedSize = false;
waterObject.RenderingModule.Refraction.RenderTextureResizingFactor = 0.75f;

Lastly, We can set the refraction render-texture Filter Mode property to either Bilinear or Point.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Refraction.RenderTextureFilterMode = FilterMode.Bilinear;

Water Reflection

Tweaking Water Reflection

Script Reference

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waterObject.MaterialModule.IsReflectionEnabled = true;

Reflection Visibility

We control the visibility of the rendered reflection image under the Reflection Properties in the water material inspector.

Reflection Fade

Tweaking Water Reflection Fade

We can make the reflection fade vertically along the water object, starting from the top at full opacity. To do this, we toggle the Fade property on, and proceed to select the desired fade speed:

  • Linear
  • Exponential - Two
  • Exponential - Three
  • Exponential - Four

Reflection Distortion Effect

Tweaking Water Reflection Distortion Effect Properties

The reflection distortion properties description is the same as the water body distortion effect properties, as discussed here.

Reflection Layers

We use select which layers to include in the reflection rendering using the Objects To Render property under the Reflection Properties in the water component inspector.

Tweaking Water Reflection Layers

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.CullingMask = LayerMask.GetMask("Default", "TransparentFX");

Reflection Render-Texture Properties

If the Use Fixed Size property is toggled on, the Size property sets the reflection render-texture width and height.

Use Refraction Render-Texture Fixed Size

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.RenderTextureUseFixedSize = true;
waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.RenderTextureFixedSize = 512;

Otherwise, the refraction render-texture will have a dynamic size, and the render-texture width and height are equal to the the water object visible area on screen width and height. We can even downscale this computed size by lowering the Resizing Factor property value.

Use Reflection Render-Texture Dynamic Size

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.RenderTextureUseFixedSize = false;
waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.RenderTextureResizingFactor = 0.75f;

Lastly, We can set the reflection render-texture Filter Mode property to either Bilinear or Point.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.RenderTextureFilterMode = FilterMode.Bilinear;

Reflection Frustum Properties

Use Reflection Render-Texture Dynamic Size

Frustum Z-Offset

The Z-Offset property controls where to start rendering the water reflection relative to the water object position. This might be useful if we would like to render the reflection of certain objects that are in front of the water object.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.ReflectionZOffset = 0f;

Frustum Height Scaling Factor

The reflection frustum size is equal to the visible water area size. We can expand this frustum vertically by setting the Height Scaling Factor property.

Tip

We can visualize the reflection frustum bounds in the scene-view by toggling the 'eye icon' on.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.Reflection.ViewingFrustumHeightScalingFactor = 2f;

Water Fake Perspective Effect

Water Fake Perspective Effect Example

The fake perspective effect consists of rendering certain objects that intersect the submerge level as partially submerged into water, adding a sense of depth to the water.

Water Fake Perspective Effect

We can enable this effect under the Surface Properties in the water material inspector by toggling the Submerge Level property on and adjusting the submerge level position.

Script Reference

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waterObject.MaterialModule.IsFakePerspectiveEnabled = true;

waterObject.MaterialModule.SubmergeLevel = 0.75f;
// or match the submerge level to a world space position
waterObject.MaterialModule.SubmergeLevel = waterObject.MaterialModule.TransformPointWorldSpaceToSubmergeLevel(worldPoint);

Fake Perspective Effect Layers

Fake Perspective Effect - Refraction Layers

Water Fake Perspective Effect Layers

Under the Refraction Properties in the water component inspector, we set the Partially submerged Objects property to select which objects layers to render as partially submerged into water when they intersect the submerge level.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.RefractionPartiallySubmergedObjects.CullingMask = LayerMask.GetMask("Default", "TransparentFX");

Fake Perspective Effect - Reflection Layers

Water Fake Perspective Effect Layers

If we would like to render the reflection of certain partially submerged objects, we make sure to select their layers under the Reflection Properties in the water component inspector.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.ReflectionPartiallySubmergedObjects.CullingMask = 0;

Fake Perspective Effect - Reflection View Frustum Properties

Water Fake Perspective Effect View Frustum Height Scaling Factors

We can expand the partially submerged objects reflection frustum as well as the other objects reflection frustum vertically by settings their respective scaling factors properties.

Tip

We can visualize the reflection frustums bounds in the scene-view by toggling the 'eye icon' on.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.ReflectionPartiallySubmergedObjects.ViewingFrustumHeightScalingFactor = 1f;

Water Emission Effect

Water Material Emission Properties

If the water material is using one of the lit shaders, then we can set an Emission Color and also tweak its Intensity under the Emission Properties in the water material inspector.

Info

The asset comes with 5 lit shaders, 3 for the Builtin Render Pipeline (Pixel-Lit, Vertex-Lit, Vertex-Lit-Only-Directional-Lights), 1 for the Universal Render Pipeline (URP), and another one for the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP).

Rendering Properties

Rendering Properties - Material Inspector

Water Material Rendering Properties

Under the Rendering Options in the water material inspector, the Mask Interaction property controls how the water object behaves when interacting with a Sprite Mask or with the Mesh Mask. We can set the mask interaction to one of the following options:

  • None : No interaction
  • Visible Inside Mask : the water is visible where the Sprite Mask or the Mesh Mask overlays it, but not outside of it.
  • Visible Outside Mask : the water is visible outside the Sprite Mask or the Mesh Mask, but not inside it.

The Apply Tint Color(s) On Top Of Texture(s) property controls in which order, the water body and the water surface, tint colors and textures are applied. If this property is toggled on, the textures are applied first and the tint colors are applied second, otherwise textures are applied last.

Rendering Properties - Component Inspector

Water Component Rendering Properties

Under the Rendering Properties in the water component inspector, the Far Clip Plane property sets the furthest point relative to the water object that gets included in the water refraction/reflection rendering.

The Render Pixel Lights property controls whether or not the rendered objects are affected by pixel lights.

Info

The Render Pixel Lights property is ignored when working with the URP/LWRP.

We can also activate/deactivate the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and the Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) rendering.

Info

The MSAA rendering is activated only if the Antialiasing is enabled in the project quality settings or in the URP/LWRP settings asset.

Script Reference

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waterObject.RenderingModule.FarClipPlane = 10f;
waterObject.RenderingModule.RenderPixelLights = true;
waterObject.RenderingModule.AllowMSAA = false;
waterObject.RenderingModule.AllowHDR = false;

Note

The Sorting Properties and the Mesh Mask Properties are discussed in the Getting Started section of this guide.