Terrains, skys, Oceans, anything to do with the environment

water plain?

water plain?

Postby cassius_b » 12 Dec 2020, 21:02

Hi.
Will the next version of engine contain a water plain so we can make pools, lakes etc which show reflections of nearby trees etc?
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Re: water plain?

Postby SolarPortal » 12 Dec 2020, 21:57

Water planes using default PBR with UV mods and scrolling can create convincing water, however the PBR material wont have the vertex mods for water. nor a mirrored reflection at present. there is a cubemap reflection that is currently the probe that captures the world light and makes a reflection out of it and displays on all entities which is what we call the IBL and specular reflection.

What you are looking for is mirrored reflections and at the moment, unsure at the moment as to whether the material will have it or not. Its doable but complicated and we are trying to organise shaders into groups.

We are actually having a water system separately from the PBR which is used for the ocean which also needs the mirrored reflections, refractions etc, so that might be adaptable to the lake headspace.
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Re: water plain?

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 12 Dec 2020, 22:35

Outdoor areas and, heck, even some indoor areas will need water that is at different levels than the ocean. Tarns in a mountain, for example. Lakes in higher (or even lower) locations. And, when it comes to man-made stuff, large fountains and man-made lakes and more. So, the ability to have water that is not the sea water is important. It would be great if we could create some sort of "water volume" that we could size and place on an area. It could be a simple cube volume that is "filled" with water that we can build landscape around, etc., to hide the volume's shape.

However it's done, we need water for a variety of things in-game.

Having said that, are there planes for things like rivers and streams, too?
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Re: water plain?

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Dec 2020, 00:37

Having said that, are there planes for things like rivers and streams, too?

This was supposed to be the river editor, but we never found time to do it however much we wanted it lol... its pretty much the road system plus a few changes.

we also agree with the water, we have plans of planes of water, but the vertical movement may be missing or need to be done someway else to keep the memory footprint of the PBR shader system as low as possible, however the PBR shader alone "with out mirror reflections" for things like wells, small lakes and fountains, is perfectly adequate already but improvements are welcome :P
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Re: water plain?

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 13 Dec 2020, 23:26

Not to promote another engine, but have you looked at S2 Engine HD? There's a lot of reason to not use this engine (lack of documentation being a major one), but the developer has done a fantastic job with their water system. The ocean is amazing and how you can control it (by placing "wind" gizmos to direct the waves and the wave strength). They also have a decent river system and the ability to add lakes and ponds. In some ways, S2's water system is nicer than Unreals, from what I've found. S2's sky system is great, too (and their day cycle system). Again, not promoting them. But I think there is something that can be learned from what they showcase in their engine. It's a cheap buy, too. So, in my opinion, well worth looking at.
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Re: water plain?

Postby Sage1969 » 14 Dec 2020, 02:03

I will say while it looked good (the water) not only did the lack of documentation and essential video tutorials turn me to the point of finding Skyline (and I thank him... never a bad decision) but you could post and post questions and they were never answered (to this day...lol).

I like that I can ask here and it is answered or addressed. There are base tutorials that exist so you can work the basics of development right way and for me the learning curve was more of a straightaway, which is always a good thing.

I do agree on the need for a water plane. Could that surface not just be an animated texture you assign to your model (cup, bowl or well) with the material editor? I did a coffee cup that way. It is the easiest to guarantee the shape you want/need. I just needed the cup to look like it had coffee in it though I did not need it to scroll or anything.

I also did some work with a waterfall and stream head in a similar way. The waterfall looked a little questionable the stream head was fine (with lots of scroll direction adjustments). I admit that a pre made plane will increase ease for the developer though you can still do a lot now manually. So far my only limitations have been how much work and time do I want to put in.

ie.. the water fall had something like 35 plains to make it look almost acceptable to me. Just add particle for mist at base and you could be off to the races rather quickly.

Just suggesting to maybe look into, not saying how you should do it!

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Re: water plain?

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 14 Dec 2020, 02:57

Completely agree. Again, I am here (patiently ... well, not so patiently ... waiting for v2 to be released) instead of using S2. And, like I said, the docs are virtually non-existent. What is there is seriously outdated. It is difficult to get answers, but some more advanced users have stepped in to help via Discord (and the developer does respond ... from time to time ... there, too).

But my point was not about S2, per se, but about the water it uses (ocean, rivers, and lakes). If the developers of Skyline can learn something from it, then why shouldn't they have a look? There are some unique ideas in the engine that could be made better in an engine like Skyline.
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Re: water plain?

Postby Sage1969 » 14 Dec 2020, 09:27

I agree to that fully. I will say not knowing what is yet to come with v2 that I feel S2 water system is the best I've seen so far.
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Re: water plain?

Postby StarFire » 14 Dec 2020, 13:55

I have to agree theree are some cool water solutions out there, a little jelouse lol :roll:

We do have to water plane which can be applied to any mesh shape and size. This contains a vertex section to create the waves and the standard material with normals on multiple detail layers. This can produce an animated water.
In the V2 we have removed the water plane in favour of the new ocean shader which looks nice at the edges with depth blending.
You will still be able to add a water material which will emulate the refractive / reflective surface distortion. Boyancy can be created with the physics and a little script.

Our current aim is to be able to populate big game worlds with awesome lighting, the water is a nice bit of eye candy but unless the game was heavily ocean / surface water centric most ocean systems look great.
Now water we would like Nvidia water system oh yeah! 8-)
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Re: water plain?

Postby SolarPortal » 14 Dec 2020, 14:02

Thanks, will certainly look into the toolset on youtube and catch up with what you guys are mentioning since i last saw s2 engine which has to be many years now lol.

As for the water plane as what @Sage1969 was talking about is very much doable without animated textures already.
The PBR material has the diffuse, normal roughness etc.. but also 4 detail layers with both diffuse and normal, all textures have their own uv modifications of offset, scroll and scaling, which all used together with different normalmaps can produce some very interesting results when it comes to water. As mentioned before, the only thing that is missing is some form of volume for underwater(mix of post fx and camera trickery) and vertex movement for the surface of the water.
All the opacity and and alpha is taken care of. As for edge depth transparency, this is a bit more special case as it requires a unique depth buffer to be passed into the material. We did this with the new ocean system on an older dev version(still unreleased lol) before shaders were being upgraded.

When I come to the water shaders again which should be next few weeks if I'm lucky, I can take a look then and see how we can go about trying to support everyone's water wishes lol :P

edit: Starfire got there before me :P
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Re: water plain?

Postby StarFire » 14 Dec 2020, 14:10

Just had a look at the materials and you can make moving water just no vertex movement as V2 doesnt have this vertex water action. This can be done on your version.
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Its worth checking your system library>materials>water drop any of these onto any model. If you find a water preset (preset folder) pop that in your scene then drag a material onto that, press play and you should have some moving water. The action on the plane can be used on any shape even sphere which can look great.
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Re: water plain?

Postby monkeyfrogstudio » 14 Dec 2020, 17:58

Thanks, will certainly look into the toolset on youtube and catch up with what you guys are mentioning since i last saw s2 engine which has to be many years now lol.


I don't know if they have anything on YouTube that will showcase what I've mentioned here. Again, tutorials and documentation for S2 are lacking (almost completely). The engine is only $20. It's worth the investment, in my opinion, to see what it offers. But that's my opinion.

In any case, as long as there is a method to create water of various kinds, that's good and I have faith that you guys will create something that not only works, but looks great, too.
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