Stylized Water 2 is now available
The original asset released back in 2016, and has seen a number of updates, including a complete revamp in 2018. It was personally a great pleasure to see the shader pop up in games from time to time!
With the introduction of the Universal Render Pipeline, it could unfortunately no longer be used in projects that utilized URP. To make this work, it required the shader to be rebuild from the ground up. While somewhat frustrating, this posed a great opportunity to start fresh, based on my experience with the initial asset.
The most notable change in Stylized Water 2 is that it’s now built entirely for the URP. Next to being completely hand-written. Stepping away from node-based shader editors allowed for an even more efficient shader, that is more flexible when it comes to third-party integrations.
Custom shading model
Unity shading model is not longer directly used, but broken up into its various parts. The bounds of PBR shading could be overcome this way. Sun and environment reflections can be now controlled separately, rather than being bound to a single “smoothness” parameter. This allows for much greater artistic freedom.
Waves are now created using an algorithmic method, rather then composed out of heightmap textures. Visually, this means waves can now affect the perceived curvature of the water surface, which in turn translates to lighting features such as reflections.
Another added benefit, is that the same calculations can be mirrored exactly in C#, which opened up the ability to implement buoyancy. The asset now includes a script that can have objects float on the water. Dynamic Water Physics 2 now includes an integration, which allows it to be used with Stylized Water 2.