Stylized Water 2 documentation

Stylized Water 2

Stylized Water 2
Version: 1.6.3
Review

2.Compatibility #

Unity

Version

Minimum required version is Unity 2020.3.1f1, supported up to 2023.2.

Unity 6+ will be supported in a separate asset, available through a paid upgrade. Please see the Roadmap page to check what this will support, and therefor what this version (1.6) will not.

Unity 6.0 is compatible, if Render Graph is disabled

  • Updates/fixes for Unity 2020 LTS have been discontinued as of version 1.5.0.
  • Updates/fixes for Unity 2019 LTS have been discontinued as of version 1.1.8.

Beta and Alpha versions may work but will not be eligible for support or fixes. These versions are intended for beta and alpha testing Unity features. Once a release version is available, the asset will be re-tested, and an update may follow with any required changes or fixes.

Scriptable Render Pipeline

Pipeline Compatible
Built-in (Legacy)
Universal (URP)
High-Definition (HDRP)

Only compatible with the Universal Render Pipeline. Support for other render pipelines unfortunately cannot simply be added, since this practically requires a complete rewrite of scripts and shaders, resulting in a new asset altogether.

Verified (minimum) versions:

 

Unity version URP Version Status
2019.4 7.x.x Deprecated
2020.3 10.x.x Deprecated
2021.1 9.x.x Obsolete
2021.2-3 12.x.x Verified
2022.1 13.x.x Obsolete
2022.2.15+ 14.0.7 Verified
2023.1.7+ 15.0.8 Verified
2023.2 16.0.0 Verified
Unity 6 17.0.0 Unsupported
  • Version 11.x.x (in Unity 2021.1) has no major shader changes, hence it is not being tested on.
  • There is little reason to not use an LTS version, hence earlier versions (eg 2022.1) are no longer involved in testing.

Changes to the URP shader libraries and rendering API are undocumented and come without usage instructions. This means preview versions can break the shader or scripting code.

This takes time to manually reverse engineer. Sometimes pre-emptive fixes are made for beta/alpha versions, but these may break in earlier or later alpha versions.

URP

  • Materials that use Tessellation while URP’s “GPU Resident Drawer” is enabled will not render correctly. Instead the geometry appears to behave as a giant quad.
  • When using Forward+ rendering, lights don’t appear to affect the water anymore after a certain distance.

Platforms

Mobile

Graphics API Compatible
OpenGLES 2.0
OpenGLES 3.0+
Vulkan

Devices released after 2012 support OpenGLES 3.0. Or typically an iPhone 6s or newer.

The shader is generally optimized, and uses a few principles that also aid performance sensitive hardware. Depending on the device and complexity of the project, it will depend if every feature on the shader can be enabled whilst maintaining proper framerates. See the Performance Guidelines page for more details. Expecting desktop-level graphics on mobile is unfortunately not realistic.

  • The water will not turn pixelated the longer the application runs, as is the case with other water shaders. Though this may slowly start to occur after ~6+ hours due to the limited precision of mobile hardware.
  • Google TV is not supported, given that URP graphics don’t fully work on the platform to begin with.

Desktop VR
Tested using an Oculus Rift S with the Oculus XR plugin. The Multi-pass, Multiview and Single Pass Instanced rendering techniques are all supported and work the same across all VR plugins. As a means of optimization, orthographic camera’s are not supported when VR is in use.

  • The “Shared depth buffer” option must be disabled in the Oculus XR settings, otherwise the water effects appear to lag behind the headset movement.
  • Planar reflections are not supported, reflection probes and screen-space reflections work as expected.

Oculus Quest/Meta Quest 2

Tested using an Oculus Quest 2 with the Oculus XR plugin. Multiview rendering must be used, otherwise the water effects appear to lag behind the headset movement (issue with how the depth texture is rendered).

Using the Vulkan rendering API is highly recommended.

There’s a bug in OpenGLES 3.0 which severely affects transparent materials on Quest. When MSAA is enabled, they will either appear invisible or show blocky artefacts, depending if post processing is enabled or not. This means MSAA with transparent materials (such as water) aren’t supported on Quest.

As a rule of thumb: If a simple transparent plane works in your project, the water will also render correctly.

  • Any reference to mobile platforms in the documentation also applies to Quest.
  • Planar reflections are not supported, reflection probes and screen-space reflections work as expected.

Oculus Go and Gear VR are considered obsolete, and are no longer being tested on. Though they practically work the same as Quest, rendering-wise.

WebGL

WebGL 2.0 is compatible since it uses the OpenGL 3.0 rendering API just like Android/iOS does. WebGL 1.0 is not compatible and should be removed as a Graphics API in the Player settings.

WebGL does not support compute shaders. Though, at the time, this asset does not contain any functionality reliant on it.

MacOS
Compatible with both OpenGL 4.1 and Metal.

tvOS remains untested, though it also uses the Metal graphics API, so there’s a slim chance this will pose any specific issues.

Consoles
No graphical or platform-specific issues were encountered.

Platform Compatible
Playstation 5 Verified by users
Xbox Series X Tested with UWP build
Nintendo Switch Tested with EDEV hardware
Playstation 4 Tested via external party
Xbox One X Tested with UWP build

Shader runs without any issues on Nintendo Switch. With all features enabled, the shader does not incur a noticeable performance hit (also in handheld mode). Though this may vary per project. Any references to mobile devices in the documentation should also apply to it.

Playstation 5 remains untested, due to lack of development hardware. Though I don’t suspect there will be any specific issues. Should you run into any, please contact me, as I’d be happy to investigate

Other assets

Fog post processing effects
See this page for a list of compatible assets.

Typically, any third-party fog/volumetric lighting solutions will ignore the water. Or shade the water surface with fog, based on what’s behind it (barely noticeable for shallow water). This behavior applies to all transparent materials, since they do not write to the depth texture these effects rely on.

Asset name Compatible
Azure*
Atmospheric Height Fog v3.2.0+
Buto
Enviro 2*
Enviro 3*
Cozy 1
Cozy 2
Cozy 3
SC Post Effects
UniStorm
Weather Maker
Massive Clouds
Altos

* Does not support rendering its fog into a Planar Reflections render.

If an asset is not listed here, please get in touch so that I can investigate if an integration is possible.

Some assets have a closed code structure for fog shading, as opposed to exposing a re-usable code function for applying fog to a surface. In C# terms, this is comparable to not having a public and abstract API. Thus these asset can’t be integrated into any other shader, unless refactored by the author.

Use cases

Camera’s

Type Compatible
Perspective
Orthographic
Overlay
  • Rendering the water on an Overlay camera is not possible, due to limitations imposed by URP’s camera stacking system.
  • Overlay geometry will cause artifacts when refraction is enabled on the water material, since they’re rendered after the water. A setup using the Render Objects feature otherwise works perfectly.

Features

Tessellation
May not appear to have any effect when using an incompatible graphics API or GPU (not supporting Shader Model 4.6+). In this case it is automatically disabled, so it can be enabled without worrying about a pink material on some devices.

Tessellation cannot work with waves if GPU Instancing is enabled on the water material, due to a limitation of Unity’s rendering architecture.

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Last updated on May 6, 2024
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