Stylized Water 2 documentation

Stylized Water 2

Stylized Water 2
Version: 1.6.6

4.6.River mode #

By default, the water effects will flow in the direction configured under the “General” tab. Some effects like normals and foam have a secondary layer that flows in the opposite direction.

For rivers/creeks, the water should always appear to flow in a single direction. A water material can be configured to behave in such a way!

Material setup

First, and foremost, enable the “River mode” material option.

When enabled:

  • Texture coordinate are forced to use the mesh’s UV channel. In the context of a spline mesh, this means the water can appear to flow along its curvature.
  • A slope factor is calculated, based on the configured angle and falloff.
  • Surface Foam is also drawn on slopes, and gradually becomes less visible as the water flattens out. A “Slope Foam” parameter becomes available to control this.
  • A separate normal map texture can be used, visible only on slopes.
  • The “Vertex color depth” option under the Color tab now controls the Transparency of the material (as opposed to the water’s depth).

Above: the included “RiverDemo” scene.

When river mode is used, the waves feature is automatically disabled, since these cannot work together properly.

Note that buoyancy functionality only works for flat water, so will not work for rivers

Be sure to assign a normal map in the now available “slopes” slot:

This texture sample uses the sample coordinates/speed as the regular normal map, but it only becomes visible on slopes.

Similarly, when the Surface Foam feature is enabled you can specify how much foam is added to slopes.

For both Normals and Surface foam, you must ensure that any Speed values aren’t negative (which they are for materials used for lakes)

Creating river geometry

Any river material needs a mesh to be applied to. Typically, river geometry is generated from a spline or curve.

This workflow is a fairly broad subject, this asset doesn’t contain any functionality to achieve this, it’s simply not a modeling tool asset.

A dedicated river tool is available through the River Modeler asset, which integrates perfectly with Stylized Water 2.

For example, River Auto Material or EasyRoads3D could be utilized to create spline meshes, though the shader will not support RAM’s flowmap painting functionality. But basically any spline tool that can tile a plane mesh will do.

Mesh requirements:

  • UV shells are laid out straight, without any overlapping shells (necessary for seamless texture tiling)
  • Has precomputed vertex normals (otherwise no way to tell what makes up a steep surface)
  • When using normal maps, tangents need to be calculated (eg. Mesh.RecalculateTangents)
  • Ideally, no or black vertex colors (so nothing interferes with vertex color controlled shading functions)

The Bezier Path Creator asset is an exception that doesn’t meet these requirements (specifically point 2 and 3).

Correct: UV laid out vertically, creating continuous repeating UV coordinates

If the spline geometry isn’t generated/modeled with a continuous UV, you’ll notice a discontinuity in the textures, visible as a seam. It’s likely any spline mesh tool offers a UV tiling parameter. Ensure this is set to a rounded value (eg. 1, 2, 3, etc).

Left: Correct UV tiling. Right: no so much

Should the water flow in the opposite direction, you can use a position Y direction on the material to mitigate this. Though this indicates you should actually flip your UV map vertically.

There is no option to rotate the UV in the shader, since this operation is costly and results in incorrect directional shading.

Instead, ensure the UV map of the mesh has a correct rotation to begin with.

River Auto Material users:
The spline tool rotates the UV coordinates by default, this option must be disabled under “UV Settings”!

Blending rivers with lakes

This is fairly straightforward to achieve. Essentially, you want the last bit of the river geometry to fade out as it starts to touch the water body. The opacity of the material can be controlled through Vertex Colors, which makes this possible.

First, ensure the river material always draws over the other (receiving) water material, by modifying the render queue on the river material to 3001 (transparent queue + 1).

The ZWrite option must also be enabled on the (receiving) water material.

Secondly, enable the use of vertex colors for opacity on the river material.

The Green vertex color channel can now be used to make parts of the mesh completely transparent. See the Vertex Colors section for more details. You’d want to paint the end of the river mesh, that touches the lake, so it appears to blend in with it. Some spline tools may offer control over vertex colors per node/knot, which works just as well.

End part of the spline mesh having green vertex colors, making it fade out

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Last updated on March 4, 2024
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