View Full Version : Swimming Pool - ?

Andrew Sweet
01-30-2004, 06:44 AM
Hi all
I need to create a good water effect for a swimming pool project I'm working on, the water will be part of an animation flyover so must be animated and fairly photo-real maybe using a little caustics, can anyone point me towards a good tut/method, many thanks

Andrew Sweet

P.S. Are there many UK LW users here?

01-30-2004, 07:54 AM
How close is the camera going to get to the pool surface? And is the pool indoors or out? There're many different ways to handle this, I should think. A simple plane with a scaled and animated crumple bump/displacement texture should do the trick for waves depending on proximity. For surfacing, I would personally recommend simply setting up gradients (slope or bump or incidence angle) on the reflection, refraction, and transparency channels. As for caustics, if you don't want to bog down on render times, check out Caustics Generator (http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.cfm?ID=1758) - you could map the resulting images to a spotlight for reflected caustics or to the color or luminosity channel for the bottom of the pool if that's what's necessary.


Andrew Sweet
01-30-2004, 08:06 AM

Camera will be close in on still shots and the pool is outdoors, but for the flyover some distance will be expected, as client needs to see whole birds eye view of development etc, so will need solutions to both issues, anyhow many thanks for the info.


01-30-2004, 08:26 AM
Here's an old still I did for a web sit background - not perfect, but if the water looks anything like what you're looking for, let me know and I'll dig out the surface settings.


*edit* - replaced picture...

Andrew Sweet
01-30-2004, 08:29 AM
Hi Maxx

That's a good start, but maybe it needs a little more detail and contrast, would you dig those settings up for me, and maybe the mesh? this would really help me out, many thanks


01-30-2004, 08:53 AM
Looking at it now, it's a really simple surface. Almost embarassingly so... Anyway, the water surface is a simple plane (3 polys to follow the countour of the pool) without sub-d's or displacement map. The surface is equally simple - it might just work for your fly-over, though it will require some tweaking for a close up. Full render at 760x375, low AA, raytraced shadows, reflections, refractions took 2m 55sec.

simple surface (http://www.maxxwv.com/stuff/pool_water.srf) (probably have to right click and save link target as...) Drop me a pm if it's missing anything, and post your shots when you get them done! Best of luck.

01-30-2004, 09:22 AM
Looks like some crumple was used.

01-30-2004, 01:09 PM
This is a attemps I have made with displacement map

01-30-2004, 01:13 PM
To answer your supplementary question.

Yeah you'll find a few of us UK lightwavers around.

01-30-2004, 01:23 PM
I have added some refraction in the water...

01-30-2004, 02:15 PM
This might help...


can animate with this as well.

01-30-2004, 03:28 PM
I did some outdoor nighttime pool work a little while back.

on my website at


go to project galleries and look at 2001 highlights.

Everything I do now with water is particle simulated in realFlow, but this was a simple subdivided and displaced polygon. I was very happy with it.

I forget the surface settings but if it has the look you want, I'll try to dig them out.



01-30-2004, 03:53 PM
Here's mine.

legalx.com Animation - pool (http://www.legalx.com/animation/poolpage.htm)