E-on software has introduced a wonderful new feature in Vue 7 Infinite. This feature allows incredible control of how water looks and behaves. This is not a step by step tutorial; instead it is more of a discussion of the new MetaWater with examples.
Before you read this article, I recommend that you read the first in the series on how the new camera height lock and unlock feature works.
There are 2 main or global controls, use global wave control and displaced water surface, and many subordinate controls. First, you can create your water on a global basis by choosing the use global wave control. You have a slider that goes from Calm to Storm, one that will control the surface altitude, and one that controls the wind direction. Or you can choose to control all the facets of the body of water by unchecking that control.
The position of the camera is very important. A new feature in Vue 7 Infinite is the locked camera. position. When it is locked at a certain height, it will always keep that height above the object underneath it. The default is 1.8 meters from the camera to the ground plane. What this means is that if the camera is locked it will always remain the same distance above the object as it did before the object was placed beneath it. When you are using the displaced water function, it is very critical whether it is locked or not. I will give examples of this later in the review.
You start by clicking on the water plane on the top of the left toolbar. If it doesn't show, open the choices for there are three and choose the water plane.
The water used with these controls is call MetaWater. Three different MetaWater materials come with Vue 7 Infinite. However, working from these, you can create your own.
MetaWater has a built in foam layer.
Next, you can choose to displace the water surface or not. You can integrate that with or without using the use global wave control. When you choose to displace the water surface, you are making it geometrically irregular.
You can, then, go a step further and work with the functions that control the shape and behavior of the displacement.
When you create the water plane, it brings up the default water called "Foam."
Choose whichever of the three waters you want to use. These all come with Vue 7 Infinite. If you decide not to use the default water, make sure that when you change your material, you have highlighted the top Foam. As you work, you can modify these materials as you would other materials. But to use the new water controls, you must use MetaWater.
Decide how you want your water to look. First, we'll look at an open body of water using various controls so you can see their effect. (All renders are created using the default-Final and the images are screen captures from the render.) And, then, we will look at the addition of land. The land remained physically in the same position throughout the trials.
This is the original image without the water plane. The default for the cameras is 1.8 for both height and position. No part of the terrain is under the camera.
Number 1 has Calm water selected and no surface displacement.
Number 2 still has no displaced water surface, but the global wave control has been changed to its midpoint.
Number 3 has the water stormy and, again, no water displacement.
The next one shows Displaced water surface.
The camera height lock in its lock and unlock position because of the placement of the camera will give different results. For the most freedom, unlock it and move it.
I hope this has given you a feeling about the water. Now let's uncheck the use global water control and modify the water accordingly. These following are just random examples. The global slider does not relate to the grayed out controls. If you move the global slider and, then, uncheck it, the non global controls are not changed.
The next two sets of images demonstrate how the displaced water surface command can lead to different results. The settings for each group were kept the same. All that was changed was the addition of the displaced water surface command. Below global wave control was used. The displaced water example is choppier.
In the images below, the use global wave control was unchecked. In these examples, the addition of the displaced water surface did not make the water choppier.
Below are two examples of water; the only difference being that one also has added the displace water command. In this instance, I had to rework the terrain to make it taller and a little broader.
Basically you need to play around with the controls. One way to get good results is to first set the water for global wave control and place the slider from calm to stormy in the position you want. Look at the results. Then uncheck it, the controls will remain where they were. Then, change the controls keeping an eye on the preview window.
A very important factor is the shape of the terrain. If you are using high transparency for the water, you don't want the edges to show too much under the water. You certainly don't want flat edges. So you need to clip the flattest part of the terrain.
I have, also, found that if I am going to use water that has any transparency in it, it will be affected by the ground plane, so I change the color of the ground plane to shades from blue to gray to green.
To modify the displaced water surface, you click on Edit Function and you will see the following screen which was shown earlier.
Then, you can click on the "waves" node in the image above. This brings up the following screen:
This is just one of the ways you can edit the displace water surface function.
You can also edit the different properties of the material that makes up the MetaWater such as the foam. To edit foam, you highlight the foam and right click on color function to bring up the editor.
The next screen is related to the one below. You can edit this
or you can double click on the word foam and edit the one that will appear. The changes you can make are infinite.
While I haven't intentionally given a step by step tutorial on how to create a certain type of water, I hope that this introduction to the new MetaWater will be useful in creating your own.