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Tutorial: Animating Realistic Water Surfaces


water surfaceThis has nothing to do with yesterday's article about the new fluid system in Blender. Instead it explains how to create realistically animated water surfaces using (animated) texturemaps.

The results are really convincing; start off by checking out the video samples at the end of the tutorial. Don't you just love how you can get away with faking such effects? Imagine having defined a *really* fine mesh and then applying heaps of wave effects to it.

You can find the tutorial here.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I am not sure what renderer you are using, but this is extremely dark and I can't see a thing. I tried using powerful lights and with YafRay but I can't see it worth beans.

  2. Just wanted to say this to the people who have the screwed up renders (assuming you used the file he provided):
    It's the environment map. You don't have the .png file he used, so you can't see the color. Instead it renders black, which obviously makes it seem a lot darker.

    Anyways, great tutorial. Very useful for a project I'm doing.

  3. I got bad results also, i followed the tutorial to the letter (I did use the enviroment map) and it came out wrong, just didnt get the same effect as he did

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