water/underwater shader preview v0.99

  • June 24, 2013
  • Blender 2.6x
  • Render: Blender Internal
  • Creator: martinsh
  • License: CC-BY
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This is an ongoing project of mine with an aim to create a realistic water and underwater shader. Keep in mind this is a work in progress and serves just for demo purposes, I no not really recommend using this as a resource for your own projects. But I do intend in to expand this to become an artist friendly toolkit for those who want to have realistic water scenes in their projects.

video of the shader in action:


If you have any suggestions, comments, or technical issues running the blend, drop me a message in this thread in BlenderArtists forums:


The water shader is based on my own observations of water characteristics.

it features:

  • reflection with accurate fresnel refectance model

  • refraction with chromatic aberration

  • projected caustics on geometry from the water surface based on normals

  • seamless transition to underwater (no fake fog added)

  • accurate water volume with light scattering

  • view and light ray color extinction based on water color and sunlight

  • simple coastline detection based on terrain`s height-map

does not yet feature:

  • displaced water geometry

  • underwater particles

  • underwater light rays from caustics

  • shoreline behaviors

Sky model is based on Preetham, but implementation is from Simon Wallner, with a significant (artistic) changes done by myself.

I have also included an overly exaggerated experimental glitter shader and a completely procedural "water droplets on lens" shader.


  • zerba profile picture

    Awesome work man, already looks amazing so far! Keep it up!

    Edited June 24, 2013
  • prof-2004 profile picture

    Really outstanding!

    I get low fps rate but the look fells really real.

    And that wet effect in the camera... just great!

    Keep up the good work!

    Edited June 25, 2013
  • Medoway profile picture

    Wooooooooooooooooooooooow! Was blown away by the video - good luck on getting such outstanding results with the final bits of this project as it is A* so far :)

    Written June 25, 2013
  • uijin profile picture

    Amazing work! Thanks for sharing.

    Written June 25, 2013
  • Wunddorn profile picture

    Keep up the good work!! :D

    Written June 26, 2013
  • 1DInc profile picture

    This is just so fantastic awesome! Thanks a lot!!

    Written June 29, 2013
  • Blender-Man profile picture

    WOW I'm speechless

    Edited July 01, 2013
  • TheNewVai profile picture

    thank you

    Written July 02, 2013
  • SEspider profile picture


    Written July 03, 2013
  • standa profile picture

    oh, my god! what a nice work! genius!

    Written July 04, 2013
  • toepinch profile picture

    i am loving this

    Written July 07, 2013
  • matthewinglis profile picture

    Awesome! Very nice.

    Written July 16, 2013
  • Scorpion451 profile picture

    Cleans glasses, looks to see if renders still look that freaking awesome Yep. Wow. Thats all I can say, really. Can't wait to play around with this one!

    Written August 05, 2013
  • Scorpion451 profile picture

    Follow up: I can't believe the framerate this is running at, steady at ~30fps on my reasonably high-end rig... If this is how clean it runs when the code is a mess, can't wait to see what you can crank it up to with some optimizing! Great work!

    Written August 05, 2013
  • rasteron profile picture

    ~60fps on my i5 gtx 650. what's ur spec?

    Written September 22, 2013
  • Th0mas profile picture

    ~120 fps on my i5 :D

    Edited March 08, 2014
  • matthewinglis profile picture

    WOW! This is truly incredible, amazing. This should absolutely make the staff picks. I know I would chose this if I were an could! :)

    Written August 16, 2013
  • circletrack37 profile picture

    THAT is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Written September 19, 2013
  • rasteron profile picture

    I saw and tested the very first versions of this on BlenderArtist (link posted), amazing as always!

    Written September 22, 2013
  • idealtitude profile picture

    Thanks for the sharing!

    It looks very very nice! But unfortunately i can't test it, though i've downloaded it, because i have an issue with glsl (don't really know from what it comes, probably a question of drivers (I'm under linux with the non proprietary nvidia driver)): all object that don't have an image texture do not receive light, and all of them are displayed black (in viewport as in game).

    Anyway, thank you! :)

    Written October 20, 2013
  • JVisionary profile picture

    This is absolutely outstanding... you seem to be a pro a coding because the integration between python and C++ is perfect. :) Hope to be at your skill level someday!

    Written November 06, 2013
  • davidrev profile picture

    Me quede sin palabras-....

    Written November 07, 2013
  • david1000a profile picture

    very nice woork I love it

    Written February 09, 2014
  • blenderaddict profile picture

    Wow...just amazing

    Written March 03, 2014
  • Shadzybadzy profile picture


    Written March 23, 2014
  • etoven profile picture

    Holy Cow!!!

    Edited May 31, 2014
  • Th0mas profile picture

    May I please use this for a game?

    Written July 08, 2014
  • tmp12345 profile picture

    tks guy.

    Written July 16, 2014
  • Clemens profile picture

    This is so beautiful. Even though there is nothing to do here I love to just walk around and enjoy the view. There was an age in URU that has that open atmosphere too.

    Written August 01, 2014
  • xpatrick profile picture

    Great Work! Performance is very good! Just walk or swim around and enjoy the beautiful weather :D

    Muy grande. Thank you for sharing!

    Written August 24, 2014
  • D3m0n92 profile picture

    Gorgeous! it can be implemented in a Unity 3d project?

    Written October 31, 2014
  • idealtitude profile picture

    Many thanks! beautiful work!!

    Written April 05, 2015
  • JimmyAnimator profile picture


    Written May 23, 2015
  • huskybiscuit profile picture

    This is just PERFECT, i love it to be implemented into a kit for games! i have a AMD 8350 8-core CPU and a gtx-970 and it runs at no less then 60 fps!

    Written September 12, 2015
  • ssgachilles profile picture

    Ich kann nur sagen, das es echt klasse arbeit von dir ist. So ähnlich kann man es auch mit andere trick hinbekommen. Aber als programmierer sehr gut ausgearbeitet. hammer. spitze.

    Written October 12, 2015
  • miichael profile picture

    This looks great! Is it possible to use things made for the game engine in pre-rendered scenes? And have you managed to get a shore-line behaviour working? I would buy that!

    Written November 16, 2015
  • halszkat profile picture

    thank you!

    Written November 17, 2015
  • sajibsrs profile picture

    JUST WOW!!! Thanks for sharing

    Written December 28, 2015
  • Quast profile picture

    really good work man

    Written April 21, 2016
  • Nitipon profile picture

    Your work is really realistic

    Written May 29, 2016
  • 1DInc profile picture

    I am still amazed! Gorgeous one!

    Written March 14, 2017
  • kisterstudio profile picture

    no words man 0_0.. absolutely amazing!!!

    Written April 06, 2017
  • CGBull profile picture

    Thank your asset!

    Written August 21, 2017
  • Almay profile picture

    Thank you siiiiir

    Written March 31, 2018
  • mgns profile picture

    Cant thank you enough

    Written May 02, 2020
  • Hans profile picture

    Doesnt work, maybe because of the version being too old

    Written May 09, 2020
  • dsaad profile picture

    Not working

    Written June 07, 2020
  • KarineNitzsche profile picture

    Quite authentic. Adding geometry dash bloodbath will definitely increase the 3D of the image.

    Written September 05, 2023
  • noblekeon profile picture

    Doesn't function; perhaps it's because the version is too dated. geometry dash

    Written September 11, 2023
  • victoriaemmy68 profile picture

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    Written November 10, 2023
  • bekean23 profile picture

    The goal to expand it into an artist-friendly toolkit for creating realistic water subway surfers unblocked scenes is ambitious and could be a valuable resource for the Blender community.

    Written February 06, 2024