Here's a tutorial for making a body of water that reflects stuff. In my last tutorial,
I showed you how to make a reflecting muddy trench using the duhoc mud texture. But what if you want a pond or a lake? You don't have to be a slave to the special duhoc mud texture, you can make bodies of water. Well, here's how to do it. (I'm writing this asuming you know how to use radiant well, and you've read the previous tutorial).
Make a terrain patch. For this, I started with a 384x384 brush and made it a 10x10 vert count when I made it a terrain patch. You want to give it a big vert count, you'll learn why.
I then made a caulk brush to simulate where the water's going to be after I made the pond with the terrain height editor.
Now select vert lines on the patch, and split them, eventually making a square in the middle. Make sure you split the patch under the surface of the caulk brush, not above. Delete the square to get this.
Now use your verticie moving and welding skills to make the square hole into a round hole. Make sure you CAP the patch in the surface inspector so that the terrain texture doesn't look funny.
Now make sure a little of the patch is under the waterline, like this. (This is a cutaway pic so you could see where the patch is supposed to be in perspective with the waterline).
Now make a 3x3 vert count patch from the caulk brush, and texture it with any grass texture that's also a blend texture. For the tut, I used dawnville2_grass_yellow1_blend. The vert count doesn't need to be big like the dirt patch needed, because the grass patch will be flat. But it does need a few verts because we're going to alpha it.
Bust out the patch editor and put it to flatten and alpha. Put it on a very low sensitivy, like 0.5, with a huge radius.
Now lightly alpha it to make it seethrough. Less alphaing makes a dirtier water, while heavy alphaing makes a clearer water.
We want to try to make the dirt patch follow the waterline, so you need to rearange the verticies of the dirt patch to make it look like this.
There, now that everything's even we can move on. Again, make sure you've CAPed the dirt patch so any movements you did don't make it look weird.
Now put a waterclip brush over the grass, I usually put it 1 unit higher that the grass patch, to be as close as possible. You can't put it at the same height as the grass because it'll confuse it. You water it to react like water when it's shot, not like grass.
Now put some stuff around the pond to reflect. I put a tree and a beam of wood around the pond to reflect. Make sure everything is in relation to the waterline, so if I put the tree on the dirt 8 units above the waterline, then we need to rotate the tree and put it 8 units below the waterline.
If you are making a night map, then you don't need to worry about puting duhoc sky texture under the pond like you had to in the previous tutorial. But if you're making a daytime map, you need to do that. My map's at night, and most night sky textures will be fine with it. The sky texture I used was sky_decoy.
Now here it is in the map.
Here's a stock water texture v. our method. Players want to play the game and not sit around and stare at the map, but it makes the map feel more realistic with little details like this in it.
A word on reflective water...
This method makes pretty water, not usable water. What I mean is, this method makes water that looks good and reacts to being shot, but you can't swim in it and it sounds like grass when you walk on it. Whenever I use this, I make it so that the player can only look at and shoot at the water, but not touch it.
Also remember that everything you put above ground around the pond must be copied and pasted below the ground. I've seen maps using this technique with a river running through the middle of the map, and basically the whole map was copied and duplicated below. Maps like that tend to not run fast and are unplayable just because you have two maps in one basically. Whenever I use this water technique, I use it sparingly and not around a lot of stuff. Here's another example of how I used it in one of my maps.
Just have fun with it, and happing modding!
edited on Aug. 8, 2007 10:57 pm by ArmorMaster
edited on Aug. 8, 2007 11:01 pm by ArmorMaster