V-ray, ocean, distance falloff


Banging my head against the wall on this one.
I am building a beach scene, with an ocean / sea.
I created an infinite plane and used the v-ray standard “water” material and modified it so it looks like the render below. (Gave up on the Waves presets due to a need for translucency).
Not bad.
But in the real world, perceived reflections diminish as one heads to the horizon, and the water at the horizon is a noticably deeper (literally and figuratively), bluer color (see real world examples here and here).

I have tried using gradients and falloffs in the reflection and diffuse slots…but can’t get anything even close. Any ideas out there? Must be doable - but I’m stuck.

Soooo close…Attaching the water material in a zip.


Water.zip (11.9 KB)

you might try setting up the sea floor under the transparent water? As its the depth of the water that produces the effect in the examples, otherwise it might be as easy to darker/saturate the color in the distance in photoshop?
You also have a thin grey band on the horizon?

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Thanks for the reply.

Problem with your idea, which is a good one, is I need an v-ray infinite plane to extend to the horizon, (the ocean). and I don’t think its possible to create an infinite plane at an angle with a section cut on it. Would love to be wrong on this!

Second issue, is that the real problem with my sea, is the reflections in the infinite distance are what is making the water so white…

Oh - and the grey band, I think, is part of my hdri hemispherical map.

I think the sea floor could drop off over a large enough distance and not have to go to “infinity”. It’s more to get that initial transparency where you see the sand through the water. Bear in mind that when standing on a beach, the horizon is only 30 miles away (curvature of the earth) and not at infinity.
The lightness on the sea can also vary depending on where the sun is.
Another option might be to set up the sea texture in a series of bands ( which I don’t think you would notice) and reduce the reflection amount on each texture the further away they get ? You might also add a little more blue to each too?

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I know this doesn’t answer your question but unless you want this for VR or real-time rendering, I’d correct it in post. :wink:

That’s not entirely correct, reflection does not diminish with distance, it actually increases as the perceived angle of incidence increases from the surface normal (fresnel), your ocean is only reflecting your sky. Which lightens towards the horizon.
The deep blues you see are absolutely down to the depth of the water and the amount of light transmission, (fog colour) in vray refraction. And also those photos will be taken using a polarising filter to mitigate reflection which is most likely where the deep blues are derived.
You might find adjusting the balance of fog colour & fog multiplier May yield a result but not sure in regards to infinite plane.

Could you not set another infinite plane underneath to represent the sea bottom? No,idea whether that would have any effect but worth a try.

PS. yes it does. it gets rid of the line under the water where your beach geometry finishes.

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Actually come to think of it, you wouldn’t be able to do this in Renderer. You are better off Rendering out render elements (including a separate reflection pass) then manually controlling the reflections with masks in Photoshop, setting a a copied reflection pass layer to Add then using opacity and layer masks to paint in the reflections you want.
The saturation levels are easy to manage.
BTW if you are using a volumetric environment (aerial perspective) this will push your horizon towards white anyway, so you can control this manually to ‘push back’ the distance

Good point. I was going to mention that you can control whether Volumetric Atmosphere affects the background or now. So you could try turning it on and playing with visibility range keeping your sky unaffected.

@suresh.kavan So I was inspired by your beach scene and tried to re-create it to see how it would look. I found adding a PNG texture of the ocean shore/waves helped a bit. Adding the ocean material to an Infinite Plane is super smart by the way.

59%20PM 26%20PM


Clever solution

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That is ridiculously impressive - I was going to write up my own partial solution based on all the comments here…but I think I’ll study your thing for a bit, first.
Any chance you can post the vray packed skp?

I have used a bunch of the suggestions in this thread to good effect!


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https://www.dropbox.com/s/y3epe11mitxiyf9/SU_Beach-Ocean.zip?dl=0 Here you go.

I didn’t do much to the scene. Used Artisan to sculpt the sand a bit which was VRAY default sand material. I also bump the scale up a bit of the textures as they come in as metric so too small. Also increased the bump a bit too. Then added VRAY default waves as Wrapper material to Infinite Plane. Then added free beach HDRI that I found online to the Dome Light. Added Laubwerk palms. You can download the Plants Freebie kit from their website if you want to test it out. Turned Ambient Occlusion on. Tried with Atmosphere but didn’t help so kept that off. Oh yeah and just removed the water and sand from a beach aerial and brought that in directly over the infinite plane as .PNG so it preserved transparency. Maybe .25" above so they didn’t z-fight with each other but didn’t see big shadow.

Have fun!


Tried similar and it works a treat!:+1:
A low angle view (eye height) is always going to give a lighter horizon due to fresnel effect. It is possible to produce Polarised effect in vray(and photoshop) but all the solutions I’ve seen require a script, which vray4su doesn’t support.

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Pass with some adjusted elements (Thea) used large plane - not infinite.

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@whiterabbitdesigncompany rocks…cooler…people. you’ve just up the game now :wink: Very nice.

SU and Enscape, great solution, now I’m not bound to HDRI’s for views.


What’s your opinion on Enscape vs Lumion vs Twinmotion (other than cost). I’d say 90% of the the time i’m only outputting a still image for which Thea does great and always seems better than the real time renders?, but then that has to be weighed against render times on a tight schedule. Which then leads to the animation capabilities of the original 3. Thanks.

This needs a thread of it’s own, there are so many factors that determine what render tool to use.
I use Thea, Lumion, Twinmotion and Enscape, it’s the clients end results that determine which I use. I am mostly pre-viz so everything is needed yesterday, Enscape is my most used app for fast visuals, I can render 4k in seconds and animations in minutes as well as sending an exe to the client for VR.

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What does your native sketchup view look like? Its always helpful for everyone following these threads to see the final result, as well as the process or raw model screenshots as well.

What did you use to get the impressions in the sand?