(FLASHBACK) Lighting Challenge #5: Under The Boardwalk


Hi, it’s me again :slight_smile:

So finaly I stoped playing with MR fog and dof (yes there was some on the previous render)

Now i’ve got okay render times (1:30min in 768*432), so I decided to make a animation test :

As you can see, I have a new problem now… the displacement is moving !


Very nice FeD.

What do you use for the flying white dots in the foreground?


Hi Panupat,

I used the free Particle stock that Videocopilot gave here :

For the lens flare it’s videocopilot again with thier AE plug-in. And for the render I only used 3 passes ; diffuse, occlusion and Zdepht.
I’ll change the link of the video, the youtube compression give an horrible result :sad:


Really wonderful animation :slight_smile:


Hi everyone,

I always wanted to try one of the lighting challenge, so here I am :slight_smile:
This is my very first message ever in cgsociety and I just want to say that i’m really happy to be here !

Here is a first experimentation with maya mental ray physical sun. I tweaked the parameters to obtain this kind of deep sea blue environment. There is also a few compositing just to see how my render can look with some atmospheric and z-depth effects.


Hello all, I’m on board for this challenge, will post some wip images soon(ish)

Got some good guidance from Vlado, the Vray wizard with regards to Snell’s window in underwater renders

It involves putting the camera inside a bubble, in the same way that a real underwater camera would have a plastic protective casing!

The scene we are using probably isn’t ideal for demonstrating this physical result as it is very shallow and for the window to be in full view you would need to be quite deep and use a wide angle lens - must say it’s an excellent scene though, getting some awesome results using Vray Fog, dispersion and caustics

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s attempts :wavey:


Hi Everybody

Ill share with you a couple of renders of the scene, been working for the last to days mostly technical issues gettin the waves going, refractions and fog with parti volume. I does not have a clear lighting intention and im helping myself with mental rays physical sun & sky, irradiance particles, mia materials and mia exposure photographic :thumbsup:


I think it’s still no-one made shail’s window look well. It’s pretty obvious in this video how it should look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucivXRBrP_0 Until we figure out how to make it, our scenes will look not believable.


I’ll post my wip in a few hours, when I get home from work

Snell’s window captured perfectly


As promised, here are some WIP images demonstrating Snell’s window, haven’t done anything yet apart from set the scene up, not decided on view or mood yet but just wanted to show Mister3d that snell’s window can be acheived without any fake’s/maps or tricks





Nice images Afraine. Could you talk a little bit about your scene setup?

What is the material/IOR around your “bubble” surrounding the camera. Is your water just a surface or is it something enclosed, like a box? Which way are the normals facing on the bubble and water surface?


Hi Fitz,

IOR on the water is 1.333 (typical water) and the same material with the same IOR is applied to the bubble around the camera (a sphere basically). The normals on the bubble need flipping so that they face towards the camera (hope that makes sense)

Oh, and the water is just a surface, no box or volume

If anybody wants a simple version of the scene, maybe an .obj file or something I wouldn’t mind sharing. I’m aware that not everybody here uses Vray otherwise I would offer a sample scene with the materials




Ahh that totally makes sense. Thanks! I was overthinking this one.


Hi guys,

Here’s my shot so far, i havent done any form of texturing yet, only lighting and adding instances for foliage on the rocks and soil.My shot’s layout is also still going to change, ilike to get my general lighting down first and then go into enviro detail. My volley layer also has a few changes that i will apply to it, i need to slice the tops of the plants that protrude through the water.

My link: http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg508/bencpr4/Under_boardwalk_Frame_BenCooper.jpg

Please let me know what you guys think.I have a few bubbles here and there, but will still be adding particle matter in also using instancing :wink:




Oh this brings back some memories!:wink:
A quick mockup with low sampling, maya/vray and some postpro:


Hi Afraine. It looks pretty good. Could you PM me the simple scene with just the sky and the surface, so I could explore the effect you created? Thank you. So you used regular physical water properties, is that correct?

I think your water looks the most realistic for now. :bowdown: Could you tell a bit how you made the water surface, so it looks so believable? And maybe some kind of gradient adds to the feeling, or it’s just the water plane setup is so good? Thank you.

I think what’s important with Snell’s window is the index of reflection. I tried settings from 0,9 to 0,7 and they look more or less believable.


Hi Mister3d

I’ll send you the scene when I finish work later this evening

The water has regular settings, a bit of noise for the small wavy effect and IOR is standard water (1.333)

I’ve been modifying the scene somewhat but I’ll send you a simple version of my setup for you to explore

You’re using Vray I believe, which version of Max do you have?


Edit - http://www.anthony-fraine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/snell.zip

You can use this scene which came straight from Vlado @ Chaosgroup, I take no credit for it

All I have done to differentiate my scene from the one in the link is remove the fog and the bubble which surrounds the camera, I originally thought the bubble was needed to return the correct effect (Snells window) but it seems that the bubble is only required to ensure the correct refraction fog colour is returned

One negative effect of wrapping the camera in a bubble is that technically you are rendering through something (in this case water) and so the only useable element would be refraction, this is obviously quite a bad thing as you in effect get no elements and may as well just colour correct the RGB. Removing the bubble allows you to render a normal image and have all of your elements available to composite with (much better!)



You can send me any version till 12.
It’s interesting. Snell’s window is created by reducing the angle of view to 96 degrees instead of regular 180. I’m curious how to transfer 180 degrees to index of reflection.


Snells window returns the effect of 180 degrees compressed into a 96 degree viewing angle but nothing has to be altered physically to return this result, this is just what happens when setup correctly. In other words, Vray will produce this result naturally without any tricks or fakes required

Hope that makes sense, I’ve edited my last post and added a direct download link for the original scene file (from Vlado at Chaosgroup!)

Just remember, normals for the surface water (made of a simple plane) should point away from the camera. If you decide to use the bubble approach as demo’d in the sample scene, then the normals of this bubble (a sphere) should point towards the camera


Thanks for the scene Anthony. Is there any chance you could capture some of the scene set up and important settings for me to see? I only have Maya + Vray and no Max. Thank you :slight_smile: