Half Underwater Shot


Hi there everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to go about creating a scene like this in cinema?


as much as I search I can’t find any tutorials that deal with a half underwater camera effect. I’m planning to use realwave in realflow to generate the wave surface, with an object being moved around by the waves to act as a proxy to be replaced by the camera in cinema. The main question is how to handle the different effects and environments of above and below water. Most people i’ve asked so far have suggested rendering two versions of the whole scene, one underwater and one above, and masking them using object buffers, but I wondered if anyone here had any ideas and/or could point me to some good tutorials for rendering above/below water effects.

Many thanks,


couldn’t you approach this as in real life? - that picture was not taken twice. maybe place the camera in a cube (as a boolean) in the water (to simulate the camera enclosure when submerged). I’d think the key is to successfully approximate the “cut plane” of the water, as well as the way water behaves (use correct index of refraction, slight colored refraction, etc)


I had to create something similar a few years back. imagine the camera is outside an aquarium - looking in through the glass - and handle it like that. The underwater area can essentially be an elongated cube with a displaced surface (using something like HoT4D). If you’re using a 3rd party render engine, you can add volume fog to the interior of the water to really give it thickness.



Thanks both very much for your suggestions, it would be great to not have to do 2 shots a e[dub] pointed out its not phsyically accruate and is also time consuming. Luke I’ll certainly look into using HoT4d intsead if RealFlow, i’ve been using it for some other elements of this project but its incredibly time consuming and not very adaptable. The idea of adding a volume fog to the cube is great i will definitely look into this. Do you have any useful resources you could link to to get me going?

Great suggestions both many thanks,


HOT4D: https://www.valkaari.com/?product=hot4d — Googling will get you some more tutorials/samples.

As for volume fog, it really depends on what render engine you use; they all apply it differently. If you’re using Standard/Physical renderer, you may have to fake it with visible lights.