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I just wanted to give you a quick glance at a little something that is in the pipe for an upcoming Unity release. As you are probably aware, Unity Pro includes water with real-time reflections and refractions.


Existing Pro Water


It is a big step up from the Simple Water, but we (and many of you) have wanted a more flexible and realistic prefabbed water that just looks stunning the moment you drop it in your scene.  That’s why, for the next release of Unity, Demo Team took the time to give pro water some major love:

Ok, so static screenshots don’t even begin to do this justice. You really need to see it in motion:

We have some more cool stuff to show off real soon… we just couldn’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on.

The Demo Team


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  1. First, you have to be running the Pro version of Unity, and second there are a LOT of parameters to mess with. It’s possible to get it to look like the video, it just takes a lot of tuning.

  2. Doesn’t look like that when I try it. Instructions much?

  3. All man! 20% off? I wasn’t ready to buy the pro version yet, why you guys gotta rush me?

  4. )r at least a watered down version?(ha ha watered down)

  5. So wait, this will come with the indie version?

  6. look to the boat… it’s mowing, omg so cool

  7. Wow! Nice one guys, that looks awesome!

  8. Wow Joachim Ante this would rock! it isnt in the beta releases already is it :) ?

  9. That IS freakin’ awesome! I think I saw this ideas/techniques in the BootCamp demo’s water, but I’m not a programmer and I couldn’t quite figure out what they were doing. I remember in the Island demo that something was said about how the water was rendering a reflection of a down-res’d terrain – but once again, I’m not a programmer so I couldn’t quite decipher what was being done. Anyway, I’m very excited about this new water and looking forward to putting it through it’s paces! Thanks for the reply, Joachim :)

  10. The new water shader has a bunch of options that can be configured. That said even the most advanced option is faster than the old water, because it is no longer doing the refraction pass by rendering the scene again but instead using a technique called GrabPass.
    It’s pretty freakin awesome.

    There is also an option to not use any reflection render texture, which is of course a lot cheaper and it still looks decent.

  11. Looks great! – my only question is: How much of a frame-rate hit will I pay to use it? The current Pro water is crazy-expensive – at least that’s been my experience. I’m hoping that along with the release of the new water, there will come a nice tutorial on how to optimize your scene so that your draw calls don’t go through the roof….. (crosses fingers). Thanks for the hard work! :)

  12. that will be awesome

  13. Henrique Dantas

    January 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    When Will it be released? Will it be available only for Unity Pro?

  14. Looks like there’s one more thing which will make me abandon community ocean shader for good: is underwater enabled?

  15. we put together a quick demo on what to expect with unity free here:!?p=474028#post474028

  16. automatically

  17. Sándor Moldán

    January 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Looks amazing! That’s one thing that we can cross off our to-do list. :)

    Is the shoreline foam being generated automatically by the new water prefab? Or is this just being done the same way as it is in the Island Demo?

  18. >Will there be a Unity Free version of this water shader? i.e minus the reflections and post processing filters but >including everything else? (waves, whitecaps, flotation scripts)

    Yes. The shader comes with a ton of configurable options and fallbacks for performance reasons. And it is possible to disable water reflections which is only supported in Unity Pro.

  19. Will there be a Unity Free version of this water shader? i.e minus the reflections and post processing filters but including everything else? (waves, whitecaps, flotation scripts)

  20. Thank you guys!

  21. Aras Pranckevičius

    January 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    @unitor: yes of course Standard Assets package updates are free. Just wait for next Unity release (soon).

  22. p.s. any news about unite presentations from last summer ?
    I’m sure lots of people would like to see it…

  23. That looks really nice, nice work!
    I’m just wondering about the price?
    Is it going to be free or the days of free goodies are over ?

  24. very nice! thx for the post

  25. @Martijn Dekekr … I just did a quick test and it appears to work just fine with multiple water meshes :)

  26. Pleaseeee make sure multiple water meshes in one scene can be used without all reflections going crazy :)

  27. Looks quite nice. … though the movement is too slow in the demo, and where’s the waves?

  28. It’s clearly a water with waves guys, just look at the rocks being hidden partially and then popping up again!

    So, is it too fast to say: “bye-bye community ocean shader”?

  29. Thats pretty awesome.

  30. This looks great, and bigkahuna is right, it looks like the water has been displaced! Amazing. It seems like with this new water we could easily turn this into a rushing river! Awesome!

  31. That looks freaking amazing guys. 3.2 looks like it’s going to be a great release. Keep it up!

  32. After closer inspection (it’s hard to see so I’m not 100% certain) but it looks like there are whitecaps, waves and, if I’m not mistaken, the boat seems to have displaced water (ie. water doesn’t “leak” into the boat as is common with the old shader). Very exciting to see! :)

  33. Awesome, that looks really great. Can’t wait for the next release :)

  34. Wow, this is such a huge improvement! Can’t wait to get it!

  35. Looks like a big improvement over the current Pro water but I can’t tell from the video if it will support whitecaps, true ocean waves, boat wakes etc. like the “community ocean shader” does? If so, that will be awesome!

  36. WOW!!! fantastic!!

  37. Great if this is the future of the demo team.

    I like a strategy of smaller demo’s with code we can use instantly.

    Maybe do updates on vehicles, character controller, input etc.


  38. Just great, really been waiting for this, just hoping it dont steal to much framerates :)..

    And when can I start looking for this :)


  39. Looking forward to it. For water/Ocean based simulations I have had to look to add other middleware engines to my workflow(still use Unity for most development) and any advances in support are greatly encouraging.

  40. Pure Awesomeness!

    Don’t forget to throw in that boat script as well, just in case it has some major love in it too.

    The Crazies

  41. lovely! Any chance of an ETA?