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Create Vibrant Water Reflection with V-Ray Render Passes

V-Ray Reflection & Refraction Pass Compositing

If you feel that the water bodies in your scene lack depth, contrast, and vibrancy, then I’ve got an easy fix for you. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to modify the look of water in your scene and make it more appealing. As long as your V-Ray water material has the right parameters and normal bump maps, you’ll be able to make it look surprisingly real using this trick!

Since we’ll be focusing on the waterway in our Future City render, I’ve chosen to render out a mask for it. We can then isolate all out modifications to just that area. In order to increase the intensity and contrast of the water, we’ll duplicate our reflection and refraction passes inside Photoshop. We’ll mask them with our earlier mask render. We can blend our duplicate pass with the original using the ‘Soft Light’ blend mode. Duplicate it again to create an even stronger look.

I’ve also rendered out the waterway with a larger bump map applied. This way I can import this version as well and blend it over the original version. Using the brush tool, simply paint over the mask to hide/show the effect over certain area of interest. You get so much control by doing that. As you know, every water body isn’t uniform, there are areas which have much stronger waves and ripples. It’s important to blend the two bump layers to create a convincing look.
You may also experiment with other blending modes and see what results do you get? It all depends on your sun direction,so make sure to have a handy reference that will guide you towards a PHOTO-REALISTIC result. I’ve learned a lot just by taking high resolution photos of nearby lakes, pools, and seas – it’s so incredible how it behaves every day at different times.
In my case I have a slight windy day 🙂 therefore my waves are short, low and repetitive.
Alright, if you think this is useful, share it!
Talk soon,
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