ShaderForge,

In this article, I introduce how to make waves breaking on the shore by Shaderforge in Unity.

 

波のシェーダー

The Shader to express waves

It represents waves breaking on the shore and retreating from as shown above.

We make a simple one that you can use just by assigning it to a Plane.

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Samples

You can taste a sample space in STYLY GALLERY.
Wave01_Sample

You can download the Unity project shown in this article.
Wave_Sample

As this project data doesn’t include some plug-in required, install them by yourself.
Playmaker
SteamVR Plugin

Add a new shader by Shaderforge

There are just two planes for the waves and for the beach.

Open Shaderforge and create a new shader by New Shader > Lit(PBR).

Create a new shader by Shaderforge.

 

As we adjust transparency, change Blend Mode to “Alpha Blended “.

ブレンドモードの設定

The setting for Blend Mode

 

Check the box for OpenGL ES3.0 to use in STYLY.

OpenGL ES 3.0にチェック

Check the box for OpenGL ES 3.0

 

Change shape by Heightmap

We actually change the shape of a polygon mesh by applying a grayscale texture on it.

You can introduce a realistic expression by changing the shape of an object.

 

波のHeightmap

Heightmap for the waves

This texture is made of a cloud-pattern in Photoshop.

We use it in Shaderforge.

Make a Texure2D node by dragging the texture to the Shader Forge window.

テクスチャを使用する

Use a texture.

 

Make an animation of waves by scrolling UV.

PannerとUV Coordをつなぐ

Connect Panner and UV Coord.

Add a Panner node and a UV Coord node, and then, connect them to the texture.

 

In this state, it just scrolls in one direction. So we add a back-and-forth motion.

時間で制御する

Control it by “Time”

You can make it move back and forth by “Sin”.

Set “Time” for the speed of the motion and “Remap” for the range.

 

Acquire the direction of the vertices’ motion by Normal Direction, and combine it with the motion of the texture by a Multiply node.

You can now change the shape of the object by connecting it to  VertexOffset.

Vertex Offsetで頂点移動

Moving the vertices by Vertex Offset

 

In the current state, the motion hasn’t been applied to the scene yet.

Assign the material with the new shader to the Plane, and specify the texture to apply in the Inspector window.

テクスチャを指定する

Specify the texture.

It adds some variations to the shape of the Plane.

You can see the vertices have been shifted in their normal direction by the greyscale texture.

Adjust the height of waves

Make the motion more dynamic by adding up-and-down motion to the entire wave.

Add a slider called “Waveheight” to adjust the height.

波の高さのスライダー

The slider to adjust the height of the wave.

 

In addition, add a slider called “Wavewidth” to adjust the width of the waves surging.

Wavewidthの調整

Adjust “Wavewidth”

 

Specify the direction of the entire wave by a Value called “Wavedirection”.

Wavedirectionの調整

Adjust “Wavedirection”

I set the direction to Z-axis only.

 

Add Heightmap

Next, add a Heightmap.

Heightmapの追加

Add a Heightmap.

As the white part expresses a rise, scroll it to represent the waves surging periodically.

UVをスクロールする

Scroll UV

Impose “Add” between “Panner” and “UV Coord”, and connect “Vector2” to it.

Although it moves UV a little, it helps to synchronize it with the entire motion of waves.

 

Put it and the cloud-pattern texture together by “Add”, and connect it to Normal Dir.

Addで追加する

Add it by “Add” node

 

Once you specify the texture, it will be applied to the Material.

テクスチャを指定

Specify the texture.

Now, you have implemented the motion by the gradation texture.

 

Add Normalmap

Add a Normalmap for finer details.

It’s so easy to fine-tune the detail by Normalmap.

波のNormalmap

Normalmap for waves

I made this texture by converting a cloud-pattern image into the normal-vector map in Photoshop.

 

Add a motion to Normalmap by scrolling UV as we did earlier.

スクロールの設定

The setting to scroll UV

 

You can add the Normalmap effect to the surface by assigning the texture in the Inspector window.

Normalにつなぐ

Connect it to Normal.

It looks like the sea now.

 

Colour the sea

Blend brighter colour and lighter colour to make the colour more realistic for the sea.

海の色の設定

The setting for the colour of the sea

Make the view responsive to the direction of the camera by adding Fresnel.

 

Use the Hightmap with gradation as colour.

Overlay the white part as it is to express a splashing wave.

白く見える部分をブレンド

Overlay the white part.

In this example, I imposed a Blend node and connected to “Screen” to overlay.

 

Use Alphamap

The tip of the waves has been left square. So now make it more wave-like shape.

Make the effect by overlaying the wave-shaped texture with transparency.

 

波の形のアルファマップ

Alpha map with wave-shaped boundary

Set it to make this white part only visible.

 

Combine the texture and the Value, and connect it to Opacity.

You can adjust the transparency by the Value.

Opacityへつなぐ

Connect to Opacity.

Switch off “Cast Shadow” as you don’t need the shadow of the Plane.

 

It completes the shader for waves.

波のシェーダー

The shader for waves

 

In this article, I introduced how to make a shader for waves by Shaderforge in Unity.

You can make various effects by changing the shape of objects with Vertex offset controlled by a texture.

You could save your time as it could substitute for some modelling works.

How to upload an Asset from Unity to STYLY:
Read this article

Masanori Takano

牧場厩務員→家具職人→大工を経て現在はフリーランスの3DCGアーティスト

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About STYLY

STYLY is a cloud-based service for creating high quality,beautiful VR spaces that doesn’t require any coding. By using STYLY, creators can express their imaginations indefinitely and build a variety of virtual spaces. Through these spaces, we can share experiences that are unachievable in the real world.