How to make water in Poser

Skill Level: Intermediate / Views: 5569

This tutorial shows how to make a realistic water surface in Poser (requires Poser 5 or 6)

fran_joel on 1:26PM Wed, 20 April 2005


This is a small tutorial that I have put together to show how the appearance of a water surface can be created in Poser. It was prepared with the assumption that the reader is familiar with Poser basic functions.

In order to use this method, you will need to use Poser 5 or 6, because of their integrated material and raytracing capabilities. Even though I have never used Poser 4, I dont think that it has the same capabilities.

This tutorial was made with Poser 5.

The water surface starts as a simple plane. For the purpose of the demonstration, lets put a simple square plane (Square Hi-Res) and a sphere in the scene taken from the PRIMITIVES directory under PROPS. (Note that the plane does not have to be a high resolution mesh for the technique to work).

Arrange the objects and your POV so that your scene looks roughly like this. Note that the sphere has been scaled up 250%.

Also note that the plan cuts the sphere in two halves. The upper half is above the water and will be reflected onto the plane surface and the other half is underwater and will show through the surface.

Tutorial Comments

dbwalton  5:48PM Fri, 11 May 2018

Thanks for the instructions.  It took me a few attempts with the displacement map (finding the right one), but by golly, I got it.

shotokan158  9:20PM Sun, 14 January 2018

I know this has been here a while cuz I keep coming back to it/ Thank you for all the contributions you have given to the 3D community...

caty77  4:27PM Wed, 09 August 2017

Thank you very much for this tutorial. Simple but always efficient in Poser 11 :)

braj108  10:00PM Wed, 27 April 2016

I found this very helpful,  I have water planes as part of my terrain models,  but it is really nice to know how to create my own out of very simple geometry. It animates very nicely as well. 

TomMusic  10:18AM Sun, 20 May 2012

Very easy to follow, great job! -TOM-

Renderholic  11:59AM Sun, 05 December 2010

Excellent tutorial! It was just what I was looking for.

zippy  7:18PM Thu, 20 May 2010

Thank you for the help. Much appreciated.

marilene  2:37PM Tue, 13 October 2009

Thank you for the tutorial. I still have a question. How can i animate the water that it looks naturally moving? Maybe someone has a tutorial for this? Marilene

CrownPrince  8:55PM Mon, 10 August 2009

Excellent excellent tutorial even 4 years later!

jbtrimar  9:55AM Sun, 14 June 2009

Thanks for the great tutorial!

Yannich  3:20PM Tue, 03 March 2009

Excellent tutorial , MERCI !

kino-kino  12:41PM Wed, 09 April 2008

Muchas gracias por este tutorial, es buenisimo, me ha enseƱado a como hacer las supercifies reflectantes, y el agua, thanks for this tutorial!!!!

coffin  11:01AM Fri, 28 December 2007

Thanks for sharing this great tutorial. Worked for me! And thanks to Gibby.G for pointing me in your direction.

npauling  9:46PM Sun, 01 July 2007

Thankyou for taking the time to show us how to do this. Now I shall go and try to do it. Very appreciated.

flibbits  1:46AM Sat, 26 May 2007

This is a great tutorial. I saw Jenay's One thing with mine, following the tutorial, people standing near my pool aren't reflected in the water the way Jenay's near pool objects are reflected in the water. Am I missing something not detailed in this demo?

OOh Betty  8:14PM Thu, 12 April 2007

Thank you so very much for this tutorial! You have opened up a new world in Poser for me and it is really appreciated.

DgerzeeBoy  3:11AM Sat, 10 March 2007

Tons of great stuff, here. Thanks for taking the time.

jenay  8:05AM Tue, 06 March 2007 here is the pic

jenay  7:59AM Tue, 06 March 2007

this was very helpful :) thank you. I just started using Poser5 and needed a waterplane for my Roman Bath.

steve3D101  8:40PM Sat, 17 February 2007

BRAND New to Poser, want to THANK You for taking the time to put this tutorial together. Fantastic ! < Luv this 3D stuff ! WholeNewWorld & I didn't have to smoke nuthin'> Thanks Again

poseresop  5:24AM Tue, 13 February 2007

Very useful tutorial. Thank U...

Halibut72  5:58PM Fri, 15 December 2006

This is a fantastic tutorial! So easy and quick to do and such amazing results!

efron_241  3:02AM Thu, 14 December 2006

Je suis Happy !!! In other words FANTASTIC !!! I am going to use it today !

hankstr  6:52PM Wed, 15 November 2006

This is an excellent tutorial. I followed it in poser 5 and got excellent results. However, are there any other tips for poser 6? When I do these steps in P6 (including the last minute poser 6 adjustments noted on this page) I get a blotchy water. When I remove the displacement node all works well but of course no ripples. Any words of wisdom from the gurus out there? Thanks!

El_Michael  3:18PM Mon, 16 October 2006

In a word, this tutorial is ELEGANT! So often I have had to struggle through tutorials where the writer assumes I have certain knoweledge, but this tutorial is pure simplicity and leaves nothing to chance. Thanks so much for giving me the knowledge to add additional depths to my scenes.

cornelp  6:54PM Wed, 20 September 2006

Very owesome tut. I ALWAYS looked for a way to do reflective surfaces, and not only helped me with water surfaces, but also it can be applied to metals, weapons (swords and axes), and metalic pipes. U are amazing, very very owesome tutorial. U are great and amazing and THANK YOU for the information.

Stringy  4:41AM Mon, 18 September 2006

This really helped me with creating water effects in Poser 6. Be sure to read the final page which gives you specific information for setting up in Poser 6. Excellent!

jtuckerndfw  10:18AM Fri, 23 December 2005

I agree with all the above comments, excellent tutorial. Simple to follow & works well. Now that I have learned a simple technique using the material room (other than for pasting images on props), I can spend hours trying different combos. Ripples or waves can also be produced on the clothplane by using the "Create Wave" function under "Object" (Poser 5). Thanks, great tutorial.

bob191919  12:24PM Sun, 11 December 2005

I found some ripples that work better for tropical water.

bob191919  5:08PM Mon, 05 December 2005

wow thats all i can say. Super big help

akiron  9:49AM Sun, 27 November 2005

That's what I have been looking for.your discription was great! thanks a lot.

fran_joel  10:52PM Wed, 24 August 2005

Here is some additional info: It has come to my attention that the Poser "water" behaves differently in Poser 6 than it does in Poser 5. The main difference concerns the sensitivity of the displacement node value. A much lower value should be used in Poser 6 (0.005 instead of 0.1) to achieve roughly the same results. Also make sure that Raytracing and Displacement Maps are enabled in your render settings. finally, It is also a good idea to make the GROUND prop invisible before rendering. Have fun!

BludChylde  1:10PM Sun, 07 August 2005

Thanks for the tutorial. I'm a beginner with Poser and was able to follow it through and come out with decent looking results.

svdl  3:30PM Thu, 23 June 2005

Good use of the reflection and refraction nodes, a very clear explanation. By the way, you can also use a Granite or a fBm node for the displacement mapping, getting rid of texture maps completely. Especially useful when you want to render really large water planes (a complete lake for instance), and it will also free up some memory which can be used to add complexity to the scene. Well written tutorial, and the results look great!

froglove1  5:04PM Tue, 21 June 2005

is excellent, really adds a note (actually a symphany) of realism, has also made me start to explore the materials room. thank you

odf  3:01PM Tue, 24 May 2005

Thanks so much for this tutorial. Your setup makes phantastic water. I love it.

fran_joel  8:24AM Fri, 13 May 2005

Thank you for your comments. It's always nice to know that what you're doing is being appreciated.

Mariana_  7:24PM Wed, 11 May 2005

i am usually lost on tuts for poser but this..made me grin big when each step looked just like yours! so simple and so easy and fast! thanks for sharing this !!

chaobell  11:22PM Sat, 23 April 2005

And here I was just fretting about how in the heck I was going to put water in a scene that needed it. So very bookmarked. Thank you!

HeroineOfTime  2:29PM Sat, 23 April 2005

Excellent tutorial - produces THE most realistic water I've ever seen in Poser! The creator of this is to be commended, firstly for creating it, and secondly for releasing it to the community!

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