Water Brush


Water Brush animates static images of a water surface such as the sea, oceans, rivers, ponds, lakes and even water in a bucket. The idea of the brush is simple. Water is never static, so adding some waves to a picture instantly makes the scene more vivid and realistic. Water Brush is a powerful tool with a lot of options.

Let’s see how to work with this brush.

How to use Water Brush

1. Select the Water Brush from the Add New Animation dialog. The brush is located under the “Animated Brushes” section in the “Nature Brushes” subsection.

2. Click “Apply Selected Animation”. This adds Water Brush to the list of Animations on the right.

3. Paint with Water Brush over the water surface on the picture. That’s it! In just a few seconds you’ve got nicely animated water:

Brush Properties

Water Brush has multiple options divided onto three sections: Ripple Properties, Wave Properties and Lighting Properties. Together, they allow you to animate almost anything from a muddy puddle to the sea on a stormy day.

Ripple Properties

These settings adjust ripples on the water’s surface. Ripples are small and chaotic waves. Adding ripples helps simulating the real look and feel of any water surface.

  • Speed – sets the speed of the ripples. Faster ripples can be seen in smaller basins like wells or ponds, or in a glass of water.
  • Amplitude – simply put, how big the ripples are.
  • Scale – determines how the ripples should be scaled. For distant objects – the ripples should look smaller, so decrease the scale to reflect this. On the other hand, if the water is close to the viewer, the ripples should be scaled up.
  • Perspective – adjusts the angle of view. A sea shore probably needs lower values. Water in a bucket, or a pool look better with a higher value of this parameter.

Wave Properties

These settings allow you to adjust the waves – bigger ripples produced by wind or some other effect such as the falling water of a waterfall, for instance. Waves are rarely seen in closed basins like pools or sinks, but are common on lakes, the sea and oceans.

  • Direction – sets how the waves should propagate.
  • Amplitude – this option determines how big each wave is.
  • Wave length – sets the lengths of each wave. Naturally, longer waves require wider water surfaces, so it’s a good idea to use bigger Wave length when animating the sea and lakes.

Lighting Properties

Here you can simulate the light effects on the water surface.

  • Brightness – specify the contrast between lit and dark sides of the waves.
  • Glare – adjust the amount of glare on the water. Crystal-clear waters tend to have more glare on a sunny day. But if the scene is cloudy or in-doors, you should make this option match the overall lighting.
  • Color – sets the color of the glare on the water. Normally, white is OK. Red gamma is a nice choice for an evening seashore slide, green suits swampy waters and so on.

By combining these parameters you can achieve a wide variety of effects to reflect the particular mood, weather and the time of day on the scene.