Maxwell - style of skymap for water rendering

by Hammer Chen

If you try to render out water with photo HDRI or V-Ray sky, it's not easy to get a clean looking. It is because the ground is always dark or black from those two sources. I like the looking when I was doing a Maxwell preview inside Realflow.

Here I have realflow imported in 3dsMax. I use a custom gradient map in my background:

These values are copied from Maxwell rendering. I make the Output Amount to 20 to a mimic high dynamic range.

With this environmental map is not enough. You need a high reflection source to give a highlight. So I place a V-Ray light (disc) and put another gradient in it.

This is my water material settings

Here are the end results, I hope you find this tutorial useful ;)

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