Cory Edo’s water maps add depth to SL water

Wave effect using the Trompe Loeil "Cresting" normal water map
Wave effect using the Trompe Loeil “Cresting” normal water map

I’m coming to this via a pointer from Honour, which directed me to Strawberry’s blog entry on the subject.

Cory Edo, of Trompe Loeil fame, has released a pack of 10 free water normal maps for use in Second Life. These present a range of different wave textures which make creating your own custom water windlights for use on Linden Water a breeze. The finished results can, as with other windlight settings, be used purely within your own viewer or, for region / estate owners, can be used a default water setting  for their region / estate.

Four presets compared under the same sky settings, clockwork from top left: Linden water default; Trompe Loeil "cresting"; Trompe Loeil "Long Ripple"; Trompe Loeil "Glass" (click for full size image)
Four presets compared under the same sky and water settings, clockwork from top left: Linden water default; Trompe Loeil “cresting”; Trompe Loeil “Long Ripple”; Trompe Loeil “Glass” (click for full size image)

Strawberry has provided a  nice video tutorial on using the maps to create new water presets using the SL viewer, which can also be used alongside most v3 TPVs.  Cory also provides some notes on using the maps with Firestorm, but I thought I’d provide an additional overview on using the maps with that viewer and Phototools here as well.

If you use the Phototools button in Firestorm, click it to open the Phototools floater, then click on the New Water Preset button in the WL tab. This will open the Create a Water Preset floater.

Accessing the
Accessing the Create a New Water Preset floater through the Phototools floater

If you’re not using the Phototools button, go to World > Environment Editor > Water Presets > New Preset …

With the Create a New Water Preset floater open, simply drag and drop one of the Trompe Loeil water maps into the Normal Map box, then enter a name for the preset in the text box at the top of the floater.

Creatting a new water preset using the Trompe Loeil maps is a simple matter of drag-and-drop and applying settings and a name
Creating a new water preset using the Trompe Loeil maps is a simple matter of drag-and-drop and applying settings and a name

If you want, you can then adjust the Fog and Wave sliders and the Reflection tab sliders to produce the effect you desire.

When you’re satisfied with the result, click the Save button to save the preset to your hard drive. This will also close the Create a New Water Preset floater, so repeat all the steps above to create further presets using any of the Trompe Loeil normal maps.

You'll need to restart Firestorm after creating your new water presets in order to see them listed in the WL Water drop-down
You’ll need to restart Firestorm after creating your new water presets in order to see them listed in the WL Water drop-down

The new presets will be immediately available via the Edit a Water Preset floater (Pototools > Edit Water Preset or World > Environment Editor > Water Presets > Edit Preset …).

However, to show them in the WL Water drop-down list in the Phototools WL tab (shown on the right), you will need to re-start Firestorm.

Also, remember that Firestorm also backs-up custom windlights for you (make sure you have the options to do so checked in Preferences > Backup), so make sure you take a fresh back-up of your settings after adding any new windlights. That way you avoid having to recreate them once more after a clean install.

Do please note that these normal maps are intended to work with Second Life windlight; they are not “traditional” water textures and they will not work to create prim-bases water effects for pools, hot tubs and so on.

A great addition to the tool box of any sim designer and / or SL photographer – many thanks to Cory for creating them and making them available.

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