I'm trying to render a scene where the camera is behind a window, on the other side there's a light-emitting background image (image on a plane), and there are some rain drops on the outside of the window. For the rain, I have heightmaps defining the structure. The scene without the rain looks like this:

enter image description here

I'm not really familiar with blender so I'm not sure what the best way to go about rendering the rain heightmap. I've tried making a mesh from the heightmap and setting the material to something water-like, and putting this on top of the window but that doesn't work. I've also read that normal maps are better for texture so I think I should be using that instead? Which has led me to think I should make some kind of plane with a water-like material, then add a texture to it using a normal map that I bake from my heightmap?

Any advice on the general workflow I should go through would be greatly appreciated. I'm really trying to make this scene as realistic as possible so any tips on how to make the material and light refraction (going through the rain then the glass) realistic that would be super helpful.

For reference, here is a heightmap, and an example of what I would want my output to look like: enter image description here enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Anything from here: youtube.com/results?search_query=blender+raind+drops ? $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jun 8 '19 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ unfortunately none of those tutorials describe how to use the type of heightmap that I've described, where all of my rain (across the whole window) is represented as a single heightmap (so if no rain exists in a position, the height is 0) $\endgroup$ – Blender Newbie Jun 8 '19 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please maybe attach these normal maps and reference image of what you want to achieve? $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jun 9 '19 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ @cgslav I've added a sample heightmap and reference image now! $\endgroup$ – Blender Newbie Jun 9 '19 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ @BlenderNewbie you could use one of the raindrop tutorials, and then use that result to bake a normal map to use in a material. You could also look at using dynamic paint to create an animated image sequence or just use its last image. Once you have your height map, you may want to ask a separate question specific to using it in a material with your render engine of choice. $\endgroup$ – sambler Jun 9 '19 at 7:48

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