I'm working on a small creek including animated water (using a fluid domain). While I'm satisfied with the baked flowing animation of the water, I don't really like how it looks. Here's a render:

Water texture

It's way too opaque (nontransparent), I would like to have a more cristal-clear type of water. I've cranked up the brightness of the sun, but as you see, that only increases the brightness of the reflection. I've tried using fill lights from different angles to brighten up the scene, which works to some extent, but the texture still looks like ink. So I'm looking for help on how to make it look more like clear water.

Here's my current texture:

water texture

  • $\begingroup$ What color do you want to see? Brown earth? Stylized blue water? Please post an image of something that would be your goal. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ I was going for a realistic look ... there's a reddish/brown stone texture on the bottom of the creek though $\endgroup$
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ Please see. blender.stackexchange.com/questions/64/… . Where did you get your nodes depicted? They are many realistic views in the world. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ What kind of environment lighting do you have? $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 21:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's why your water looks like ink, you have no environment for it to reflect! Try using an HDR IBL (image based lighting), Greg Zaal has some really good free ones. Or try Andrew Price's Pro Lighting: Skies (it has a free version). $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Maybe im just too late right here, but anyways.

You need to mix a glass shader (put 1.35 IOR) with a transparent BSDF and you're done, or if you wanna go beyond and have a photorealistic water looking, you can do it by combining the Principled BSDF and transparent BSDF.

Change these settings on the Principled Shader:

Roughness to 0 or 0.05 (depending on the type of water, if dirty, clean, etc) IOR to 1.35 Transparent to 1 or 0.9 if dirty and such (you can also play with the colour and the transparent bar to add some color to the water)


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