DreamScape: SeaMaterial



The DreamScape: SeaMaterial was primarily designed to be used with the Sea Surface object. It consists of a single rollout: the DreamScape Sea Parameters rollout.


This material communicates directly with the Sea Surface to render realistic surface attributes including accurate bump maps and foam.









Index of Refr. - This spinner determines the how refractive the Sea Surface is.



Note: DreamScape will determine if the camera is above or below the Sea Surface automatically, so you don't need to alter this spinner.


Min. Reflectivity - This spinner controls the minimum amount of reflection that should come off of the Sea Surface. Higher values will make water more reflective, even in shadow areas.


RapidRay - This button launches the RapidRay dialog. RapidRay is a raytracing acceleration system built specifically for the DreamScape and is designed to accelerate intersections with objects where needed.



Max. Depth - This parameter represents the maximum depth of grid nesting. Bigger values might result in faster rendering time but nested grids will occupy much more RAM.


Max. Faces/Voxel - Each cell of a uniform grid is called 'voxel'. When a voxel contains more faces than specified by this parameter, this cell will be subdivided until the Max. Faces/Voxel or Max. Depth limit is reached.


Max. Width - Each grid is subdivided into a number of smaller voxels. This parameter limits the number of grid-dividing voxels.


Reset Parameters - By clicking on this button you will be prompted to erase all the DreamScape SeaMaterial parameters and set them to their default values.


Help - By pressing this button you will enter Help Mode. In this mode you can click on almost any parameter to bring up the corresponding Help file topic.


About - This button will open the About box. From inside the About box you can quickly check our most recent product news and software updates.




The Glitter parameter simulates the Sun reflection on the water.


These parameters are similar to the 3ds max program's Glossiness and Specular Level material settings.


Apply Shadows - When you use this option, shadows will be contributed to the glittering and foam lighting calculations.


Sharpness - Determines the sharpness of the glitter effect. Higher values will produce narrower glittering, while small values will make the glittering effect less pronounced.


Intensity - The strength of the glittering Effect.


Color - There are two options:

User - Uses a user-defined color for the Glittering effect.

Use DS Sun - Uses DreamScape Sun and atmospheric conditions to calculate the Glittering color.



Sky Color

The SeaMaterial color is based on two components: Sky color from above the Sea Surface and the Underwater Color from under the Sea Surface. These two colors are blended together using the IOR (Index of Refraction) value and a built-in Fresnel formulae.


The Sky Color dropdown list lets you choose whether you want DreamScape to use a single color or the DreamScape Sky color to determine the above-the-water component.


User Defined - When this option is chosen, the selected color is applied for the rays above the surface if there are no intermediate scene objects are hit.


DreamScape Sky - When this option is chosen, the DreamScape Sky plug-in will calculate the above surface color.



Underwater Color

Underwater color depends on many factors, such as water murkiness, distance to the bottom, light level, etc.


There are three options to set the underwater color:


User Defined - When this option is chosen, there will be no color change with the change of the distance from the sea bottom (if you are rendering shallow waters, for example.)


DreamScape SubSurface - When this option is chosen, you must use the SubSurface environment plug-in to calculate underwater color (a slower method). To use this method, you should add SubSurface into the Environment list first. Proper usage of this option will also require you to enable the Refract Object checkbox.


Automatic - Underwater color is based on the average sky color. Use the Filter color swatch to adjust the automatically determined color.




The SeaMaterial is capable of reflecting and refracting any 3ds max object, including DreamScape Terrain objects.


Reflect Objects - Activate this checkbox if you want the SeaMaterial to reflect other objects in your scene. If your camera is below the sea level, use this checkbox if you want underwater objects to be reflected.


Self Reflect - Activate this checkbox is you want the SeaMaterial to reflect itself within the scene.


Refract Object - Activate this checkbox if you want the SeaMaterial to refract other objects in your scene. If your camera is below the sea level, use this checkbox if you want objects that are above the surface to be refracted.





Note: If viewing the sea surface from below the water at certain angle, there will be situations where the ray will not refract. This phenomenon is known as total reflection.


Self Refract - Activate this checkbox if you want the SeaMaterial to refract itself within the scene.


Blurry Reflection - In the real word, reflected images on the water aren't perfectly sharp. To create blurred reflections with the SeaMaterial, RapidRay computes many reflections from various directions and then averages them.


Strength - The strength of the blurred reflection. High values will create highly blurred reflections.


Quality - This parameter determines how many samples RapidRay will take per pixel. With high Strength values you will need to use a higher Quality setting.




Bump Map - Use the DreamScape:Sea Bump map inside this slot to add more detail to the waves.


Foam Map - To render foam, you must to use the DreamScape: Sea Foam map in this slot. You can also use your own maps to add foam to the surface.


Note: Material Channel 1 is reserved for the Bump Map and Foam Map. If you are going to use any other 3ds Max map beyond these two, you will probably need to apply a UVW Map Modifier to the SeaSurface. For the Map Channel, please use 2 or higher.