I started out creating the lake by making a plane that fit into the crevices of the landscape. I then painted another Art Neauvou/Byzantine style texture.
To create the material, I started off by using the same method I did when I created water for the first prototype. I used two desaturated versions of the texture, one with streched uvs and panned them over each other, lerping them as the alpha of two colours I wanted in the lake. This looked ok, but didn’t act like real water. Even though the game is styled, I wanted nice,realisitc reflections.
To get my water more realistic looking, I learned from an example by awesome technical artist Alyssa Reuter.
From her site, I learned that what I needed were accurate reflections, fresnel, colour changes based on angle of viewing and the opacity to fade out at the edges of the pool.
I wasn’t sure how she was doing her reflections, as UDK and UE4 seem to work differently in that respect, but I managed to find the cubemap target volume and made a texture target for that. This then went into my reflection set up.
Once this was working, I lerped my original set up with the colour based on angle set up and then lerped this with the reflections. It gave me a nice inbetween a realistic set up and my stylized work. I then added the normals, generating them with my hand painted map in crazybump and set up in the same was as the base colour. Last thing was a bit of tweaking of the plane, this really didn’t want to sit right, and some set dressing.