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Advanced Graphics Summit: Open-World Water Rendering and Real-Time Simulation

Zhenyu Mao  (Principal Software Engineer, LightSpeed Studios)

Kui Wu  (Senior Rsearcher, LightSpeed Studios)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

Water is a critical feature in video games, especially open-world games. This session will introduce a unified solution for large water bodies rendering and simulation for open-world games.

The shallow water equation (SWE) with the particle system is used for water simulation, and a sophisticated algorithm is designed for the open-world water system to combine precomputed offline data and the real-time simulation result. The water mesh is rendered with a mixed tech of screen space tessellation, CDLOD, and adaptive GPU tessellation based on height map, flow map, and other procedural generated assets. All solutions are blended seamlessly around the border.


The audience will learn multiple tessellation methods used in water rendering, From the common tech like CDLOD to new tech, like the adaptive GPU tessellation method. The audience will also learn how the shallow water equation is used in fluid simulation, and how it is optimized to run in real-time and blend with baked water data.

Intended Audience

This is for game developers, 3D programmers, and physics and fluid simulation researchers.