Created By: Pickly on July 21, 2012

Smooth Water

Water that is animated as a smooth surface with painted wave colors on top

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Water can be difficult to animate for many reasons, and oftentimes, is not quite animated quite like real water. In Smooth Water, water bodies are often created simply as smooth surfaces found within basins, with waves and splashes either added as simple color changes on the surface, or created as objects outside the main body of water, that do not interact with it much.

Alternative titles: flat water, surface water, painted water

(Note: Gel Water is added as another potential article about water animation oddities. If both these make it through the process, I'll be adding some more description and links between the two.)

Video Game
  • Warcraft III uses this style. Fountains are made separate objects, waves and other surface interactions exist as animations.
  • Guild Wars uses this style more than Gel Water at points, usually when characters are running through the water. The jade Sea, though not actual water, has foam and spray drawn onto the Jade in this style.
  • Cvilization 4 has this effect for oceans.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • July 22, 2012
    fulltimeD
    I don't think a quirk of animation is tropeworthy. See my argument in Gel Water.
  • July 22, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Now general ways to animate water makes for a trope.

    Regardless, the name is bad. This is not about water being smooth, but using the lines to appear not being smooth.
  • July 22, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Yes, a more generalized list of ways of animating water WOULD be tropeworthy
  • July 22, 2012
    nitrokitty
    This sounds like People Sit On Chairs. Either it's a shortcut used by animators, or a necessity forced by technical limitations. Either way, it doesn't have any particular significance to anything.
  • July 23, 2012
    Koveras
    Inverted in Out Of The Silent Planet: the Martian water is much edgier than the one on Earth, causing it to go in spikes rather than waves.
  • July 23, 2012
    abk0100
    Shortcuts used by artists are tropes, we have lots of them already. Same with necessities forced by technical limitations.
  • July 23, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Yes but a page devoted to various ways of animating water could cover all those shortcuts without the need for a page for every different kind of shortcut.
  • July 23, 2012
    fulltimeD
    @abk0100: Also, there are some things on this site that are kept for their historical/pop cultural significance, but which we don't accept any more of. IE we aren't getting rid of all the Stock Phrase pages, but we have a rule that we don't make any more trope pages for Stock Phrases. I think we need to look at "necessities forced by technological limitations" in the same way.
  • July 23, 2012
    TonyG
    This would be related to No Flow In CGI.
  • July 23, 2012
    abk0100
    ^^ you should have stuck with your first argument. I can understand wanting to have a single "simplified water" trope instead of a bunch of more specific tropes, but no way do I agree about not counting it as a trope at all.

    Anyway, you're not going to get anywhere with that in YKTTW. start a thread in wiki talk.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=de6r3om1xh1q3dr198mbx4u0