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Transparent Water Tips



In GLQuake you have the possibility to display water textures in a transparent way. The console command r_wateralpha 0.4 handles the transparency of the textures, which ranges from 1 (solid, non-transparent) to 0 (nothing, full-transparent).
Information about what can be seen from every position is stored in the map file for the Quake engine. Unfortunately in the original levels water is like a wall, hence not tranparent and you can not see what is inside or outside the water. These information can be disabled with r_novis 1, then you can see everything but your machine suffers from a big performance hit, as Quake is now forced to draw the complete level every frame and not only the rooms which are visible.
Some very clever persons wrote a couple of programs, which can rebuild the VIS information of a map, so you can play with transparent water and only a small performance hit. Performance loss of reVISed maps depends on the size of the water pool and is normally between 0.1 and 0.5 fps.

Those reVISed levels also helps the non-GL versions to "see" through water, but unfortunately (again) they do not support transparent textures. Although the level behind the water surface is processed and drawn, it will not be displayed.
Fortunately a possibility exists for non-GL versions in form of a little program which "removes" the water textures. It looks very weird when players "float" through the air, but the big advantage of GLQuake players has vanished.


Maybe the wanted map files must be extracted from a PAK file, this can be easily done with the PakExplorer.
Remember: A backup of the original map file can be useful.

Processing levels

Three different ways exist:

1. Modified QBSP for level creators
Premise is you own the MAP file of the level, which is unlikely.
Instead of using id's QBSP you use Greg "Tree" Lewis's TreeQBSP or Ken Alverson's WQBSP. WQBSP can be found on The Forge in the files section.
These QBSP know transparent water, the Ritual (formerly Hipnotic) extensions and a lot more.
After this, the level has to be processed with LIGHT and VIS as usual. Done.

2. BSP2PRT for maps that were never reVISed and people with a lot of time
With Alex R. Moon's BSP2PRT you can extract all information from the BSP file, which are needed for VIS, into a PRT file. Also water will be marked as non-solid, unlike the standard QBSP does, and the level can be processed with VIS again for transparent water. Done.

As no homepage for BSP2PRT exists, you can download it from my homepage.
An example batch file from me is also included, which will process all original levels of Quake.
3. VISPATCH for the most popular maps and players with no time
As reVISing a level takes a lot of time, Andy Bay and Ken Alverson got the following idea:
  1. A level is only reVISed ONCE
  2. The VIS information are extracted from the processed BSP file
  3. The extracted VIS information are made public on the internet
  4. Everybody can import the VIS information into his own BSP file
The resulting program is called VISPATCH.
As the multiple reVISing process is obsolete, people get levels with transparent water within minutes and not hours.
A lot of VISpatches exist, e.g. for the original Quake levels or Ritual's (formerly Hipnotic) Mission Pack #1 "Scourge of Armagon", etc. You can find them on WaterVIS. Please help them by submitting your VISpatches, when you create VISpatches for levels which are not already on their page. Thanks.

Postprocessing for non-GL versions

To see into the water with non-GL versions you finally have to use Dr. Splat's WaterHack on your maps (download).

Using reVISed levels

For levels from a PAK file it's not sufficient to put them in the maps folder (see directories (German)).
Instead you should create a new PAK file by using PakExplorer and put the reVISed levels there in the maps folder.
WARNING!!! Maybe you have to change some batch files regarding the new PAK file (see batchsystem (German)).

Advantages and Disadvantages


Hints on deathmatch with transparent water

The server should, but must not, use re-VISed levels for transparent water.
Otherwise clients can see the level inside and outside the water, but not players, ammo, moving brushes, weapons, etc.

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