Proper water exclusion and ocean transperant masking (water mask tools)

We need a way that is documented to add transparent maks to ocean water
revealing the aerial ortho data but retaining the ocean water properties.
Currently using exclusion and placing other water polygons overlapping doesn’t
work with wind and waves but appears to be the only way this can be done. Its
a bit of a hack and has many issues. Could we please have clear documentation
on how this is achieved using the same way asobo has done as St Barthélemy
airport / island.

Hello HybridNZ, You should be able to achieve this result by: - defining an
exclusion polygon to remove the water body and reaveal the underlying aerial
- add a custom water polygon on top of that This way you can have the water
effect with the imagery in transparency. Does this answer your question?
Regards, Sylvain

Hi, Ive tried what you said exactly and in many different configurations and
it doesn’t work unfortunately as below.

Water polys seem broken and the approach suggested by FlyingRaccoon does not
work. Here’s an example based on EEKU. There’s an excessive sand bar a few
kilometers north-east of the airfield (N58.156329 E24.02775):

If I simply attempt to cover it
with water, then it introduces an artifact (as expected, because overlapping
water polys are not allowed):
If I try to use the previously described method of exclusion + custom water on
top, then exclusion works as expected:
However, it’s back to the start
when I try to add water on top of it:
And I cannot add second water
poly either to force water, because overlapping water polys are not allowed
and cause artifacts: So how can
I cover the sand bar with water? It looks like stock terrain is taken into
account when summing polygons for the final water value (render or no render,
as described in the SDK), which breaks third-party customization. I believe
this is a bug. Stock water polygons under excluded areas should not be
included in the final water value, because otherwise we cannot add custom
water polys over excluded areas. In any case, this point system seems too
complex. It would be much better if we could just use absolute exclusion
polys that always remove water, and absolute water polys that always add
them, with overlapping allowed for both types.

Since Asobo can not fix all water mask around the world in a short time. Why
not open this possibility for DEV. Please.

In this case, just add a water polygon over the sand bar and use a different
water type. It doesn’t cause the artifact and the shader applied is the same
as on the surrounding water

Improving the CGL system to support this kind of edition is tricky and is a
long term objective.

Ok I see what you mean. I was trying on a smaller area and my water polygon
was not fully opaque. I’ll keep investigating but I don’t think we can find an
easy workaround using the polygon system and would need an improvement of the
CGL asset type to be able to do this.

One of the way to do it is creating thin stripes of water polygon, but the
problem is the reflected light is like zebra pattern (following strip size).
It really helps when we can create transparent water from inside SDK, just
like Asobo did with official water masks. I found out that water masking was
done via CGL, further confirmed by a post somewhere I found in past (using
older file will enable water masking in release build) but currently haven’t
had the knowledge on how to decompile CGLs

If I may ask, how Asobo devs currently create water masking? I’m not asking
for tutorial/step-by-step lesson, it’s more like a general idea of how this
actually works. I’ve searched inside SDK there are no effective way to do
that. Even if that means creating mask via multiple lines of program, I’m sure
there are devs out there that can create and provide external tools

This was in the original problem statement as the hack way to do it but
doesn’t work properly with other sim variables. Keen to see your results on
the old post. While we wait for official documentation/support on this issue.

Actually it wasn’t my result, just me found out someone said they successfully
reverting the removed water mask that Asobo shown in trailer. I’m also waiting
for official support

My situation was a bit more difficult: the goal was to replace all water
around the island (and within) with custom polys derived from LIDAR data.
Initially my approach was: - Exclude all types of water in work area. - Add
new water with WASTE_WATER (rarely used in stock terrain → low risk of
artifacts). This worked, but caused loss of waves. Using your tip about water
polys keeping their type, I modified the approach: - Exclude water only
in land mass. - Add new water with WASTE_WATER. This uses many complex
polygons and feels hacky, but works. Can I use it? Do you see anything wrong
with it?

Even something as simple as an additional water type limited to 50%
transparency (eg SHALLOW_WATER) would be a huge step forward. We could draw
such water polys over shallow waters to show the underlying aerial imagery.

Thanks Sylvian for giving a tiny bit more insight in the SDK Q&A.; It probably
confirms that an airport such as St Barthélemy / island is using some outside
of the editor method to achieve water/ocean transparency. Side note, you
carried yourself very well in the Dev Q & A and I really enjoyed your feedback
during the session to provide another perspective to some of the answers. Keep
up the good work team. Cheers Josh NZA Simulations.

For now, we are using dedicated tools to edit georeferenced data and that
applies to water masks. This data is then uploaded to Azure and streamed to
your game. Obviously, that’s not something we can include as is in the SDK and
the terraforming and polygon tools in the scenery editor are workarounds to
allow you to perform some edition but with limited capabilities compared to
what’s possible with the raw data. But as @Paavo suggested, we are checking
how we can improve the current system so that you can realize more complex

Hi Josh and thank you for the kind comment. Glad you enjoyed the Q&A; session
and I hope we can keep providing useful information to you that way. Regards,

Okay thanks, I understood the complexity and the mess it will create if raw
data is opened to almost everyone :slight_smile: I’ll wait for a proper solution in future
SDK updates. Water Mask in right places will make the sim multiple times
better, can’t wait to implement that in my tropical sceneries. Cheers, Pasha

Hello, Has there been any update to this? Water masking is a major feature
that us Devs would love to have!

Hello No update yet and don’t expect one soon. This kind of feature might seem
simple but it has a lot of technical implications that will take time to
solve. In the meantime, It seems there’s no ideas posted about that particular
feature. You should create one so that people can upvote it. Be sure it’ll be
taken into account when trying to prioritize the development of the upcoming
features. Regards, Sylvain