Water Space Warp
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Create panel (Space Warps) reactor Water

Animation menu reactor Create Object Water

reactor toolbar (Create Water)

You can use the Water space warp to simulate the behavior of a liquid surface in your reactor scene. You can specify a size for the water, and physical properties such as density, wave speed, and viscosity.

You don't need to add the water to a collection for it to take part in the simulation. However, while it will appear in the Preview Window, it will not appear in a rendered animation unless you bind the space warp to a plane or other geometry. You can find out how to do this in Rendering Water.


To create a Water space warp:

  1. Choose one of the above commands, and then in any viewport drag out a Water object.
    TipFor horizontal water, create the space warp in a Perspective or Top viewport.
  2. Move and rotate the object as necessary using standard commands. For changing other properties, see the next procedure.

To edit the properties of a Water object:

  1. Select the object in the scene.
  2. On the Modify panel, open the Properties rollout.
  3. Use the rollout to specify properties, as described in the Interface section.


Water Properties rollout

Size X/Y

The dimensions for the water object.

Subdivisions X/Y

The tessellation for the water's mesh.

Landscape button

Although water is defined using a rectangular area, you can simulate non-rectangular surfaces and obstacles inside the water by defining a landscape geometry. Once you designate landscape geometry, any vertex in the Water space warp that are contained in the landscape are fixed during the simulation and waves and ripples will be reflected at those points.

Wave Speed

The speed at which wave crests propagate across the surface of the water.

Min/Max Ripple

Limits on the size of the waves generated in the water.


The relative density of the liquid. This determines which objects will sink into the water, and at what height objects of a lesser density will float. The density is specified relative to the density of water (1.0=1,000 kg/m3).


Resistance to flow: how difficult it is for objects to move through the liquid. A high value means that the motion of objects through the water is highly damped.


The depth of the water. Buoyancy is applied only to objects inside the water.

Use Current State

When on, the simulation uses the current animation to calculate the starting state. So if you have, for example, updated the water during the preview using the Update MAX command, the stored state is used as the initial state.


Removes the water from the simulation.

# Stored Keyframes

This indicates if there are any keyframes stored for the water. Keyframes are stored for the water if you create a reactor animation in 3ds Max Design, or if you use Update MAX in the Preview Window.

Clear Keyframes

Clears any stored keyframes for this water.

Show Text

When off, the label "Water" doesn't appear next to the space warp in the viewports.

Reset Default Values

Restores the default values for the object.