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Water Object Manual

WaterObject Manual

Quick Start

This quick start guide will explain how to set up a primitive sphere to interact with water.
An empty scene will be used for the example.

Assembly Definitions

Since all the NWH assets have been updated to use assembly definitions here is a disclaimer to avoid confusion when updating:

This asset uses Assembly Definition (.asmdef) files. There are many benefits to assembly definitions but a downside is that the whole project needs to use them or they should not be used at all.

  • If the project already uses assembly definitions accessing a script that belongs to this asset can be done by adding an reference to the assembly definition of the script that needs to reference the asset. E.g. to access AdvancedShipController adding a NWH.DWP2 reference to MyProject.asmdef is required.
  • If the project does not use assembly definitions simply remove all the .asmdef files from the asset after import.

Using, for example, Lux Water (which does not fature assembly definitions) will therefore require an addition of .asmdef file inside the Lux Water directory and a reference inside NWH.DWP2.asmdef or removal of all .asmdef files from the asset if you do not wish to use assembly definitions. Some assets such as Crest already feature .asmdefs and adding Crest as a reference to NWH.DWP2 is the only step needed.

Water Object Manager

WaterObjectManager has been removed in v2.5. All the settings and simulation is now handled by the WaterObject

Water Object

Any physics object that is active and has WaterObject attached will interact with water. There are two requirements for WaterObject to work: a Rigidbody and a MeshFilter:

  • MeshFilter is required so that the WaterObject knows which mesh to use for simulation.
  • Rigidbody does not have to be attached to the same object as WaterObject, but it must be present in one of its parents. This allows for composite objects; one Rigidbody with multiple hulls - such as a trimaran.

Example Manual Setup

  1. Add a 3D Object ⇒ Sphere to the scene.
  2. Add a Sphere Collider to the Sphere if is not automatically added.
  3. Add a Rigidbody to the Sphere and set its mass to 300. There is also a script called MassFromMaterial which can calculate and set the Rigidbody mass based on material density and mesh volume, but it is a helper script and not required.
  4. Add WaterObject to the Sphere. Since the sphere by default has 768 triangles Simplify Mesh option should be used. This option automatically decimates the mesh to a Target Triangle Count. A good triangle count is 30 or less for simple objects and around 60 for ship hulls. Using higher triangle count will only have a minor influence on simulation quality but will have a linear performance penalty (doubling the triangle count will about halve the performance). Therefore, adjusting the triangle count until the object starts to lose its shape is recommended. In the case of the example sphere 36 will be enough:

Example Auto Setup

  1. Add a 3D Object ⇒ Sphere to the scene.
  2. Attach WaterObjectWizard to the sphere and press Auto-Setup.
Example WaterObject setup.

Water Data Provider

WaterDataProvider is a script that tells WaterObject where the water is.
It is an interface between water systems/assets and DWP2 and allows the two to communicate. All flat water assets/shaders use the same WaterDataProvider: FlatWaterDataProvider while for wavy assets such as Crest, an asset-specific WaterDataProvider has to be used, e.g. CrestWaterDataProvider.
As of version v2.5 an option to use multiple water surfaces in the same scene has been added. This is done by attaching a Collider with isTrigger = true to the WaterDataProvider. As long as the object is inside the trigger it will use data from that WaterDataProvider.

Minimal Setup

  1. Add a Cube (or any other mesh) to the scene.
  2. Attach WaterObject to the Cube. Make sure that a Rigidbody has been added.
  3. Press Play. The object will now float at default water height (set under WaterObject settings).

Adding Water

To add water to the scene check the Water Assets page.
FlatWaterDataProvider can be used to make water height follow a flat primitive plane which results in something like this:

A basic primitive plane used as water.

Water Particle System

WaterParticleSystem can be used to generate foam. It works with any flat water.

  1. Drag DefaultWaterParticleSystem from DWP2 ⇒ Resources into the scene and parent it to the Sphere.
    Example WaterParticleSystem setup.
  2. Move the Sphere to be above the water and press play. Sphere falling into the water will generate foam around it based on simulation data. WaterParticleSystem and ParticleSystem values can be tweaked to suit the needs of the project.

Center Of Mass

CenterOfMass is a simple script that offsets the center of mass of a Rigidbody.
Unity calculates center of mass of the object from all of its colliders, as if the object were homogenous. In many cases this is not correct - a ship has ballast, a crate could have some load in it, a barrel could have oil, etc.
To adjust the center of mass of an object simply attach CenterOfMass script to the same object that contains the Rigidbody and adjust the Center Of Mass Offset - a value in local coordinates which tells how much to offset center of mass from the Unity-calculated point. Want a ship to be less prone to capsizing? Lower the Y component of COM.

CenterOfMass inspector.

Water Object Wizard

WaterObjectWizard is a helper script that sets up a WaterObject automatically. It is still recommended to have knowledge of manual setup and how things work, but this script can automate and speed up the setup process.
A primitive Sphere will be used, same as in the rest of the guide above.

  1. Add a 3D Object > Sphere to the scene.
  2. Add WaterObjectWizard to the newly create Sphere.
  3. Tick Add Water Particle System (optional). This option is self-explanatory.
  4. Click Auto-Setup and press Play after the setup is done. The Sphere now floats and generates foam. Next step would be to manually check and tweak the default values, such as Target Triangle Count, center of mass, etc.
2020/04/26 12:56 · Aron Rescec

Water Object

WaterObject inspector.

WaterObject is the main script of DWP2. It handles all the buoyancy and hydrodynamics calculations.

WaterObject gets the data needed for simulation from the Simulation Mesh. This is a static mesh that will be used for simulating water/object interaction and can either be the original mesh or a simplified version of it. WaterObject provides basic tools for mesh triangle decimation, removal of co-located vertices, and convexification - if needed.

WaterObject with WaterObjectManager's Debug field enabled.


  • When using hollow boat/ship hulls it is recommended to use the ``Convex`` option when generating the simplified mesh.
  • WaterObject density should be above ~15kg/m. Large volume, extremely low mass objects can cause the object to jump/fly away when falling into the water.


To get info about individual fields hover the mouse over the field and a tooltip will pop up.

Instantiating at Run-time

Check WaterObjectManager page for more info about instantiating WaterObjects at run-time.

2020/07/16 13:28 · Aron Rescec

Water Object Manager

WaterObjectManager has been removed in v2.5. This page still exists for backwards compatibility purposes

WaterObjectManager inspector.

WaterObjectManager is the main script of Dynamic Water Physics 2 and has to be present in the scene for water/object interaction to work. It does not matter to which object it is attached, it just needs to be present. WaterObjectManager fetches the data from all the WaterObjects in the scene, processes it and sends it to a job which then does all the physics calculations and makes use of multiple CPU cores.


  • Finish Jobs In Single Frame - if set to true jobs will be finished on the same frame they started. Disabling it will improve performance, but will also add a one-frame delay to water/object interaction. This is not significant in most cases. Default is off.
  • Fluid Density - density of the simulated fluid in kg/m3. Default is 1030 (salt water).
  • Velocity Dot Power - when set to one fluid will act as a Newtonian fluid (relationship between velocity and impact force is proportional). Values below 1 will result in pseudo-plastic liquid (relationship is logaritmic) and values above 1 will result in dilatant liquid (relationship is exponential). This is a simplified explanation. Value of 1 should be used for normal water, but slightly higher value can also be used.
  • Simulate Water Normals - if true water normals will be used when calculating forces. Has no effect if the water system does not use normals.
  • Simulate Water Flow - if true water flow will be used when calculating forces. Has no effect if the water system used does not support flow.
  • Calculate Buoyancy Forces - buoyancy will be calculated when this field is true.
  • Calculate Dynamic Forces - hydrodynamics will be approximated when this field is true. Disable to use only buoyancy.
  • Dynamic Force Coefficient - a coefficient by which the resultant force will be multiplied.
  • Dynamic Force Power - an exponent to the power of which the resultant force will raised.
  • Calculate Skin Drag - when true a drag will be calculated as a result of liquid passing over a surface.
  • Skin Friction Drag - can be set to 0 or near 0 for water while goo-like fluids will have a larger value.
  • Generate Gizmos - gizmos will be generated from simulation data when true.

Instantiating WaterObjects at runtime

When Water Object is added to the scene during play mode it will not be automatically registered because this requires re-allocating memory for the jobs which is quite expensive and should ideally be done during the loading screens.

There are two ways to add new objects to the scene during runtime:

  • When there is a low number of triangles instantiating the object and immediately calling WaterObjectManager.Instance.Synchronize() is the best solution.
  • Instantiating all the objects during scene load and deactivating them. WaterObjectManager will allocate memory for inactive objects too, but will not simulate them. When the object is needed it can simply be activated, without calling Synchronize().
2020/07/16 13:26 · Aron Rescec

Water Particle System

WaterParticleSystem inspector.

Water Particle System is a component that generates particles based on simulation data from Water Object Manager. It can be added to any Water Object.
Water Particle System has been rewritten from the ground up for DWP2 and now it has virtually no performance or memory overhead except for the cost of the Unity’s Particle System it uses to render particles.

Water Particle Systems emits only along X-Z axis and does not work with wavy water assets. For that asset-specific foam has to be used (if available).


  • Emit - Particles will only be generated when this field is ticked.
  • Render Queue - Render queue of the particle material. If particles are rendered behind the water increase the value to be just above the value of the water’s render queue.
  • Surface Elevation - Height above water surface at which the particles will be emitted.
  • Start Size - Starting diameter of the particle.
  • Sleep Threshold Velocity - If rigidbody’s velocity is below this value particles will not be emitted. Do not set to 0 as that will result in (invisible) particles constantly being generated, even when object is still.
  • Initial Velocity Modifier - Velocity at the point of contact with water is multiplied by this value to get the initial particle velocity. If set too high it will seem as if the particles are flying away from the object.
  • Max Initial Alpha - Maximum initial alpha (transparency) of the foam. If set to 1 foam will be opaque, 0 and it will be invisible.
  • Initial Alpha Modifier - Higher contact force with water will result in higher initial alpha (up to Max Initial Alpha). This field sets the sensitivity of alpha related to the force.
  • Emit Per Cycle - How many particles should be emitted in each cycle? If there are not enough contact points with water less particles may be emitted.
  • Emit Time Interval - Interval between emission cycles in seconds.
  • Position Extrapolation Frames - To counteract the initial fade-in and apparent lag of the particles, the emission position is predicted a number of frames in advance. If this number is set too high particles will appear as if emitting in front of the object.
2020/07/16 13:28 · Aron Rescec

Supported Water Assets

WaterDataProvider scripts are interfaces between the 3rd party water assets and Dynamic Water Physics 2. They tell the WaterObject where the water is.

! Assembly Definitions !

Due to inclusion of assembly definitions into this asset with v2.4 an additional step is required when setting up 3rd party water assets. The asset either needs to be referenced inside NWH.DWP2.asmdef or all the .asmdef (assembly definition) files need to be removed from DWP2. If the 3rd party asset does not include an assembly definition file one should be added manually to the root of that asset, or the .asmdef files need to be removed from DWP2.

If removing .asmdef files make sure to tick Project Settings > Player > Allow 'unsafe' code. This code will not harm your device, it just allows unmanaged memory access (i.e. pointers) which are used for performance optimization inside DWP2.

Steps to reference a 3rd party asset inside Dynamic Water Physics 2:

  • Open the folder containing the asset (e.g. Crest) and check if there is an .asmdef file there. Sometimes this file can be inside a Scripts or similar folder. If the file is missing create one by Right Click > Assembly Definition. Name the file the same as the asset, e.g. Crest.
  • Go to NWH/Dynamic Water Physics 2 and click on NWH.DWP2.asmdef file. Under Assembly Definition References click on + to add a new element to the list. Set the new element to the newly created .asmdef file, e.g. Crest.asmdef.
  • Done. Now DWP2 will know about the 3rd party water asset and will be able to access the code from that assembly.

Flat Water

FlatWaterDataProvider can be used for all flat water systems.
It can even be used with wavy water systems if the waves have 0 amplitude to improve performance (sometimes drastically as the water heights are always queried with wavy water system, even if there are no waves).

  • Attach FlatWaterDataProvider to the GameObject representing the water.
  • WaterObjects will now float at the water transform.y position.
2020/07/16 13:50 · Aron Rescec


Screenshot of demo scene for DWP2 with Crest.

Dynamic Water Physics 2 is compatible with Crest v10 or newer. Older versions have different API.

Crest supports water heights, normals and flows.

Crest Import
  1. Download and import Crest and Crest-Examples from here. For HDRP and URP version check Unity Asset Store.
  2. Open Crest-Examples ⇒ Main ⇒ Scenes ⇒ main scene.
  3. Remove the existing boat from the scene.
Adding a CrestWaterDataProvider
  1. Add DWP_CREST to Project Settings > Player > Scripting Define Symbols.
  2. Find the GameObject containing the OceanRenderer component.
  3. Attach CrestWaterDataProvider to the object.
Adding a WaterObject
  1. Drag Racer prefab into the scene.
  2. Press play. The boat will now float and follow the waves properly. If this is not the case check that the console states DWP: Using Crest and there are no errors or warnings.
2020/07/16 13:41 · Aron Rescec


Lux Water demo scene with DWP2.
Example Lux Water setup.

Lux Water supports water heights.

  1. Add DWP_LUX to Project Settings > Player > Scripting Define Symbols.
  2. Attach WaterDataProvider to LuxWater_WaterVolume.
2020/07/16 13:41 · Aron Rescec

River Auto Material (R.A.M.)

R.A.M. demo scene with DWP2 added.
Example River Auto Material setup.

RAMWaterDataProvider supports water heights, normals and flow and it inherits from RaycastWaterDataProvider.

  • Add DWP_RAM to Project Settings > Player > Scripting Define Symbols.
  • Set up the scene as if using flat water, minus FlatWaterDataProvider.
  • Add RAMWaterDataProvider to the scene. It does not have to be attached to any specific object.
  • Make sure that the RAM object has a MeshCollider attached. This is required for Raycasts to work.
  • Assign Water Layer to the River Auto Material water. Assign Object Layer to all the WaterObjects in the scene. This is an important step as the script will disable physical collisions between the two layers to prevent the WaterObjects from sitting on top of the mesh collider that R.A.M. uses instead of interacting with water.
  • R.A.M. setup is ready to go.
2020/07/16 15:01 · Aron Rescec


Ceto demo scene with DWP2.
Example Ceto setup.
  1. Add DWP_CETO to Project Settings > Player > Scripting Define Symbols.
  2. Attach WaterDataProvider to Ocean.
2020/07/16 15:38 · Aron Rescec

Ocean Nex Gen

Ocean Next Get demo scene with DWP2.
Ocean Next Gen example setup.

Ocean Next Gen is supported but has not been updated regularly for over two years. Crest and Ceto will be better options.

  1. Add DWP_OCEAN_NEXT_GEN to Project Settings > Player > Scripting Define Symbols.
  2. Attach OceanNextGenWaterDataProvider to Ocean.
2020/07/16 15:10 · Aron Rescec


Suimono demo scene with DWP2 added.
Example Suimono setup.
  • Add DWP_SUIMONO to Project Settings > Player > Scripting Define Symbols.
  • Rename SuimonoWaterDataProvider.cs.txt to SuimonoWaterDataProvider.cs.
  • Add SuimonoWaterDataProvider to the object containing SuimonoModule script.
2020/07/16 14:48 · Aron Rescec

Stylized Water 2


Unlike other WaterDataProviders, the one for Stylized Water 2 is included with the Stylized Water 2 asset instead of DWP2.

  • Set up the scene as per quick start guide for flat water, minus FlatWaterDataProvider.
  • Go to Help → Stylized Water 2, and click the “Install integration” button. Wait until scripts have finished compiling.
  • Add StylizedWaterDataProvider to the object containing OceanRenderer script.
2021/06/08 14:19 · Aron Rescec


  • Add KWS_asmdef to NWH.DWP2 assembly definition references.
  • Add DWP_KWS to Scripting Define Symbols under Project Settings ⇒ Player ⇒ OtherSettings.
  • Attach KWS Water Data Provider to the GameObject containing Water System (this game object is named Water in KWS demos).

2021/07/12 10:42 · Aron Rescec

Multiple Assets / Water Types

Multiple water types can be used in the same scene at the same time. This is achieved through triggers (Colliders with isTrigger set to true) attached to the same GameObject as the WaterDataProvider in question.
By default these colliders are created automatically on Awake and are set to cover the whole world. However, it is possible to use a WaterDataProvider just for a small part of the scene - such as a lake.

  • Attach a Collider of any type (e.g. SphereCollider) to the GameObject containing WaterDataProvider.
  • Tick Is Trigger on the collider.
  • Adjust the size/radius of the collider to cover the area you want the WaterDataProvider to have the effect on.

If there are multiple trigger volumes they will act as a queue, meaning the one that the object last entered will be currently active.

2020/04/26 13:53 · Aron Rescec

Helper Scripts

Center Of Mass

CenterOfMass inspector.

This script has been replaced with VariableCenterOfMass in v2.5.

A helper script for setting center of mass of a Rigidbody.

Unity calculates center of mass as a center of volume of all the Rigidbodys Colliders. This can and will result in unrealistic center of mass for objects that do not have uniform density, i.e. center of mass will not have to be adjusted for a wooden log but a ship has a ballast and is noticeably heavier around the keel and therefore the center of mass is low which in turn prevents the ship from capsizing.

  • Center Of Mass Offset - offset of the center of mass from the Unity calculated one in local coordinates.
  • Show COM - when true a green gizmo sphere will be drawn at the current center of mass.
2020/07/16 19:24 · Aron Rescec

Mass From Volume

MassFromVolume inspector.

MassFromVolume is a helper script that calculates object's mass from volume of the mesh and the density.

  • Volume of the mesh is calculated automatically.
  • Mass field can also be set manually.
  • Can be used together with MassFromChildren to calculate mass of complex objects (objects having more than one child WaterObject).
2020/07/16 21:42 · Aron Rescec

Mass From Children

MassFromChildren inspector.

A helper script for determining mass of a Rigidbody from the children. It sums the masses of all the children that have WaterObjectMassHelper scripts attached. This eliminates the need for guessing the mass of the object.

  • Attach the script to the parent object. That object has to contain the Rigidbody component.
  • Make sure that at least one child has WaterObjectMassHelper attached or the result will be 0 and ignored.
  • Press Calculate Mass From Children. This will calculate and set the Rigidbody's mass.
2020/07/16 19:32 · Aron Rescec
2020/04/28 13:15 · Aron Rescec