2D Reflective Water

A Shader to create a reflective Water Effect in 2D. Apply it to a ColorRect Node which is the size of the canvas.


Shader code
// Kitchen Games / 2D Reflective Water Shader

shader_type canvas_item;

uniform float horizon : hint_range(0.0,1.0); // The height of the horizon
uniform sampler2D noise; // add two noises. Play with these some time to get a decent result
uniform sampler2D noise2;
uniform float wave_frequency : hint_range(0.0, 100.0);
uniform float wave_magnitude : hint_range(0.0, .3);
uniform float tides_magnitude : hint_range(0.0, .3);
uniform float noise_wave : hint_range(0.0, 3.0); // add noisiness to waves
uniform float tides_speed : hint_range(0.0, 20.0);
uniform float wave_speed : hint_range(0.0, 20.0);

uniform float shine_position : hint_range(0.0, 1.0); // configure a sunshine if you want
uniform float shine_itensity : hint_range(0.0, 1.0);
uniform float shine_width : hint_range(0.0, 1.0);
uniform vec4 shine_color : hint_color;

uniform vec4 water_color : hint_color;

void fragment()
	vec2 noise_uv = vec2(SCREEN_UV.x + TIME * 0.025, SCREEN_UV.y);
	float noise_val = texture(noise, noise_uv).r * texture(noise2, SCREEN_UV).r + 0.2;
	float wave = horizon;
	wave += sin(UV.x * wave_frequency + TIME* wave_speed) * wave_magnitude;
	wave += sin(TIME * tides_speed) * tides_magnitude;
	wave -= texture(noise2, SCREEN_UV).r * 0.05 * noise_wave;
	vec2 offset = vec2(0, (wave + abs(SCREEN_UV.y - wave)) - SCREEN_UV.y);

	offset += noise_val* 0.1 - 0.05;
	vec2 col_uv = SCREEN_UV;
	col_uv.y = col_uv.y + (offset.y * step(SCREEN_UV.y, wave));
	vec4 col = texture(SCREEN_TEXTURE, col_uv);
	col = mix(col, water_color,  step(SCREEN_UV.y, wave) * 0.5);
	col = mix(col, shine_color, step(SCREEN_UV.y, wave) * (step(noise_val + abs(SCREEN_UV.x - shine_position), shine_width)) * shine_itensity);
	COLOR = col;
Water Reflection Wave
The shader code and all code snippets in this post are under CC0 license and can be used freely without the author's permission. Images and videos, and assets depicted in those, do not fall under this license. For more info, see our License terms.

Related shaders

2D reflective ice

Pixelated animated water/clouds

Water Toon Torrent shader

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1 year ago

but……how can i use it? i add it to a Control Node and Nothing happened

CC Cosmos
1 year ago
Reply to  jun

Add it to a colorRect as the child of a Canvas Layer. (That trick works for basically every Screen Texture/UV based shader like this)

This particular shader changes its perspective drastically based on your camera position. Make sure to tweak it by looking at it in-game to see what it looks like relative to the in-game camera.

1 year ago
Reply to  CC Cosmos

Thanks a lot

1 year ago
Reply to  JUN

This looks awesome, but as my camera pans around to follow the character (especially upwards) and as doing this the water level changes. Anyway to fix the water level regardless of camera movement?

10 months ago

I was wondering if anyone had gotten this to work on Godot 4 yet? It looks amazing, but refuses to do anything for me with an error on (at least) line 16 and 18:

“Expected valid type hint after ‘:’.

I also believe SCREEN_TEXTURE has changed into something else? Any help would be much appreciated!!

10 months ago
Reply to  HobbesHK

In GODOT4 SCREEN_TEXTURE was removed- You can substitute it with

uniform sampler2D screen_texture : hint_screen_texture, repeat_disable, filter_nearest;

then line 39 became

vec4 col = texture(SCREEN_TEXTURE, col_uv);
3 months ago

I got it to work in Godot 4 but what ever I do I cant get it to flip horizontially. I have no idea why the waves are breaking from above rather than from below

1 month ago
Reply to  Pancake

Yeah, it’s upside down as posted here. Needs to be flipped vertically.

2 months ago

How would I stop the water line from following the screen vertically?

2 months ago
Reply to  Dooley

Change the screen_uv to simply uv.