Ofnodesandnoodles, a talented blender artist based in the United Kingdom, has recently showcased a remarkable video featuring real-time 60fps flowing water in the viewport. What's even more astonishing is that this impressive effect was achieved without the use of simulations or Geometry nodes. Instead, Ofnodesandnoodles employed a clever shader technique, utilizing a dynamic flow map derived from a normal map in Eevee.
When asked about his method, Ofnodesandnoodles revealed that he employed a normal map of the ground to manipulate the coordinates of animated noise nodes. This innovative approach allowed him to generate the illusion of flowing water. In his own words, "I baked out a normal map from the ground geometry, then used that in the water shader. You should bake from a lower-detail version of the ground. Reduce sub-div before the displacement and add some after to smoothen the details."
Excitingly, Ofnodesandnoodles has confirmed that he will be sharing a comprehensive tutorial explaining the creation process behind this mesmerizing effect. If you're eager to learn how he achieved the edge ripples you can check out his Procedural Landscape tutorial.