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New Water Technique: "Window Water"
A new water technique
About this creation
I recently came up with this new technique for portraying water using 1x1 round plates that I call "Window Water" because of the tool I use to make it work. It produces a very pleasing rippled effect that is perfect for rivers and streams. As I have never seen this technique used in any other MOC, I believe that is is a completely new technique and so I am sharing it with the community here. Hopefully some of you will like it and try it on your own MOC's!


First, lay down a layer of 1x1 round transparent blue plates. I've found that it looks nice if you use both dark and light colored pieces so that you can create the illusion that some areas of the water are deeper than others.


It looks ok with just a single layer, but I don't like how the blue base plate is visible between the spaces of the 1x1 round plates. It's just not right. . . .



But if you add a second layer of 1x1 round plates offset BETWEEN the stud of the first layer, you will be able to cover up the ugly holes that show the base plate underneath. Now you have a really nice textured rippled effect that shows the top of the lower layer's studs between the spaces of the new upper layer. Unfortunately, pressing these round plates between the studs of the first layer is next to impossible to do with just your fingers alone, because the round plates must be absolutely perfectly aligned or they will refuse to go into place. If you try it with your fingers alone, you will almost certainly start thinking bad thoughts and might even say some bad words! But don't despair, because somewhere in your vast collection of LEGO bricks, you have a special tool that will make this seemingly impossible task very easy!


All you need to keep yourself sane while attempting this technique is an old style 1x2x2 window. This window is special because it loosely grips the round studs on only three sides unlike a standard brick that would grip tightly on all 4 sides.


Simply insert one or two round plates into the window and use the window as a tool to press the round plates into place between the studs of the first layer. I've found that I can insert two round plates at a time, but some stress is introduced as the area of water grows, and it gets more difficult if you are covering a very large area. So you might find that it is easier to insert just one round plate at a time. Because this little window only grips on three sides, you can now slide the window away horizontally without risking pulling up the freshly inserted round plates!


Here's a comparison between the look of a standard baseplate, a single layer of 1x1 round plates, and my newly invented "Window Water".



I recently used this technique very successfully in my recent MOC, "Waterfall at the Botanical Garden"

I hope that you will click on it and give it a "like" if you appreciate that I've shared my new "Window Water" technique with you! :) Thanks for taking the time to check out this new technique and I hope that it will be useful to you!




Comments

  August 13, 2014
Looks awesome thanks for sharing!
 I made it 
  February 2, 2014
I have mixed clear, light blue, and dark blue for water. I think a clever person might be able to sneak green in for a swampy look.
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  December 7, 2013
That's a great effect! I've been looking for new and novel ideas for layering colors and translucent pieces to expand the color palate. I like the overlapping idea very much & will tinker with it. Did you find some colors were more 'complementary' together than others? I'd be curious to know if you worked with other non-water colors & what you discovered.
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  July 29, 2012
Absolutely amazing! Great technique! I am trying some water techniques myself at the moment, I'll try out yours as well. It's very nice of you to share this with us, not everyone would share their secrets like this! It's really appreciated!
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  March 12, 2012
WOW! This technique looks amazing! Excellent work
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  February 7, 2012
I used a somewhat the same technique but I used the lighter translucents on the bottom then I patterned the dark one's on: http://mocpages.com/moc.php/298366
  February 7, 2012
Congrats Andrew and welcome back :)
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  February 7, 2012
Quoting Gabor Horvath Hi Andrew! Where are you? Hope you are well!
Gabor, I've been busy building some things but am spending more time organizing my bricks right now as it is out of control. All in all, things are going well. I entered some MOC's into a recent LEGO convention and won one of the major trophies, so that was really awesome.
  February 7, 2012
Hi Andrew! Where are you? Hope you are well!
 I like it 
  October 25, 2011
This is great! I'm planning a forest/cave moc with a pond type element and this technique is very cool. I don't have that window piece so I might be using bad words lol :-).... credit will be given. ~cheers
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  October 25, 2011
This is great! I'm planning a forest/cave moc with a pond type element and this technique is very cool. I don't have that window piece so I might be using bad words lol :-).... credit will be given. ~cheers
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  October 14, 2011
Very nice technique. I may use this for my next MOC.
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  October 13, 2011
It is DEFINITELY fiddly, LOL! Even with the window tool, you still might think some bad thoughts when a round plate refuses to fit into place, especially after you have covered a large area and some stress becomes apparent. If you cover a large area, your baseplate will bow upwards a little bit until you add more non-water structure. I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with!
 I made it 
  October 13, 2011
It is DEFINITELY fiddly, LOL! Even with the window tool, you still might think some bad thoughts when a round plate refuses to fit into place, especially after you have covered a large area and some stress becomes apparent. If you cover a large area, your baseplate will bow upwards a little bit until you add more non-water structure. I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with!
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  October 13, 2011
This looks fiddly but great! I recently bought 100 of each trans round plates so i could creat some sort of water feature, i might have to try this technique. Thanks Andrew :)
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  October 5, 2011
You're right. This is just a proof of concept, but if someone did a really good job of making a gradient from very dark blue to light blue to transparent, the illusion of depth could work very well. I could imagine using standard black pieces as an underlayer for really deep water. Green could also be used too to make it look swampy. A tan baseplate covered with transparent pieces at the water's edge could look really nice too for very shallow water with a sandy bottom.
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  October 4, 2011
It's a good improvement of the noob water technique and I've thought of this before, but never really used it. Maybe if the layers of blue colouring and overlaps are aligned more clearly, you may really get the impression of depth. Different colours are one step further than I came.
 I made it 
  October 4, 2011
Quoting El Barto ! Looks great! Although it works in your moc, I think it would certainly do the trick at much larger scales. Well done!
Yes, it is hardly noticeable in my MOC, just one of those little details that make it look good even if the technique doesn't stand out. But you are right, on a large scale it could be quite impressive. Building up more layers to make waves and possibly adding trans clear for whitecaps could make an ocean scene really look great.
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  October 4, 2011
Looks great! Although it works in your moc, I think it would certainly do the trick at much larger scales. Well done!
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  October 4, 2011
I don't usually build water or such things, but I'm very impressed by the presentation of your idea. Well done!
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  October 4, 2011
Very nice technique dear, and excellent write-up. :)
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  October 4, 2011
Wow! I didn't think that this would get this much of a positive response so quickly! Thanks everyone for your comments and ratings! I know that this may not be 100% brand new since LEGO has been around for so long and everything has probably already been done by someone, but I do suspect that the use of the window to insert the very rigid transparent plates may be new. This technique would also work great with regular colored plates and it would be much easier to do since the regular ones are much more flexible than the rigid transparent plates. I can imagine a cobblestone street or rocky beach beneath a cliff looking really nice with earth tone plates instead of transparent ones.
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  October 4, 2011
Neat!
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  October 4, 2011
Nice technique. I have a bunch of those clear, light blue and dark blue 1x1 round plates and plan to put it to good use. If you have a free moment, I'd greatly appreciate your input on my Flying Rhino.
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  October 4, 2011
That is a very nice effect. Wonder how it'd look on LDD? Maybe I'll give it a try sometime. Very creative and very unique. ^Blub^
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  October 4, 2011
Very nice water effects! Nice technic!
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  October 4, 2011
Niiiceee...
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  October 4, 2011
Very nice effect!
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  October 4, 2011
Excellent technique and application method.
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  October 4, 2011
It's a very nice effect, I've seen it before, can't recall where though. It works well on that river in the last picture, good job
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  October 4, 2011
Nice technique! It looks nice in your little park there.
 
By Andrew Mobley
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop New Water Technique: "Window Water"Nature, parks, and beaches


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