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need opinions in water reflections

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hey guys, i need ur opinion in water reflections. im wondering how water refletions r done. at the moment, i have two ways: 1- render the entire scene on a texture, and place that texture as a water texture. 2- or use the stencil buffer and render the entire scene to stencil buffer, and somehow i dont know to get that on to the water texture. or can that be done with environment mapping? but wat exactly is environmental mapping? which is faster, and wat is more efficent? thx

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Both are pretty much the same.

Basicaly, either way, you're going to have to render your scene twice, from two different camera positions.

You can either store it on a texture, and then use the texture to render the actual water, or,

You can use the stencil buffer as a *mask*. You first mask out just the water (draw the water plane with stencil writing). Then, you render your whole scene only on the mask.

I think the first options allows greater flexibility with later moving the water around and creating waves, and doesn't require a stencil buffer, though the second one would probably be faster.

Lastly, environment mapping is when you create a texture that maps the environment around your camera position, and use that as a referance for reflactions. You can either use a static environment map (just some nice sky -- but then your actual scene doesn't show up in the water reflection) or, a dynamic environment map, which requires you to render the whole scene multiple times.

I hope this helps a bit :).

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