Open up water mask modding

Hi There

As it doesn’t look like water masks are a priority for the Asobo team, it would be nice if developers could have easier access to the tools to create the masks themselves. In a perfect world, we’d get a “MSFS 2020 - Global Water Masks” add-on by someone.

Water masks, in my opinion, make a massive difference in the visual experience.


This would definitely improve the visuals… maybe there could even be more realistic waves on shore, to add depth to the whole experience.


Sure they have already said they are looking at ways to implement this, but are having issues integrating it with the mapping data they have.

Would certainly love to see it brought in the sim, as coming from the beautiful water masks produced by ortho4xp in x-plane, I feel a bit sick every time I look at the ugly and abrupt transition from water to land, in MSFS. Really detracts from the immersion.


Water masking can be modded or added already.

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We need a “Bijan’s Watermasks” soon then! :heart_eyes:


Is there any info or tutorials on this out there? I’m not having much luck myself.

I’d love to get the Isles of Scilly and various bits of Cornwall and Devon properly water masked and the aerial imagery is all there underneath, it’s restoring the water that’s the problem for me.

So far if I exclude the existing water and add my own water polygons I can only keep them transparent everywhere I want them if I make them a series of very thin strips.

As soon as I make them any wider they lose their transparency.

Poylgons do not like to overlap or be close to each other so I’m stuck with a bunch of glitchy stripes of water and land.

The Nool Aerosystems tool mentions watermasks but I think it creates bodies of water rather than bringing up underlying water imagery.

Has there been any further masking changes? In the areas I like fly, there’s much to be improved. Many South Pacific atolls and lagoons are missing their coral visuals. They show either default waves or that light blue blur. And although Hawaii has some shallow water added, there is still much remaining. If this was a 3rd party add-on, I’d absolutely get out my credit card. A Bijan project would be nice. Even Rex gave us better coral textures for FSX a decade ago.

Nope. They’ve said it would require major back end changes to make it available to us peons so it’s not going to happen any time soon by the sounds of it.

So I’ve added a water mask of sorts to the Isles of Scilly, which is the only area I really wanted to do.

All this is a humongous semi transparent PNG hovering slightly above it with the islands themselves under fully transparent sections, cutting away the actual mesh of the face to exclude the islands looked terrible.

This location is a special case because it’s so enormous, it’s 14 km wide. It’ll probably be more convincing and easier for smaller areas.

This may well be the only way it’ll ever be possible for third parties to add their own water masks, but maybe somebody will invent something.

It’s certainly somewhat cheesy in places but as long as you stay high it’s not too bad, and far nicer to look at than stretches of nothing.

The prime problem is flckering caused by what I presume is terrain LOD from a distance sucking the face into the ground causing it to clash. The only thing I can do about that it set it higher than it really should be to stop it.


Reviving this thread a little. Man, your work looks just stunning! The sim so deperately needs some revolution in the way water masks look. Right now most of the world looks just dull and boring. Is there any chance you uploaded your work somewhere?

it does not, get the worlwide shipping , it helps.

It’s here - EGHE - St Mary's Airport & Isles of Scilly Scenery UK - Upgrade » Microsoft Flight Simulator

The limitation for the other places I’ve considered doing is image quality.

For quite a few other sites I can’t find a good enough satellite photo. It’s either too old, too cloudy or too discoloured.

I’ve stuck a how to in here so maybe more will appear from developers - A Written MSFS SDK Scenery Creation Tutorial » Microsoft Flight Simulator

Thanks a lot for your contribution! I’ll definitely try it out :slight_smile:

I meant - water wise. NOT land wise. I thought it was quite obvious from the context.

This looks way better than the default look. Amazing job!

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This is a new solution I discovered: watermask | MSFS Toolkit

Seems a bit non easy.

I downloaded WU13 Oceania and there is so much potential with all the atolls.
I played with polygons to remove water and in some place, it shows the bottom of the ocean underneath. But it creates ground, not water. I tried to put a water poly over but it comes back to opaque water. Maybe there’s a twist.

Tried it over Roi-namur, Kwajalein atoll, Marshall island.

If anyone finds a way, I think I’m ready to do all the Pacific :wink: