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VRay.com - Your source for all things VRay  ::  VRay for 3ds Max  ::  Manual  ::  VRayDisplacementMod

VRay for 3ds Max Manual

VRay for 3ds Max Manual

  VRayDisplacementMod Examples  


  Common parameters
  2D mapping parameters
  3D mapping/subdivision parameters

[sphere without displacement] >>> Displacement mapping >>> [sphere with displacement]


Displacement mapping is a technique for adding detail to your scene geometry without having to model it first. The concept is very similar to bump mapping. However, bump mapping is a shading effect that only changes the appearance of a surface, while displacement mapping actually modifies the surface.



Type - the method used to apply displacement mapping:

2D mapping (landscape) - this method bases the displacement on a texture map that is known in advance. The displaced surface is rendered as a warped height-field based on that texture map. The actual raytracing of the displaced surface is done in texture space, and the result is mapped back into 3d space. The advantage of this method is that it preserves all the details in the displacement map. However, it requires that the object has valid texture coordinates. You cannot use this method for 3d procedural textures or other textures that use object or world coordinates. The displacement map can take any values (as opposed to 3D mapping, which will ignore values outside the 0.0-1.0 or black to white range).

3D mapping - this is a general method which takes the original surface geometry and subdivides its triangles into smaller sub-triangles which are then displaced. It can be applied for arbitrary displacement maps with any kind of mapping. This method can also use the displacement map specified in the object's material. Note that with 3d mapping the displacement map's range of values must be within the 0.0-1.0 range (black to white). Values outside of this range will be clipped.

Subdivision - this method is similar to the 3D mapping method, with the difference that it will apply a subdivision scheme to the object, similarly to a MeshSmooth modifier. For triangular portions of a mesh, the Loop subdivision scheme is used. For quadrangular portions, the Catmull-Clark scheme is used. Other polygons are first converted to triangles. If just want to smooth the object, without applying a displacement map, set the Amount parameter to 0.0.

Which method to use? In previous V-Ray versions, there was a great difference between the performance of the two methods, with the 2D mapping being faster in many cases. With the introduction of dynamic geometry handling in V-Ray 1.45.xx, 3d displacement has become a lot faster for similar or better quality compared to the 2d mapping. Still, for large displaced surfaces like oceans or mountains, the 2d mapping method might work better.

Also the 2D mapping method keeps the displacement map in a precompiled state in memory. Large displacement maps can take a lot of RAM. It may be more efficient to use 3D mapping in that case, since it can recycle the memory used for the displaced geometry.

Common parameters

Texmap - the displacement map. This can be any texture map - a bitmap, procedural map, 2d or 3d map etc.