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Displacement slot
show user profile  herfst1
I normally put a displacement map in the additional bump slot and it has a moderate effect with 1.0 multiplier. But I just saw for the first time a displacement slot. So I tried it out and it works fine, though I swear it took longer to render (could just be me).

So my question is simple: Is it better to put the displacement map in the additional bump slot or the displacement slot? Else, displacement modifier? Or is it all the same?

P.S. Yes I've pressed F1 but they don't tell you either way (that I could find). Also searched the internet but find that I've been scrolling through pages of dialogue without getting a definitive answer.

P.P.S. This isn't urgent, just something that I'm curious about.
read 565 times
7/6/2012 7:27:32 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:27:32 PM)
show user profile  Garp
A displacement map in the bump slot is called a 'bump map'.
It doesn't displace anything.

read 562 times
7/6/2012 7:31:41 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:31:41 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
From the F1 search: "Additional bump"

"The Normal Bump map lets you use a texture-baked Normals map (see Baked Texture Elements). Typically you assign it to a material's Bump component, Displacement component, or both. Using the map for Displacement can correct edges that otherwise look unrealistically smooth; however, this adds faces to the geometry."
read 559 times
7/6/2012 7:33:19 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:33:19 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
displacement mapping does dramatically increase render time as it tesselates the underlying geometry in order to modify the surface height. therefore avoid when performance is required except when absolutely necessary.

neither bump mapping nor normal mapping tesselate so no significant performance hit. hence their popularity. downside: no actual geometry modification so the silhouette is unchanged.

using a normal map in the displacement slot sounds like a vector displacement map. didn't realize max had that yet. new toys. :)
read 556 times
7/6/2012 7:34:40 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:38:38 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Good to know. I was wondering why my sphinx was still relatively unchanged with normal map... then I checked and saw I forgot the bloody displacement map... Which got me to this question: Where's the best place to put it?
read 545 times
7/6/2012 7:38:50 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:38:50 PM)
show user profile  advance-software,topicNumber=d30e428897

then click on the "Normal Bump map type" link towards the end of the page.

weirdly it won't let me use a direct link.

don't use displacement. at least not yet. get your regular normal mapping solid first.

low poly workflow advice - feel free to ignore if you want to mess with displacement mapping anyway.

read 539 times
7/6/2012 7:42:49 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:47:36 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Thanks AS, I was trying to write a polite reply, thinking you were confusing normals and displacement... before hitting reply I decided to refresh the page and I saw your edited message. :)

I actually think I've got normal maps down pat. It turns out my problem was I was making them in zbrush and xnorm whereas Max does a really good job with projection RTT. The end result looks good but I kinda want fine skin details and that's where displacement comes in handy.

But don't worry, I'm sure wherever I place the displace will have pretty much the same end result, I'll just try bumping up the multiplier in the additional bump slot.
read 529 times
7/6/2012 7:54:02 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 7:55:59 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
go for real displacement if you want. some real-time engines can handle it (by doing real-time view dependent tesselation). in max's renderers it's just brute force loadsa polys hence singificantly increased render time.

bump maps are a fake - they don't actually displace anything - just shift the texture coordinates around & modify the ligthing. ditto normal mapping.

real displacement mapping does move the geometry so you get a more advanced effect (+ associated performance hit). therefore use each technique where appropriate understanding the implications of doing so.
read 523 times
7/6/2012 8:02:37 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 8:03:03 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Okay, I'll try that out.

P.S. I re-read my reply to Garp's input and I'm now a tad embarrassed:

I posted this as I was sure I understood, that Autodesk said it was alright to put a displacement in the additional bump slot but I re-re-read this and realise you're absolutely correct. I should know by now your word is gospel. Teaches me not to skim read. Don't know if I pissed you off or made you laugh at my ignorance but, apologies, Garp.
read 523 times
7/6/2012 8:06:26 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 8:06:26 PM)
show user profile  Garp
Now I'm confused :\
I need to read the help. Thanks, herfst.

read 521 times
7/6/2012 8:08:05 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 8:08:05 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
little hint when working with displacement in max: if you manually tesselate the surface beforehand with a modifier, turn the displacement subdivision levels to 0 and turn off the view dependent displacement in displacement options you get the same effect much, much faster.

Somehow the render time tesselation engine in max is really crappy and its better to just throw an obscene amount of verts at it than to have it figure out an "efficient" way.

read 506 times
7/6/2012 8:45:33 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 8:47:15 PM)
show user profile  advance-software
can't you throw an optimize mod over a displacement mod ?
read 501 times
7/6/2012 8:56:54 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 9:09:29 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Great tip Stabby, I'll give that a go now.

P.S. Optimize mod? Man, I've really got to go through my modifiers list and see what else I've missed.

[edit because I don't want to bump] The displacement modifier is definitely the way I'm going to do it, rendered in a flash. Thanks Stabbs.
read 494 times
7/6/2012 9:10:53 PM (last edit: 7/6/2012 9:49:50 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
totally not what i ment but that works too i guess, lol. What i ment was that subdividing the vertices yourself with a modifier is faster than having max do it while still using the displacement in the material. You can use the displacement mod and skip the shader all together in most cases except if you need to use VDM maps for which the displacement modifier has no support.

read 479 times
7/7/2012 3:16:31 AM (last edit: 7/7/2012 3:16:31 AM)
show user profile  scotch_again
My advice for using displacement on characters is this: just don't.

In practice there are very few circumstances where they'll give you the best results, let alone be worth the extra set-up hassle and performance hit. Even for pre-rendered stuff you're almost always better off using a higher density base mesh to take care of your silhouette with a normal map for interior details.
read 470 times
7/7/2012 12:41:34 PM (last edit: 7/7/2012 12:41:34 PM)
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