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Displacement mapping

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Displacement mapping

Now when you use bump mapping, it basically is a render effect. It creates the illusion of a bumpy surface. It doesn't actually change the geometry of an object. To do that, we require displacement mapping. Now let's take a quick look at bump mapping again, just to see how it works. So I have this cube and if I do a quick render of it, you see that, well, it's got this black-and-white texture on, which we can use as a bump map or a displacement map.

Displacement mapping

Now when you use bump mapping, it basically is a render effect. It creates the illusion of a bumpy surface. It doesn't actually change the geometry of an object. To do that, we require displacement mapping. Now let's take a quick look at bump mapping again, just to see how it works. So I have this cube and if I do a quick render of it, you see that, well, it's got this black-and-white texture on, which we can use as a bump map or a displacement map.

So if we go over to our Texture panel here, so we can see under Influence, it's influencing the color of the object. And you can see that here in the preview. Now, if I turn this off for color and go over to Geometry here, under Influence, and turn on Norm, you can see how I can create a normal map, or bump map, that has that cross effect. So if I do a quick render, you can see how yeah, I do get those lines embossed on that surface.

But if we scroll in, you can see that well it's not really affecting the geometry of the object. To do that we need a displacement map. So I am going to turn off the Norm and turn on Displacement. Now, this particular cube doesn't have a lot of detail. If I look at it in Edit mode here, you will see that I only have a few subdivisions on each side. And this is actually going to be a problem when it comes to actually displacing this object.

That's because it doesn't have enough detail to displace. Now remember, displacement mapping actually changes the structure of the object. It actually displaces the geometry. So in order to displace geometry, I need more geometry. Now I can do that in one of two ways. I can simply make my mesh more complex, which is really going to bog down my scene, but probably the more efficient way is just to add a subdivision surface to my object. So I am going to go select my object, go over to Modifiers here, and add in a subdivision surface. I can probably keep my Render settings at two, and let's just see what happens.

This is the default. And you can see that, okay, so now that displacement really works. If I turn up my Render settings to, say, 3 or 4 and hit Render, you can really see how this works. The displacement map actually changes the structure of the geometry to match that image map. So this is a very efficient way of creating additional geometry.

Now if I go over here, you can see I have a Displacement option here, and this is actually a physical displacement. Actually, it's an actual measured value, so if I want to, I can make it a bigger number, or I can go negative to turn those bumps into divots. In other words it becomes a channel rather than a bump. So the one downside to displacement mapping is that you do need more geometry, but Subdivision Surfaces can help you add this without too much overload.

So remember bump mapping is a surface effect; it does not change the underlying geometry. Displacement mapping, however, does, although you do need enough geometry to displace. So go ahead and use these as you want. I would tend to opt for bump mapping first and if that doesn't work, then going to displacement mapping.

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This video is part of

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

90 video lessons · 21989 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    5. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 44m 15s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    6. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    7. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    8. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    9. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 51m 48s
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    4. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    5. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    6. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    7. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    8. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    9. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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