Learn how to deform a mesh with a map.
- [Instructor] The displacement parameters of the Arnold properties modifier give some control over how a map deforms a surface. Let's the open the material editor. In here I've got two materials. At the top is an Arnold standard surface material. We can double click to load its parameters and at the bottom double click on the other node and it's a physical material. The physical materials actually assign to the object in the scene currently.
If you look around on the Arnold standard surface you won't see a displacement input anywhere on here. If you want displacement on an Arnold standard surface use an Arnold properties modifier. The physical material however does have a displacement input just here and if you plug something in there it will render displacement automatically. You have the option of applying the Arnold properties modifier for more control if you want. Currently with the Arnold plugin the active shade window is unstable with legacy nodes such as the ones I have in my network here.
I've got a gradient node. I've got multiply and I've also got a substance node that's providing the bump map currently. To avoid any possible issues of stability where 3ds max might crash, we'll use the production renderer and I've got that set up already. Click on render production, and it sets a render at very low resolution and additionally only a region of the frame. When that's finished we can go ahead and make a clone of that to compare it with later versions.
Clone rendered frame window and just put that off to the side. In the material editor let's take a look at the options we have with the substance node. The displacement output available here is a low frequency noise or large scale pattern. The bump and normal channels are high frequency or small scale and fine detail. The height output here is the low and high frequency combined and that's what we want to connect to our displacement because that will give us the greatest freedom as to whether we want to use the Arnold autobump feature or not.
I want to connect the height to the displacement map input, just gonna move the node a little bit closer and use the middle mouse button to pan over there. Connect height to displacement map of the physical material and automatically we get an intermediate node which is the map output selector. Double click that to load its parameters and rename it. Call it select displace body. Let's do a rendering with the displacement map applied.
Click on render in the rendered frame window. Once that's completed we can compare it to the version with no bump and no displacement. Put them side by side now. Here is the displaced version and here is the non-displaced version. Notice the fine details in the displacement mapped rendering. This is actually Arnold's autobump feature and it's not an adaptive tesselation of the mesh.
We can now apply the Arnold properties modifier. I'll close the material editor for a moment. Select the face or body object. Go to the modify panel. From the modifier list choose Arnold properties. Open up the displacement section and click the enable switch. The height is the amount of displacement or deformation and zero is reference for what is considered to be the center of the transform.
We're gonna set these to some pretty conservative values here, a height of 0.25 and a zero value of also 0.25. Enable autobump is on by default and Arnold does not adaptively tesselate the displaced mesh. It simply deforms the existing topology. Arnold automatically filters the displacement map and renders the high frequency noise as a bump.
The low frequency noise is filtered and applied as a displacement. It's kind of like a crossover filter for speaker design with the only the high frequency sent to the tweeter and only the low frequency sent to the woofer. Here the high frequencies are the bump map and it's being applied automatically. If we turn that off then we won't get a bump map and all we'll get is the existing topology deformed by the map and no additional detail or relief applied.
So click on render and now we have displacement with no bump and it is a subtle effect. All I wanted to do was introduce a little bit of random asymmetry to the model. If you want to control the bump map independently of the displacement map, then we can connect a bump map. Go back to the material editor and simply connect the selection node here which is called select bump body.
If I double click that I can load its parameters. Bring that over and its output directly into the bump map, the physical material. We can do another rendering of that. Here's a version where the bump is not derived from the autobump feature of Arnold but manually assigned. It's coming once again from the substance node. Finally if you're using an Arnold standard surface material or any material that does not have a displacement input you'll need to supply a map here in the Arnold properties modifier.
Lets go back to the material editor and up at the top I got my Arnold standard surface, double click on that, here it is. Body local Arnold standard and simply assign that to the body, drag that onto the bust. With the material assigned we just need to connect the map to the Arnold properties modifier. Lets find that map, pan down and it's the select displace map so double-click on that.
Select displace body and it's using the height channel. And we'll just take the output of that and connect it to the no map button in the Arnold properties modifier and choose instance. Also turn on the switch to use the map and once you've set all of that up you can now do a rendering with the Arnold material and it's set up with the exact same parameters as the physical materials so you may not be able to tell the difference at all.
Let's do a render. Here's our final version which is the displaced mesh using the Arnold standard surface and the Arnold properties modifier and that's how to apply displacement with the Arnold renderer.
- Arnold rendering concepts
- Arnold lights such as quad, spot, and distant
- Modifying Arnold object properties
- Filtering light with the gobo filter modifier
- Image-based lighting with Skydome
- Daylight simulation with Physical Sky
- Arnold Standard Surface material parameters
- Diffuse, opacity, and bump mapping
- Rendering refractions with Transmission
- Building an Arnold shading network
- Test rendering with utility map
- Mesh subdivision and displacement at render time
- Atmospheric perspective with scene environment fog
- Rendering a spherical environment with VR Camera