Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Generating relief with bump and displacement mapping, part of Rhino and V-Ray: Rendering.
Now we will explore creating surface relief textures in your renders without having to model any of the details. How is this possible? By using bump mapping and displacement mapping materials. The big difference between the 2 is that bump maps fake relief. And the displacement maps generate actual 3D relief. Let's take a look at both. First up, we'll cover bump mapping. I love this because it's very easy to use and fast to render. We're going to zoom in on the penguin foot, and start applying some bumps. First let's render a establishing render and see how things change from render to render. Okay, render's complete and this shows us what the 2 feet look like with the same material. This is just an orange satin which is somewhere between a glossy and semi-gloss. So, let's go ahead and apply the first material with some bumping on it. I've got these already pre-made. This orange satin is the one we are seeing in the scene in the render. And I want to apply a bump map. Which has a little bit of a texture on it. Let's see how that works. We've got that selected. It's a little bit tricky sometimes. We're going to select the foot, which is the geometry. And then select the material. Right click and apply material to selection. If I can move these guys back. Go ahead and re-render.
And we'll kind of, look at the difference. So the render is complete. And before we take a look at the materials, examine this rendering. I mentioned that bumping is easy,fast, but it's faking the relief. So it looks like this is,uh, a size of bump that is way too big. So we're going to fix that. But notice how the bump is a certain size, but when you go along the. Edge of the material, there's no change. So, it's creating this illusion of bumping by adding highlights, and adding shadows. The edges are left unchanged. So sometimes, if it's too extreme, it can look a little bit fake, but most of the time, especially if you dial it down like we're about to now, it'll look pretty realistic and well worth the effort. Let's make these adjustments I mentioned, and show you where the bumping is happening. Okay, so here is the, sand or bump foot material. So right here, we have a bump, which is on or off. And then, under the M which is the swatch, we've got a procedural which is the texture noise.
Remember this using a formula. If we take a look at it, it's just random black and white, that's what noise is. So let's go ahead and change what I think is probably the most important number here and that size. The default is one. We'll type in 0.1. And now you'll be able to see the procedural in action. So this kind of gives us almost like a static effect. But again it's random, black and white. But you can also change there. Giving us just some random repeating patterns. Let's hit OK for that. I'm going to preview it in material editor, so it's much smaller.
We also have intensity, but before we change that let's do another rendering and see how it looks. The V-Ray tool bar, hit the Render button be back after it's complete. Okay here is the result of the smaller size and it's actually looking way better. However, I think the strength is still too high and by that I mean we are not seeing any reflections at all. This is just a little bit too sharp. Right size. But still too strong. Let's go back to the material editor. So here's the same material we've been working on. Here's the strength. So under the default strength of one we're going to change this to 0.2, close that and try one more time.
See what we get. Okay, with the rendering complete, we now see a big difference. So I'm getting reflections here. They're kind of broken up by what looks like a little bit of surface texture, much more convincing and realistic. Compare this to no bumping at all, where everything looks a little bit too clean and polished. So I would probably leave this. Right foot as is. It's perfection. Let's now apply a different material, and get some bump map to the other foot. So, we're going to go to the material editor, under the V-Ray toolbar. We're going to use the one called scales, and the previews just update, and you can see a little bit of scaly looking textures. So, I'm going to select the foot in the scene, which is barely visible.
Right click. And apply material to selection. So that'll be visible the next render, but first I'm going to look at some of the texture maps that are being used. Let's switch over here, so we've got a diffuse map, which could have lots of colors. These will be the scales we're using. What's recommended is, you have another version, which is just black and white. The way these bump maps work, is using the black and white values to push and pull. Anything that's 50% grey will not be affected.
Anything that's white will be pulled upwards. Black will be pushed downwards. If that's hard to remember, here's a little trick. I always say that a black hole goes down, and there's white snow on the mountains. That tells you about the direction. Okay, with that in mind, let's go back to our scene and see how this looks. Okay, render is complete. I'm going to zoom in here so we can see a little bit more of the detail just in case your monitor is not capturing it all. So you can just use your scroll wheel on your mouse here to zoom in here. And this is what I was talking about. We got highlights, but they're kind of broken up just a little bit, which indicates this is a fairly realistic material.
And here's the scales. On the second foot, so since we used a widget to project, we did a pretty good job. There's a little bit of stretching in some areas. You can actually control that just by putting it where it's most visible to the camera view point and then let other problem areas be invisible. So you don't have to worry about too much. Let's jump back to the scene now, I want to show you exactly how I got that in that location. So with that material selected, we're going to the properties, texture mapping and show. So this is how that texture map was projected. Now remember, I had a square graphic, so it just repeated anywhere it wasn't projecting. So that's it for the bump map. Now we're going to jump in displacement mapping. This is quite a bit different than bump mapping in that its actual relief by moving the geometry. So it also can take an incredibly long time, so we're just going to have a finished rendering to look at. Let's go to the named view. We are going to jump over to where the welcome mat is, turn that on. So the material I have applied comes straight from this V-Ray express toolbar.
And I believe it's under masonry, it's a material called grass. So, we're seeing the texture map applied but it's also using a similar map to force displacement much like you saw the bump map examples on the feet, creating fake pushing and pulling, this is real pushing and pulling. So, it'll take an incredibly long amount of time to render but here's how the texture map looks, just in the view port. I'll switch back to Windows and here is the rendering of how it looks. Double click on it so we get some of the detail here. I believe this took close to an hour on an average computer.
And you can see this is just amazing. All the detailed pushing and pulling. You can see along the edges it's zigging and zagging. So that is real relief. So I recommend using bump maps when you won't get very close and want to save rendering time for displacement. But, either type will make materials look way more realistic by avoiding the super shiny mirror gloss that beginners use and abuse. So a good rule to follow, if it looks slightly used or slightly imperfect, it will look way more real.
- Why use V-Ray?
- Installing DR Spawner
- Understanding 3D terminology
- Activating V-Ray
- Adjusting quality settings
- Get quick previews with the material override
- Understanding lighting types
- Exploring materials in the Material Editor
- Creating your own materials
- Texture mapping materials with bitmaps and procedurals
- Saving time with V-Ray presets
- Getting the right size for your render with output settings
- Working with environment lighting
- Strategies for working with cameras and camera settings
- Ensuring accurate color for your scene with color correction
- Rendering tips and tricks