CS22 W19 Loeb

Displacement mapping

Displacement maps are a way to use a texture to change the geometry of an object and give it depth. In this tutorial, you will learn a quick way to add a displacement map to an object.

Make sure you have a diffusion/color texture map and a displacement map in the Source Images folder of the current project. In this case, we will use the two files in the Displacement Map folder on The Files to Download for Class

Drag these two files into your Source Images Folder for your practice project.

Create a polygon plane and scale it up a bit.

Add an aiSkyDome to create some light to see the rendered image.

Open the HyperShade Window. Windows>Rendering Editors>HyperShade or better yet, click on the blue icon at the top of Maya


There are several windows within the Hypergraph.

In the Create Node, Choose the Arnold aiStandardSurface Shader. It will appear in the Work Area.

We need to add the texture to this material. To do that, you can simply LMB click and drag the textures from your finder to the work area. In this case we want the Grass_001_COLOR.jpg texture and the Grass_001_DISP.png

With your mouse over the Work Area, Hit A to frame all the nodes you've created.

You need to connect the Out Colors from the two textures to the Base Color and the Displacement Shader. Simply LMB click and drag to make the connections as shown.

Rename the aiStandardSurface1 Shader to something like grassMaterial

Now you just need to assign the grassMaterial to your polyplane. An easy way to do that is to MMB click and drag it from the HyperShade onto the object in the View Port.

Note: You could also right click on the polyplane and Choose Existing Material>grassMaterial, or you can select the polyPlane in the ViewPort and right click on the grassMaterial in the Hypershade and choose Assign Material to Selected

Hit the 6 key to see the texture on the plane.

If you Render, it looks flat

To fix this, go into the Attribute Editor for the polyPlaneShape node.

Open the Arnold Tab

And Scroll Down to the Subdivisions Tab and open it.

Change the "type" to "catclark"

And increase the iterations to something like 5. This adds smoothing to the plane.

Now Render.

It doesn't look great.

You need to adjust the height of the Displacement in the Displacement Attributes Tab. Try a smaller number. Also, check on Auto Bump

Now Render. If the number is too low, it won't look like anything happened. Try increasing it a bit. In this case, I tried, .5

Play with the number. The correct number has something to do with the size of your plane, the image and the height you set.

That is it!