A very powerful feature in Maverick is displacement autobump. Autobump was introduced when Indie was released some months ago, but was improved in our most recent Studio/Indie build; now it is interactively configurable.
In Maverick, displacement works as follows:
- Geometry is diced (i.e., subdivided) by the max edge length thresholds you can configure globally and/or at the object.
- Then the displacement heightmap is used to push vertices along their normals.
- All detail not captured in the previous 2 steps, is automatically added as a normal map, which strength is now interactively editable.
This approach to displacement has great advantages:
- No matter how crude your base mesh or how conservative your subdivision thresholds are, all fine detail is always present.
- This allows for great detail while keeping the memory footprint and warm up time low. i.e., you can afford large subdivision thresholds.
- Autobump is interactively configurable. So you can crank up details or mute them a bit to your liking, in real-time.
In other words, you can achieve incredible detail: automatically, fast, and without bursting the GPU RAM.
This powertool works in combination with all the other advanced properties of our subdivision and displacement system, such as adaptiveness, culling, …
This Youtube video that we just uploaded makes use of autobump in a practical example: a material downloaded from Substance Source:
Thanks to autobump, a practical workflow for displacement would be:
- Set a subdivision threshold that captures (only) the coarse details of your material. Do not overshoot! Just make sure that features such as ridges and thick wrinkles are captured.
- Then play with autobump to restore all the detail that is missing. Note that the default autobump value is often ok.
- As a bonus, make sure that the autobump epsilon value is set to match the resolution of your displacement map (e.g., 4096px).
These slides below illustrate how, thanks to autobump, a crude subdivision threshold produces the exact same result as a very fine subdivision threshold:
Thanks for watching!