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Grace
12-31-2018, 01:19 PM
Is there any advantage to using Surface Displacement vs Displacement Map or do they basically accomplish the same results? Thanks!

Sensei
01-01-2019, 03:59 AM
Is there any advantage to using Surface Displacement vs Displacement Map or do they basically accomplish the same results? Thanks!

Surface Displacement modifier in LW 2018 is displacing what you set in Surface Editor > Edit Node Graph, Displacement scalar input. You can create complex node network. It's per-surface feature.

Displacement Map has just one option- Texture Editor. And it is per-object feature.

MonroePoteet
01-01-2019, 08:58 AM
As Sensei says, the Surface Displacement is on a per-surface basis, so it is NOT applied to other surfaces on the same object. As well, the procedural textures for Surface Displacement are applied in the direction of the normal of the surface (i.e. "outward") rather than on specific dimension (+X, -X, +Y, -Y, +Z, -Z) as in the Displacement Map.

Attached is a sample scene with two tesselated spheres, one with a Displacement Map setup (on the left) and the other with Surface Displacement (on the right). You can see the difference in how a Procedural Turbulence with the same parameters is applied to each:

143760

The center gold ring is a separate Surface, which is not displaced with Surface Displacement but is not excluded in the Displacement Map. You can set up a Weight Map as an Alpha channel on the Displacement Map, but even then the Turbulence is applied in one dimension (+Y in this case), and the gold ring has some of the other geometry poking through.

143761

The basic setup is the Texture layer hierarchy in the Displacement Map, and for this example, a Scalar Layer with the procedural Turbulence feeding the Surface's Displacement scalar:

143762

So, as to whether there's an "advantage" to using one or the other, it depends on the application.

mTp

Grace
01-01-2019, 10:40 AM
LIGHT BULB!! Thank you both to Sensei and MonroePoteet!! Excellent explanations and examples, I appreciate it! It all makes so much sense now lol.

Ma3rk
01-01-2019, 02:01 PM
LIGHT BULB!! Thank you both to Sensei and MonroePoteet!! Excellent explanations and examples, I appreciate it! It all makes so much sense now lol.

Ditto. Have files this away for future reference certainly.

MonroePoteet
01-02-2019, 07:41 AM
Glad the post / scene was helpful! FYI, I tend to build this type of little test scene and objects and images when trying new stuff or investigating this type of difference / comparison, and have hundreds and hundreds of them I've created over the years. They don't attempt to do anything of "production quality", but let me experiment with settings, features, etc. without messing up whatever "serious work" (HA!) I might be attempting.

mTp

Grace
01-02-2019, 10:52 AM
Great advice! I'll start with the files from this post :) Thank you!

jwiede
01-02-2019, 04:42 PM
LW's different "nodal silos" offer slightly different info/control capabilities. The Surfacing silo has some subtle differences in what's available versus the Displacement silo. If you know the rough layout of a node flow you wish to build, but what you need isn't available in the Displacement silo, it might be available in the Surfacing silo (or vice versa) -- that would impact which type of displacement you should use (or rather, which nodal silo you use to drive displacement).

It's worth exploring the different silos and understanding the differences between them. There are a few cases in LW where features can be driven nodally from more than one silo, intentionally, and understanding how the silos differ can be critical to building node flows (or optimizing existing flows) for those cases.

Grace
01-02-2019, 05:11 PM
Thank you jwiede! Could you please explain to me what a silo in the node editor is. Despite having LightWave for many years, I'm still a newbie :)

Kryslin
01-02-2019, 07:42 PM
I think he's referring to how each node editor is slightly different, in inputs, outputs, and the nodes available for them.

Grace
01-02-2019, 08:00 PM
Got it Kryslin! Thanks!