Mesh displacement

Wings3D + Blender + Poseray + MegaPOV 1.2, 2009

I’ve been using Poseray a lot lately for some works with Chief Architect & POV-Ray, but as these were paid works, I didn’t have the time to explore some interesting features of this application, like mesh displacement.

My first thought for a test scenario was a patio, of course… so I started modelling a cluster-like patio with Wings3D, UV-mapping it both for texturing and displacement mapping with Poseray. I then exported it to OBJ, imported it within Poseray, and applied the displacement map using a gray scale version of the texture.

On the following images you can see the result: the first one is the cluster mesh withouth displacement, the second is the displaced mesh, and the third is just a different view to see how it behaves at the UV map joints.

The problem on the joints is easily noticeable, although the overall effect looks good, and renders very fast. It could be solved by correctly unwrapping the UV map, or by a tricky UV map painting, but I’m not skilled enough for any of both alternatives…

Just to compare, I decided to try the same feature on Blender, but instead using the same simple cluster, I created a new one with Wings3D. I exported again to OBJ and imported it on Blender. After some hours reading tutorials and playing with things, I managed to create the mesh illustrated on the main image and the tests below. It has the same problems on the UV map joints, but this time it’s less noticeable because the displacement pattern is not regular.

Well, finally I got tired of having to work with millions of triangles, and abandoned the experiment with little conclusions… at most, I learned that I prefer to use Poseray as it makes the process easier and shorter.