View Full Version : scriptinga way to make Vray displacement geometry?

01 January 2005, 02:39 PM
Hi All,

I just posted a response in the Vray forum, and some of my thoughts where wondering if Max could help to convert the Vray Displacements detail (which only happen at rendertime) into geomety by making some Max script/plugin.

the topic is here:

The post itself is here, for those that can't see teh Vray forum:


Hi All,

I have asked for this myself many times. I'd find this feature extremely useful for my workflow since for modeling we use Vray displacement to create many details.
because of the topological limitations of SubDs we find that adding things like seams and gaps to split parts of a product is best achieved with VrayDisplacement. Since we don't have to 'damage' out model and we still can make changes on the form very easily.

The only problem is that now all those details live only at rendertime and even though we can show them in renderings we have no way to get them out of Max. we need them out of there for two purposes:

1. create STL files with all the details for stereolithography prototypes.
2. export meshes of the details to have as reference geometry in Rhino for building clean solid geometry for downstream engineering

I know this mesh only exists at rendertime and is only view dependent, but if it was a way to calculate it from many views and creating an additive process where a true 3d mesh can be generated, then the combined output would be a perfect mesh, right? is almost like making a 3D scan of an object from various views and then assemble the result to have a complete 3D mesh of the entire object.

I would even consider this feature a good plugin opportunity, so the cost of developments does not have to be passed on all Vray users that don't care about this feature. Unless we all want it and then it should be a standard feature.

I also wonder if this could be done outside of Vray. Two ways come to mind:
1.Scripted in Max, where Max can look at all the Vray displacement modifiers applied to the model and replace them by Max displacements and then covert them into geometry.
2. Scripted so Max can generate a geometry file + displacement maps with all their UV's correct so it can be brought into Zbrush and they do the conversion to real geometry there. It would have to be easy and fool proof for the user. In which case I would not mind to spend $400 for Zbrush just to do this.

I'd love to hear other's opinions on this. All my assumptions are based on ingenuity since I have to idea was technically behind the Vray displacement feature. Let alone VrayFur, which I'm not even sure what it does yet.

.....I'd like to hear what MaxScript experts have to say about this.


01 January 2005, 07:10 PM
Recreating vray's precise displacement result as geometry would require a prohibitively dense mesh (millions of polygons). You could get a similar, if not exact, result by tesselating your mesh to a fairly high degree, then using the built-in displacement modifier. Maybe throw an optimize mod on top to reign back in the flat areas.


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