Approximation Editor Displacement Issues

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  01 January 2010
Approximation Editor Displacement Issues

I have a model that was originally created in Maya, taken into ZBrush and sculpted, and now I'm trying to take the displacement map from ZBrush back into Maya and combine it with an SSS network (dermal layers painted in photoshop). I am, however, having some issues.

This is my model with a lambert applied. The displacement (16 bit) has been applied and the approximation editor has been used to create a subdivision approximation. You can see the displacement works.

Next I have applied a simple Fast SSS to the model, with the displacement map plugged into the shading group, and the approximation still active. You can see it still works.

Next, I plug my texture maps into the SSS network and get the following :

However, if I plug my texture maps into the SSS without displacement or approximations on : they work fine

(This is smoothed but without displacement)

Any idea why this is happening when I plug my textures in? I get the same thing when I plug a texture into a lambert, so I know it isn't just the SSS. Anyone who has any ideas, I would appreciate you giving me a new direction to research ... Im running out of ideas.


  01 January 2010
well i do run into this kind of i run through this checklist to see if everything is fine
1.when i export my model from zbrush i check the merge is on to merge my uv cords
2.check off grp which exports ur sub uv groups.
3.when u get back in maya you should choose to import ur model as an obj and check off create multiple objects.

those three steps are very important, u can mess up your vertex order.

your texture lands straight on the model without the approximation applied? give it a try

its better that you also export out a 32 bit displacement map from zbrush as it gets all of ur details.....
i know i might have not answered ur question but i hope i gave u some insight
  01 January 2010
Thank you all for your information, it got me looking in areas which led me to find the first part of my problem. In ZBrush when I look at my model export options, I see the scale is set to 24.546217

When I change that to 1 and re-export, I get a perfect export! Displacement, color, SSS, everything works as it should.

The problem then becomes the models are already rigged and animated at this 24x scale (which is the correct scale in feet). I want to produce a working displacement for the larger scale model ... and I thought displacement was based on UVs so why does scale matter? That aside:

When I export my model at scale 1 and in Maya scale it back up by 24 times I get the same problems seen in the 3rd image above. Identical. I then go into my Alpha Gain and Offset of the displacement map and multiply those values by 24, it looks better - but still isn't right. All the displacement is smoothed over and a few areas show seams.

So seeing as how I can't rescale my final models to 1/24 of their size, how can I export a displacement that works with the scale model I need it to work with? Is there a way of specifying scale of the displacement other than in the alpha gain and offset?

Thanks for any info, Im stumped again

  08 August 2010
Did you find a solution to this problem? I am having the same problem with the texture rendering with displacement, however I have gone through the checklists and cannot find a solution. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Michael Milano
  08 August 2010
friends at work showed me that turning the filter type on the texture node to 'off' seems to fix the problem for anyone else having the same problem
Michael Milano
  08 August 2010
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