Tutorial: Displacements and Subdivision

**Note: Subdivision by default can look really bad. **

However, there’s some tricks to it. Were going to practice with a 256^3 cube, converted into a displacement and set to a power of 3:

Right now we could pull this around, make it bulgy, etc. But what if we wanted to round the corners? Well there’s a tool called Subdivision. Go ahead and hit that. It probably just turned into this:

This is obviously NOT Ideal. (Unless you like giant random spheres?

So to fix this, we add extra “edgeloops”. (

[Click here for a better description of edgeloops.](http://www.facepunch.com/showpost.php?p=17543288&postcount=55)

) It’s technically a modeling term but it’s the same process.

As you can see i’ve merely selected the cube, gone in 32 units from edge, clipped it and done that for all the edge. Subdivided, it now looks like:

Suddenly, we have rounded corners that don’t look horrible, and aren’t a ball. If we wanted bigger curves, you could clip in more:

16 unit clips:

64 unit clips:

You get the idea.

Some practical uses:

**As you can see, it's not perfect. There's still gonna be texture streaching (That can be fixed with [$seamless_scale](http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/$seamless_scale)), and misplaced verts. This can be fixed by not having the edges aligned. It's something you'd have to play around with.**

What else can this do?
With the right textures and enough time…


Oh and one other displacement trick: While in Paint Geometry mode, instead of using left/right click to move, you can hold shift and left click which lets your mouse drag up/down determine the move distance.

In addition: Alt + left click (and drag) changes the radius size).

Hope this helps someone. =)
(Thanks to Robert Briscoe’s blog post about it. I wouldn’t have thought about the extra edgeloop)

Oh wow, I had no idea you could do that.

Nice tut Ned

Cool tutorial, very useful.

How’d you get those waves on the water?

very very awesome tut!! i’m looking for thiis

I’m not Robert :p.

Anyways; He used an animated material on a displacement that is curved to fit the water line. Ingenious idea really.

Also, be wary of using a lot of subdivisions/displacements because they add a lot to the final filesize of your map.

A custom texture with an animation on top of the water?

I guess it’s the same metod that valve uses for their sewer in L4D, water, then the slime texture on top to make it act like water, and look like slime.

Anyway, nice tut! Good for beginners, and more advanced users that haven’t used subdivision on a regular basis. :smile:

You have to pay for quality somewhere.

Well, it’s the same with lightmaps. I don’t have a problem with the file being 60MB, as long as it’s detailed and has quality.

Did i do something wrong?

I can’t help without seeing the 2d screens.

I did what you said, all it was was a square block.


Delete it! Oh my god oh god oh god

Erm… I’d suggest trying it with a 256 block like I had.

Also: When you clip it up into smaller chunks, you may need to remove a centerpiece.

hmm. can i do ur tut’s way for this?


You can try. You’d be hard pressed to do that shape with a model even.

Never made the connection between displacement subdivisions and modeling subdivisions until today.

Lots of the pictures are missing for me…

that last pic made my draw drop through both floors of my house. and very nice tut :smiley: