How to use a Displacement map in Maya
A simple guide on adding a texture to a plane and including a displacement map.
We’ll start with a simple scene containing a plane an arnold area light:
Next we’ll open the hypershade by clicking the icon in the top shelf:
With the hypershade open, press TAB in the main area and create an aiStandardSurface node:
Download the 3 files below and place them somewhere you’ll remember, preferably in your maya project:
Drag the base colour texture (Seamless_Concrete_Texture_Texturise) into the hypershade and connect the out colour connector of the newly placed texture to the base colour connector of the aiStandardSurface node:
The texture will be applied in the preview panel:
Close the hypershade at this point, return to your workspace and press 7 on the keypad to use all scene lights, then open the ‘Shading’ menu and check “Hardware Texturing”:
You should now see the texture applied to the plane in the scene:
However with just a base texture this doesn’t look very real, lets add some more realism with the specular map.
Open the hypershade again and drag the Seamless_Concrete_Texture_Texturise_SPECULAR image file from your explorer window into the hypershade. And connect the specular texture ‘Out Color’ to the ‘Specular Color’ connector of the iaStandardSurface node:
Go back to the viewport and see the difference adding the specular map has made:
Looks much better!
Now to add the displacement map to our texture, there are a few steps to this one so I’ll break this down:
1) Drag the ‘Seamless_Concrete_Texture_Texturise_DISPLACEMENT’ file into the hypershade from your file explorer and connect the ‘Out Color’ to the ‘Displacement Shader’ of the standard surface ‘Out Color’ node:
At this point nothing with change in the viewport, but if you render you’ll see a total mess:
2) To fix this, select the plane we applied the texture to.
3) Open the attribute editor and select the ‘Arnold’ tab:
4) Expand the ‘Subdivision’ section:
5) Select ‘catclark’ from the ‘Type’ dropdown:
6) Increase the ‘Iterations’ value to 5 or 6 (depending on how detailed you want the displacement to be):
If you render again, you’ll see much more detail to the displacement, but it looks more like a mountain range than a concrete texture:
7) To reduce the height of the displacement, expand the next section titled ‘Displacement Attributes’ and change the height value to 0.02:
That’s it! if you render again you’ll see the displacement is much more realistic, and working together with the specular creates a really nice basic concrete (albeit a little wet looking).