I’ve gone back to a Udemy course by Rob Tuytel on creating 3D environments in Blender. This time through I’m spending time on the sections on materials which, for some reason, I skipped over last time. So, not learning much that’s new, but decided to make a detour to see if I could get the Displacement input to the Output node working properly. This is not something that Rob does, he uses the displacement modifier, but problem with that comes when mixing two materials, e.g. plaster over brick.
Anyway, I ended up at an excellent YT tutorial by Andrew Price on the whole subject from a couple of years ago. I guess that pretty much coincided with the period when I was no longer doing any 3D. However I must admit the whole Adaptive subdivision and micro displacement thing is great. Similar to what Vue used to do with procedural terrains – subdivision level depends on proximity to the camera.
Because this is all done in the node editor I can use the same ‘layer masking’ on the displacement that I use on the rest of the material. The above image does not include a second layer (plaster) yet, but the displacement is done in the node editor.
Here’s the version with plaster. Instead of Rob’s approach of mixing each component in a single shader, I created two distinct shaders and mixed those with a noise texture.