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Old 17th February 2008, 09:33 AM   #23
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 917
Default Re: Hello & Questions

Displacement Map

A displacement map measures the amount to displace, or move, the geometry at the specified point. Brighter pixels move the geometry upwards or away from the surface, and darker pixels move the geometry downwards or toward the surface.

Many landscape editors use displacement maps to indicate the height of the terrain at a particular point. Displacement maps used in this way are often referred to as "height maps".

Most displacement maps are grayscale and only measure the displacement of a point on a single axis. However, it is possible to make a displacement map that moves a point on all three axes. "Sculpted prims" in Second Life are one such example of a 3D displacement map. Coloring the red channel causes the point to move on the x axis, coloring the green channel causes the point to move on the y axis, and coloring the blue channel causes the point to move on the z axis.

My cube shader is not capable of displacing geometry using a displacement map. However, it still uses a displacement map for something else even cooler I'll show you in a moment.
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