A pack of nodes and materials in Cycles with Parallax Mapping.
Parallax Mapping is a way to distort the texture, so that it looks embossed into the surface. In contrast to BumpMap and NomralMaps this technique truly covers deeper points by higher points, without the use of detailed geometry.
It therefore enables detailed depthstructures without the need of high poly geometry.
keep the memory low and save rendertime, but when?
When should you use such materials? I recommend to use them, when you need much detail, but wont approach it closely with the camera.
As it works through distorting uvmap coordinates, it will have a small amount of distortion in the texture.
Closeups often show these distortions clearly. So try to avoid these.
But if the camera stays in a little distance to the model, you wont see it. this is quite relating to the resolution of the used texture, so compare it to the pixelresolution of the texture. Ofcourse the distortion will get too twirly if the depthvalue is exaggerated too extreme.
All the materials require a uvmap called "UVMap" on the applied Model. this map is going to be distorted according to the cameraangle.
There are two different nodesetups:
-one for textures,
- and one for procedural voronoi maps (for grass, fur, woods and crowds).
The easiest way to use the Materials for your purpose is to append them (file/append ... choose materiallibrary.blend/material/...) out of the materiallibrary-file included in the pack. it has 3 texture materials and 3 voronoi materials.
the textures and voronoi maps are placed deep inside the nodetrees. so i recommend changing textures via the texture panel in the properties window. i labeled the according imageslots diffusetexture and depthtexture. though there are several depthtextures listet, they are all the same. change one, and the others are changed also. note that the metalpipes texture-material is a material which additionally has a trasnparency enhancement along the visible edges of a model. therefor it even fakes depthbased transparency along the border of your model. it has a transparency value-node in the node setup, easily found in the node editor. Use it with care;) or be happy with the other two texture-materials.
heres a comparison video between normal maps, parallax maps, and polygon displacement:
and heres a guide how to implement the parallax node into your scenes: