Super Parallax 0.2

by in Materials, Shaders, Textures

v0.2.1 Available Now


Save time and memory over the traditional subdivision + displacement modifier workflow with shader-based displacement.

 

What is Super Parallax?

Super Parallax is an addon which creates parallax nodes you can use in your Blender materials to give the illusion of a 3D displacement. It is comparable to displacement mapping, but removes the need for excessively highly-subdivided meshes.

This saves memory and time, enabling high detail displacements on regular computers and works in the Cycles and Eevee render engines.

 

Features

  • Simple interface to speed up the parallax workflow
  • Saves memory and time compared to subdivision + displacement modifier workflow
  • Works in Cycles and Eevee
  • High quality results and no banding artefacts due to linear + binary search algorithm
  • Accurate silhouettes
  • Arbitrary quality settings/iterations available for high/low detail surfaces and for optimal performance
  • Curved surface support
  • In depth 10-page documentation/guide on effective usage
  • Easy mapping tool - rotate, position and scale parallax surfaces
  • Works with virtually all shading effects (normals, roughness, specular, ambient occlusion, etc)
  • Works from any view angle - I.e. it works from the camera view and in reflections etc
  • Optimised for Cycles’ Shader Virtual Machine (SVM) & Eevee shader compilation
  • By purchasing Super Parallax through Blender Market, a cut of the profits are donated to the Blender Development Fund. The rest allows me to improve this shader and make more future products!

 

Realtime animated mapping effects on a parallax material in Eevee.

Silhouettes and curved surface support:

 

 

 

 Why Super Parallax?

There are a few other parallax shaders available, some free and some commercial. However, Super Parallax is the only one to support curved surfaces with silhouettes, arbitrary iteration counts and binary search (higher accuracy), as well as being backed by a custom addon.

 

When should I use it?

Super Parallax is most effective when you need to add surface displacement detail to a part of your scene, but don’t want the memory overhead or workflow slow down that subdivided meshes and large surface areas introduce.

It works well on simple shapes, such as floors, walls, terrain, etc.

 

How does it work?

The technique used is a custom variant of relief mapping, which is a shader algorithm usually used in high fidelity video game graphics. It has been implemented so that it can work optimally in Blender’s shader nodes, which means that it works on any platform and in both Cycles and Eevee.

It works in Blender by replacing regular texture coordinates with parallax coordinates from a custom parallax node. Any texture map using the parallax coordinates will then be distorted to appear 3D. Silhouettes work by controlling the transparency/alpha of the material from the Mask Output on the parallax node.

 

Limitations

In general, if you follow the guidelines, Super Parallax is quite robust.

Intersecting faces will intersect along the mesh boundary, not the displacement boundary due to how Cycles and Eevee work. This isn’t really a visible issue in most use cases unless viewed very closely.

This version was developed and tested in Blender 2.83 and is not backwards compatible to pre-2.8 versions.

 

Requirements

- The Super parallax Nodes are designed to specifically work with UV texture coordinates, so objects using parallax need to be unwrapped. This is due to how Blender provides mesh surface information.

- A 2.8 version (or greater) of Blender is required.

- A GPU with at least 512Mb of memory is recommended for Eevee usage.

 


If you have any issues or recommendations, please don't hesitate to contact me via Blender Market.

Happy Blendering :)

 

 

Textures courtesy of TextureHaven.com and cc0textures.com, licensed under CC0.

Icons courtesy of entypo.com licensed under CC0.


Copyright © Sam Warren 2020