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Parallax Maps


Renzatic
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I was looking at my brother playing assassins creed and saw some awesome use of displacement maps. Especially on wall corners this was nice to look at. No more razor-sharp corners!

Looking for doom 3 mods for parallax or displacement maps I found some but I don't know how to use them exactly. I installed one but it doesn't look much different then regular doom 3 textures. I don't even know the difference between parallax and displacement mapping.

 

So, what are the experiences with these texture mods? Which ones are good for using in TDM? What is recommended if I want to use parallax/displacement mapping for a fan mission (it's not going to be in the main mod I read)? Or is it not recommended at all to attempt this?

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Try a search for parallax if you haven't already; there were a few threads about it over the years, including some side-by-side comparisons (though those images may be lost). Personally I remember thinking the parallax shots were nothing to write home about.

 

edit: lol, didn't notice this was actually appended to one of those discussions. There are a few others from years back, however.

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Try a search for parallax if you haven't already; there were a few threads about it over the years, including some side-by-side comparisons (though those images may be lost). Personally I remember thinking the parallax shots were nothing to write home about.

 

edit: lol, didn't notice this was actually appended to one of those discussions. There are a few others from years back, however.

 

AFAIK Displacement maps and Parallax maps are the same thing, just different names. The normal maps are used to give the illusion of depth, whereas parallaxing is used to actually change the geometry, so more triangles are generated where with normal maps no extra triangles are generated.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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I don't think so, they still just mess with the texture, no triangles or polygons. They sort of bend the texture around as you move by, giving a further illusion of depth than simple normals.

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I don't think so, they still just mess with the texture, no triangles or polygons. They sort of bend the texture around as you move by, giving a further illusion of depth than simple normals.

 

My bad you are quite right sir:

 

"Parallax mapping (also called offset mapping or virtual displacement mapping) is an enhancement of the bump mapping or normal mapping techniques applied to textures in 3D rendering applications such as video games. To the end user, this means that textures such as stone walls will have more apparent depth and thus greater realism with less of an influence on the performance of the simulation. Parallax mapping was introduced by Tomomichi Kaneko et al[1] in 2001."

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Yeah, parallax mapping just distorts texture coordinates based on a depth texture. I played with it a little recently. The difference isn't really noticeable in still images; it's when you start moving the camera around that you see the improvement in apparent depth.

 

I would actually like to see it one day, but I agree it's not something the team should be focusing on. I'm sure someone will come along and add it one day (after 1.0).

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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The difference isn't really noticeable in still images; it's when you start moving the camera around that you see the improvement in apparent depth.

That makes sense given the name "parallax mapping," meaning it changes the display when you shift to a different parallel axis (by say strafing past it), like a real 3d pattern would.

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I previously made a video of it in action in Oblivion, both original textures and some extra ones with a mod...

 

http://www.shadowdarkkeep.com/files/parallax.wmv (69sec, 15.5MB, 2mbps)

 

Those surfaces are actually flat, but the normals combined with the parallax gives a decent illusion of real depth and shape.

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I previously made a video of it in action in Oblivion, both original textures and some extra ones with a mod...

 

http://www.shadowdarkkeep.com/files/parallax.wmv (69sec, 15.5MB, 2mbps)

 

Those surfaces are actually flat, but the normals combined with the parallax gives a decent illusion of real depth and shape.

 

ew, the part with the cave floor is awful, the shape of the rocks actually changes while moving the camera around and the texture stretches, it looks awful.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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That makes sense given the name "parallax mapping," meaning it changes the display when you shift to a different parallel axis (by say strafing past it), like a real 3d pattern would.

Exactly. :)

 

@AH: Which cave floor? There are at least a couple. :) I noticed one slightly dodgy texture coordinate movement on a brick wall near the start, but not on any cave floors.

 

It's true that the parallax illusion isn't 100% perfect when you pay close attention, especially when viewing from side on, but any small glitches are typically not noticeable in ordinary play, and the illusion is definitely better than that of normal mapping (which is already pretty good).

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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If you have the graphics settings maxed out and Qarl's texture pack installed (like I do), it looks pretty awesome, not anywhere near as "stretchy" as in that video. I think it's just because the textures are higher res.

 

But in any case, Crispy is right - it's better than not having it at all. If you're not looking for faults it's very convincing and immersive.

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I was looking at my brother playing assassins creed and saw some awesome use of displacement maps. Especially on wall corners this was nice to look at. No more razor-sharp corners!

 

Actually that's incorrect - you've posted an image demonstrating 3DS Max's "displacement map" feature, which actually generates new polygons from a height map while rendering. It's another way for the artist to easily make more polys, it's not any less taxing on the computer than creating the polys any other way.

 

If that was parallax mapping, the outline of the armour would not show each individual plate - the edge would be as straight as the low poly version.

 

Parallax mapping happens in real-time, and just distorts the textures, and so you do get razor sharp corners, if you're looking for them, but I find they become less noticible because your brain is more convinced by the bricks changing perspective as you walk past. Only when your head is hard up against the wall and you're looking directly at a corner, is the illusion broken.

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There is a link here that kind of explains it I think:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hollyw...red,2049-8.html

So only parallax mapping is used in games yet and not displacement mapping. I guess Assassins Creed tricked me with high polygon models of buildings so the corners didn't look edgy :) . A thing to remember when making buildings for TDM.

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If you want true displacement, you have to use reliefmapping. There is a mod for that for doom 3 too, but that one kicks performance's ass... ;-) I played doom 3 that way. It was interesting, but it also has disadvantages. For one, if you look sideways at a surface you'll notice that the texture is stretched on the "surface-orthogonal" parts (of course). Aside from that, it looks very blocky because of the looooooow-res textures of doom 3. But with a proper set of high-res textures and heightmaps it could look damn sweet.

 

The problem with parallax- and reliefmapping is, that the mods use an altered glprogs-file for these technologies and TDM already uses a different one for the enhanced ambient light. So someone would have to dig in deep to combine two of those files.

 

Here is a little video, demonstrating reliefmapping in quake 4: Click me!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
The problem with parallax- and reliefmapping is, that the mods use an altered glprogs-file for these technologies and TDM already uses a different one for the enhanced ambient light. So someone would have to dig in deep to combine two of those files.

Too bad. I have zero knowledge on that area. But that means I can´t even use one of those existing texture mods? I've only tried them on a clean install of doom 3 so far.

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Well you could just play without the ambient light fix, but you have to keep in mind, that you're not playing the map the way the mapper intended to. I don't know anything about that stuff either... But I once asked the author of the reliefmapping mod whether he could also write an altered glprogs file for Prey, which he actually did, but it didn't work. What a shame!

 

Anyway, I'd presume that the changes in the glprogs for the ambient lightning are fairly simple. If you would talk to the author too, maybe you could edit the texture-mod glprogs-file yourself.

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Anyway, I'd presume that the changes in the glprogs for the ambient lightning are fairly simple. If you would talk to the author too, maybe you could edit the texture-mod glprogs-file yourself.

 

Gah. We had enough problems trying to get our own alterations working on various Nvidia and ATI cards. Lets not even suggest throwing more onto the fire. When D3 goes open source, that will be the time to look into such things. Then the ambient light can be corrected within the engine instead of the vfp hack.

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  • 1 year later...

Another necro:

 

(brought about because of the Open Source discussions)

 

1) Maybe it's just placebo but it seems that UE3's "Virtual Displacement Mapping" has an affect on Silhouettes?

 

2) Is there any reason why Doom 3 only seems to be able to do this with POM or Displacement Mapping?

 

3) Are the silhouettes cleaned up in a deferred render pass (meaning... does deferred rendering change the way that Parallax Maps work)?

 

4) When Id Tech 4 goes Open Source could the model poly-count be lowered and replaced with "UE3 style" parallax mapping?

 

5) Or is UE3 really using POM but the deferred render process makes it less expensive... but the same question (4) about the base models applies (presuming a deferred render approach is added to the engine by someone... see the "doom3world GPL Wish List" thread)?

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

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Thanks Rebb!

 

Do you know what does make the silhouettes look so good in UE3, surely it can't all be geometry...

 

I mean look at what Melan posted: Thief-Like UE3

 

There's no way that is all triangles!

 

Vertex Texturing, Shader Pseudo Tessellation for edges, magic? :huh:

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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That probably is all triangles, altho not sure if he also uses parallax in some materials.

 

The textures are generally very high res in those pictures.

 

UE3 is built to support lots and lots of Static Meshes instead of BSP Geometry and the characters are using quite some more polygons than what the original Doom3 characters had, that helps the overall silhouettes a lot.

 

The link you posted is a portfolio project so he might be putting a lot more polygons in and doesn't have to think much about the range of systems a game would have to be able to run on with these assets.

 

DirectX11 Tesselation will probably do all the other silhouette magic you were hoping for with "real" displacement.

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