In this tutorial, we will demonstrate the best practices for rendering a vector displacement from C4D with Arnold. We will create some nose geometry using the C4D Sculpting tools. We will then bake this geometry into a vector displacement map from C4D and render it using C4DtoA with the correct settings.

The scene (R18) can be downloaded here.

 

The tutorial is broken up into the following stages:

Sculpting
Baking the Vector Displacement
Vector Displacement Shader
Subdivision
Displacement

If ears are more of your thing, there is also an ear vector displacement example to accompany this tutorial.

Sculpting

 

 

Baking the Vector Displacement

A conventional displacement map will not be able to provide us with the correct shape of the nose, so we must, therefore, export a vector displacement map instead. You can choose between world, object or tangent space maps depending on your needs.

Tangent Space


Object Space

The following settings are used when baking the map using object space.

 

Vector Displacement Shader

World Space

World space requires the same settings as the map used for object space.

Tangent Space

If the skin shader is too nosey noisy, you can try increasing the number of SSS samples.

'Vector space' of vector_displacement is set to 'tangent'. The order is 'XZY'. Flip Z is enabled.

 

Below you can see the difference when rendering with and without Flip Z enabled.

 


Object Space 

'Vector space' of vector_displacement is set to ' object'. Order is 'XYZ'. Flip Z is enabled.

Subdivision

If you have a more complex base mesh, you may also want to set the UV smoothing to linear to prevent shifting in the displacement.

 

Displacement

Original sculpt (left). Vector displacement (right).