Although it has been a few days since my last entry this does not mean I have been neglecting the module. Work did take a back seat as the deadline for the 11 Second Club approached but since then I have been banging my head against what should be a relatively straightforward procedure: displacement mapping.
In order to be able to work with the model in Maya one has to reduce its size and one does this by using a lower resolution mesh on top of which you place texture files to give the illusion of depth. There are two maps that are proving problematic – the displacement map and the bump map.
The displacement map, which should deform the base mesh, is not working at all. The results when rendered through Mental Ray are awful. Although the mesh does appear to be displaced the grid that is apparent on the model is that of the lower resolution model.
Daryl proposed a second method (I was following the method as outlined in the Autodesk documentation) which produced more desirable results but which placed the displacement map in the bump map slot in Maya.
An ex-student has agreed to come over tomorrow to take a look. Hopefully we’ll be able to resolve the issue. In the meantime I have carried on modelling the environment. I created a transit van and a Toyota mr2. The models are ludicrously simplistic yet I’m still very pleased with them. They are recognisably a van and a car.