Vector Displacement Map

Tool > Vector Displacement Map sub-palette

Tool > Vector Displacement Map sub-palette


Vector Displacement Tangent / World

The vd Tangent option sets how the vector displacement map is computed – whether it’s based on the normal of the polygons or based on the world axis. With it turned on, ZBrush will create a Tangent map. Turned off will produce a World map. Because animated objects are in motion relative to the world coordinate system, Tangent mode must be used any time your model will be animated. World mode is suitable for static (non-animated) renders.

Vector Displacement 32-Bits /16-Bits

The vd 32Bit mode defines the depth of the computed map and of course, its accuracy. With the vd 32Bit button activated, ZBrush will generate a 32-Bit map. With this button deactivated ZBrush will generate a 16-bit map. In this latter case it is important to note the alpha depth factor value which will be displayed at the top of the interface once
the map has been created.

The benefit of 32-bit maps is that you don’t need to set a depth value in your render engine to produce accurate results. Please refer to the 16-bit and 32-bit Vector Maps section above.

Vector Displacement Smooth UV

When turned on, the vd SUV option smooths the model’s UVs when producing the displacement map. This option should be enabled if your rendering engine uses smoothed UVs.

  • When SmoothUV is enabled for generating maps, all UV borders will remain frozen when smoothing.

Vector Displacement Surface Normals

The vd SNormals option smooths the low resolution model’s surface normals and results in a smoother map.

Create and Export Vector Displacement Map

The CreateAndExport VDMap button will take all other settings into account to compute your vector displacement map. It will open a system window asking you for your file name and the location where you wish to save it. You will have the option to save the map as a TIFF file or Open EXR.


Create Diagnostic Files

This operation will generate a set of diagnostic files, useful to determine the correct Preferences settings for your vector displacement maps when rendered in your particular target application. These files will be created based upon the other settings in the Vector Displacement Map sub-palette.

Please refer to the Diagnostic File for the Perfect Export Settings section for more information.

Vector Displacement Flip Options

These options, located in the Preferences > Importexport sub-palette have a huge impact on the result of your render. They define whether the axis vectors are flipped or not. Please refer to the Diagnostic File section mentioned above.


Reference Guide > Tool > Polymesh > Vector Displacement Map