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Trying to Better Understand Displacement Maps Generated When Sculpting in Mixer




  • Official comment

    Hello msjphotography,

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. I'd be happy to answer your questions regarding this tutorial in Mixer. However, please note that this tutorial is quite old at this point, and some features of Mixer may have changed location within the menus.

    1. Although I can't be 100% certain, Wiktor likely did not alter his displacement map in order to achieve the renders. However, the renders were likely captured in Marmoset Toolbag as opposed to Mixer. This is made apparent by the animated lights.

    2. In Mixer's current state, it is not yet possible to add a Mask Stack to a Paint layer. So as of now, you can't add a clamp or a Brightness/Contrast modifier, which is what would usually allot for the desired effect.

    3. The amount of stretching you see within Mixer will be due to the amount of tessellation involved in your surface. For example, if you use the default plane, you will likely see some stretching even if you set your GPU Tessellation to 10 under the Display tab. Please note, however, that setting this feature to 10 can be quite intensive and isn't usually recommended unless your GPU can handle the performance. If you'd like to work with minimal stretching, you can always import your own highly-tessellated mesh via the "model settings" under the setup tab. This feature was not yet included in the referenced video, however, the higher the tessellation of your object, the less stretching you'll see.

    4. Wiktor no longer handles support requests or forum posts directly. 

    To add a bit more information with regard to the final product you see in the video above, not only does Toolbag allow you to animate the lights as shown in the final renders, but it also allows you to further tessellate your meshes to an incredibly dense degree, thus removing the "stretch" artifacts that can be caused by pushing displacement rather high. 


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  • msjphotography

    Thank you so much for this super helpful response, Ian!

    Since creating this thread, one important thing I've noticed after further testing is that Mixer does not accurately display the actual export greyscale values for the displacement map.  In Mixer, what I see as medium to dark grey actually outputs in the EXR (when converted to 16-bit) and PNG files as dark grey to black.  If you'd like, I am happy to send you examples.  Unless I'm somehow doing something wrong when I press the 6 key to view the Displacement map, I'm wondering if this issue can be investigated and resolved?  It definitely helps to see an accurate displacement map preview before exporting. 

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