Volumetric Plugin for LightWave 3D

DP MicroDisp
Volumetric plugin
LightWave3D 9.6+ -> 2015

Plugin coded by Denis Pontonnier.
Mac UB version compiled by Michael Wolf.
UB are for Intel and PPC, 32-bit requires at least OSX 10.4, 64-bit at least 10.5 .
Earlier x64 versions compiled by Marvin Landis.

Description :

-A Micro Displacement Volumetric plugin,
generating and displacing micropolygons for a geometric object.

-The micropolygons are generated on the fly without consuming memory,
vertices of microtriangles are displaced along the smoothed normal.
Individual object parameters are accessible in a Custom Object plugin.




Custom Object Options
Scene Editor
Notes and Limitations



Usage :

-Add the DP MicroDisp Custom Object plugin to a mesh object.

-Define a Level of Subdivision for the micropolygons.
-Open the Displacement Node Editor.
-Connect an Image or Procedural node to the Displacement input.

-100% Dissolve the object in Render Settings (LW9.6 or LW10.1) or
deactivate the object in the scene editor (LW11+).
-Add the DP MicroDisp Volumetric plugin and render.

All settings are described in detail below.


Custom Object Options:

-"Subdivision Mode"
"Fixed", "Adaptive"
Method used for defining the level of micropolygon subdivision
fixed and constant level for the object or adaptive level per triangle
taking account of the polygon area, its distance to the camera and
the limits of its displacement.
The Level may also be defined per triangle in the node editor.
For a Level of 'N', 'N x N' micropolygons are generated on the triangle.

-"Adaptive Level Multiplier"
This is for correcting the estimation of the Adaptive Level of the micropolygon

-"Max Subdivision Level"
The maximum level for the Adaptive Subdivision Mode.

-"Subdivision Level"
The constant level for the Fixed Subdivision Mode.

-"Smoothing Displacement"
Curvature of the micropolygons to create a virtual smooth mesh, before
applying the displacement, slower to render.
This doesn't modify Local Coordinates for Surface and Displacement evaluation.
The "Averaged Smoothness" option can be added for a smoother surfaces look.


-"Displacement Node Editor"

Level of micropolygon subdivision per polygon (triangle), always overwrites
the Fixed or the Adaptive Level of the main panel.

The value of the normal displacement, it is only used for micropolygon
displacement in addition to other displacements or deformations applied
to the based mesh.
Displacement evaluation could be expensive in term of rendering time,
image mapping is obviously faster than procedural for high Subdivision Level.

Simple nodal setup of a spherical displacement for an Icosahedron, animated Subdivision Level from 0 to 40.


-"Displacement Offset"
Positive or negative Offset distance added to the nodal displacement.

-"Displacement Scale"
Scaling factor applied to the nodal displacement.

-"Min Displacement"
Lower clamping limit for the nodal displacement of this object

-"Max Displacement"
Higher clamping limit for the nodal displacement of this object.
Both limits of displacement should be maintained near the minimum
and maximum potential value of the smoothing and nodal displacement
for reducing calculations.


-"Averaged Smoothness"
Micropolygons are displaced from flat polygon, so with a constant
or null displacement, the surface has no smoothness, Averaged Smoothness
allows to fake smoothness on these regions for surfacing.

-"Normal Threshold"
The micropolygon normal is compared to the original geometric polynormal,
Averaged Smoothness is only applied under this threshold.



Scene Editor :

-DP MicroDisp settings are accessible from the Scene Editor, Custom Object can be
added for an item selection, setup and modified.

-The DP MicroDisp Volumetric plugin must be present in the scene or at least one
Custom Object, even if you remove it.

-The first bank displays info and a slot selection if more than one Custom Object
are attached to an Item, a command for adding a DP MicroDisp Custom Object plugin
and each plugin can be enabled or disabled.

-Possibility to jump to a DP MicroDisp panel or its Node Editor.





-DP MicroDisp works with radiosity if "Volumetric Radiosity" is enabled
in the Render Settings Global Illumination panel.

-Micropolygons visibility in LW Buffers is only available in LW 10+, however no Motion,
Special and TangentSpace Buffers, also this don't work with Classic Camera.
RGB, Alpha, and Depth Buffers are always enabled and written by Lightwave,
other Buffers can be enabled in the Volumetric Plugin Panel.

-Low-Discrepency antialiasing in LW11/11.0.1 may cause artefacts in frontal view.

-Subdidividing huge polygons especially on flat surfaces.

Limitations (not exhaustive):

-Dissolve option in Render Settings doesn't affect the Microdisplaced object.
-No Surface Glow effect.
-No Surface Outline Rendering.
-No Shadow Map.
-Foreground transparency doesn't work with the Classic Camera.
-LW Preprocessed Surface nodes not working.
-Partial implementation of third party preprocessed Surface nodes.
-No Shader plugins (except shaderMeister from db&w).



Direct Ray Tracing of Displacement Mapped Triangles
by Brian Smits, Peter Shirley and Michael M. Stark.




Download DP MicroDisp version 1.2 (Win32)
  (updated 04/15/15)
Download DP MicroDisp version 1.2 (Win64)
  (updated 04/15/15)
Download DP MicroDisp version 1.1 (Mac UB 32 and 64-bit)
  (updated 03/19/13)



This plugin is freeware but donations are appreciated, thanks.








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Copyright © 2015 Denis Pontonnier. Denis.Pontonnier@wanadoo.fr