Introduction to Microdisplacements

This is one of the most exciting developments to come to Blender in recent years. It's two separate features that work together:

  1. Adaptive Subdivision - Automatically subdivides objects based on the amount of screen space they take up
  2. Micropolygon displacement - Uses the adaptive subdivision to displace the geometry at the time of rendering.

This results in more detailed renders, with memory reductions of up to 88%, and decreased rendertimes of up to 75%.

If you make environments, or want to achieve photorealistic results, this is HUGE.

^This is one plane with Adaptive Subdivision, and this texture used as a microdisplacement. Since the geometry is automatically created based on the screen space it occupies, you get higher detail in the foreground and super light geometry in the background.

In this tutorial you'll discover:

1. Why this is such important news

2. How Adaptive Subdivision and Micropolyon displacements work

3. How to start using it

This feature is currently only available in Blender 2.78 Release Candidate, however it will likely be in all future official releases.

Here's some photoscanned materials from Poliigon:

Huge thanks to the lead developer Mai Lavelle for making all this possible!

Make something cool using this tutorial? Post it in the comments below!