Freelance 3D artist and Vertex panelist Maya Jermy shows you how to master VDM. She will be appearing at Vertex as part of the panel on digital humans.
Vector Displacement Mesh (VDM) is a 3D sculpt used as brush building blocks that enables undercutting when drawing on a model’s surface. But what exactly does it mean?
The simplest way to understand it is to start with alphas. Alpha textures are greyscale images that we often use for sculpting fine-detailed patterns like wrinkles and skin pores. Without them we would have to painstakingly draw the details on by hand, one by one.
Alphas are awesome and quite efficient to use in combination with bushes, but they are basically flat images with black values, and they do not support undercuts and overhangs, which limits what can be done with them.
However, Alpha 3D stores the information of all XYZ axes and does not have any vertical elevation restrictions. By definition, it is 3D as it uses VDM in its system.
All you need to worry about is the polygon density to enable proper projection of the Vector Displacement Mesh onto your model. As I see it, Alpha 3D is an alpha with 3D information, or, a 3D sculpt plastered onto a plane and used as an alpha on steroids.
She will be at Vertex 2018, taking part in our panel discussion, along with other industry veterans including Chris Nichols and Brett Inerson, where the future of digital humans is the topic.
Make sure you get your chance to be there for the discussion, as well the workshops, recruitment fair and all the other activities we have throughout the day. Visit the Vertex site to book your tickets, from the free expo ticket, to the access all areas passes.
We look forward to seeing you there!