Blender Gets VDM – Vector Displacement Map Sculpting

Officially approved today, VDM or Vector Displacement Map is a new sculpting feature coming in Blender 3.5. VDM is a common feature in ZBrush and enables you to create sculpting brushes similar to height map, but with additional 3D depth information.

Description from the official Blender Project page:

Sculpt: Added vector displacement for the sculpting draw brush (area plane mapping only for now)

Vector displacement maps (VDM) provide a way to create complex displacements that can have overhangs in one brush dab.
This is unlike standard displacement with height maps that only displace in the normal direction.
Forms like ears, curled horns, etc can be created in one click if VMDs are used.
There is a checkbox on the draw brush in the texture settings “Vector Displacement” that enables/disables this feature.

Technical description: The RGB channels of a texture in a brush stroke are read and interpreted as individual vectors, that are used to offset vertices.
As of now, this is only working for the draw brush using the area plane mapping. Symmetry and radial symmetry are working.

Key Links

Blender Project Page

Blender Artist Discussion

Download Page (D17080 Version!)

Test Blend and VDM Creation Template

You can learn more about the new VDM or Vector Displacement Map functionality in Blender 3.5 and learn how to create your own VDM textures in the video below.

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