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Super Parallax

Save time and memory over the traditional subdivision + displacement workflow with shader-based micro-displacement.

v0.3.2 Available Now

Super Parallax is an addon which creates parallax nodes you can use in your Blender materials to give the illusion of a 3D displacement. It is comparable to micro-displacement, but removes the need for excessively highly-subdivided meshes. This saves a substantial amount of memory when rendering displacements with fine detail.

Super Parallax works seamlessly between the Cycles and Eevee render engines.


Simple and Fast Interface

Create parallax materials with the click of a button - no node groups need appending! Easily edit parallax parameters in one simple panel.

Create Visually Rich Materials

Micro-displacement adds depth and realism to materials, however subdivisions are slow and costly to render. Super Parallax approximates micro-displacement in shaders in real-time, adding virtually no memory overhead and no subdivision calculations.

Adjustable Quality

Change the quality dynamically with the Super Parallax interface to get optimal detail and performance.

Works with Shadows

Super Parallax materials work independently of the camera's position and direction, meaning it will cast displaced shadows and render correctly in reflections or through glass.


Features

  • Simple interface to speed up the parallax workflow
  • Saves memory and time compared to subdivision + displacement modifier workflow
  • Works in Cycles and Eevee
  • Two parallax algorithms to choose from
  • Accurate silhouettes
  • Arbitrary quality settings/iterations available for high/low detail surfaces and for optimal performance
  • Curved surface support
  • In depth documentation/guide on effective usage
  • Mapping tool - rotate, position and scale parallax surfaces
  • Works with virtually all shading effects (normals, roughness, specular, ambient occlusion, etc)
  • Renders from any view angle - I.e. supports reflections and projects correct shadows
  • Optimised for Cycles’ Shader Virtual Machine (SVM) & Eevee shader compilation

By purchasing Super Parallax through Blender Market, a cut of the profits are donated to the Blender Development Fund. The rest allows me to improve this addon and make more future products!


When should I use it?

Super Parallax is most effective when you need to add surface displacement detail to a material, but don’t want the memory overhead or workflow slow down that highly subdivided meshes introduce.

How does it work?

It works in Blender by 'distorting' regular texture coordinates with parallax coordinates and clipping the material transparency with a silhouette mask. The addon generates parallax nodes that can be parametrised for optimal performance and quality.

Limitations

In general, if you follow the guidelines, Super Parallax is robust.

Intersecting faces will intersect along the mesh boundary, not the displacement boundary due to the architecture of Cycles and Eevee. This isn’t really a visible issue in most use cases unless viewed very closely.

This version was developed and tested in Blender 2.91 and is not backwards compatible to pre-2.8 versions.


Requirements

- The Super parallax Nodes are designed to specifically work with UV texture coordinates, so objects using parallax need to be unwrapped. This is due to how Blender provides mesh surface information.

- A 2.8 version (or greater) of Blender is required.

- A GPU with at least 512Mb of memory is recommended for Eevee usage.


If you have any issues or recommendations, please don't hesitate to contact me via Blender Market or Gumroad.



Textures courtesy of TextureHaven.com and cc0textures.com, licensed under CC0.

Icons courtesy of entypo.com licensed under CC0.

Copyright © Sam Warren 2020-2021

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  • Super Parallax for Blender
  • Blender Addon
  • Full Documentation
  • Single User Licence
  • Legacy Versions

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Super Parallax

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