Before I started rigging my displacement map looked fine, I had used the Approximation editor to adjust it till I has happy. But… once it was rigged and bound ready for positioning I got a shock.

Screen shot 2012-12-02 at 11.34.02

Somewhere along the rigging process the displacement map got screwed up! After I got it looking great too! Luckily I save scene files at different stages of the process and re opened each file from boning to binding, test rendering the model to find out the point at which it changed. I thought it might have something to do with the weight painting but it was at the moment of binding the rig to the mesh.


Ah! ok so i thought would be able to sort it out in the approximation editor… It had no effect on the displacement map at all this time.

But no panic, I had recently purchased the book ‘Maya studio Projects, texturing and lighting. Through this book I discovered that the displacement strength could be edited in the displacement attribute editor, under the color balance tab by editing the alpha Gain value.

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 11.44.52

This was the first time i had used dissplacment maps and I would never have thought to look in the colour section of the displacement map attribute editor. I thought that maybe i should know to look there, so i took a moment to under stand why it was this section.

i know Gain is noise and noise with color is vibrance, taking a look at the displacement map, my map is red and from what i can deduce, maya reads the color vibrance and interprets that as the displacement dependent on the levels of vibrancy. so therefor the higher the ‘Gain’ the more noisy the red sections become and the level of displacement it hight and less ‘gain’ the lower the displacement. Don’t quote me on it I maybe wrong, I am just connecting the dots of what knowledge I have learnt.


So back to my problem, I did have a bit of a giggle while trying to determined which way the value needed to go.

Screen shot 2012-12-02 at 11.33.14

I put the Gain quite high, and my dragonfly looked like a balloon! I just continually decrease the value until it looked like how I had it before.