This is a legacy documentation space! Please refer to V-Ray Next for Maya help for most up-to-date information.

This page provides information on the Displacement rollout for the V-Ray Volumetric Grid.


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Volumetric displacement is a technique intended to add detail to the simulation during rendering. The concept is similar to geometry displacement; volumetric displacement samples a texture, then shifts the point in a direction at a distance determined by the texture. For more information, see the Volumetric Displacement example below.


UI Path: ||Select V-Ray Volumetric Grid|| > Attribute Editor > Displacement rollout







Enable Displacement – Turns volumetric displacement on and off.

Type – Specifies the method of displacement.

Gradient driven – The point is shifted toward the field's gradient by the texture brightness. This method is suitable for smoke and fire.
Surface driven – The point is shifted by the texture brightness toward the normal of the point's projection on the isosurface, and the texture is also sampled at the projection point. This method is slower than Gradient driven, but produces better results similar to displaced
Vector – The point is shifted by the texture color interpreted as 3D vector. This displacement mode is intended to be used with meshes and produces a result similar to normal V-Ray displacement.

Displacement Amount – Additional multiplier for the displacement amount.

Texture – Assign a texture to drive displacement.

Note: The difference between Surface driven and Vector displacement types from an artistic point of view is that vector displacement can produce more complicated surfaces. For example, a wave texture used with the Vector option produces waves that have a convex back side and a concave front side. In contrast, the Surface driven option produces symmetrical forms. For more information, see the Surface Driven vs. Vector Displacement example below.

Note: When rendering as mesh, Vector displacement is applied regardless of the option selected for Type.


Example: Volumetric Displacement

This example shows a grid with 24 million cells with displacement applied. As you can see, even this resolution is not enough by itself for a convincing result.



Displacement Off

Displacement On


Example: Surface Driven vs. Vector Displacement



Surface driven displacement


Vector displacement