August 28, 2022 Hana Trieu

Troubleshooting Not Working Displacement in Octane for Cinema 4D

Displacement in Octane is a somewhat advanced topic. While using displacement, there are inevitable problems that you will encounter. “It’s Not Working” is one of the biggest problems. In this article, iRender will steer you in the right direction for fixing the Not working displacement in Octane for Cinema 4D.

Ways of troubleshooting not working displacement in Octane

1. Ensure it is plugged in

The first and foremost way to fix the not working displacement problem in Octane is to ensure it is plugged in. Checking it in both Cinema 4D and Octane.

Check in Cinema 4D

Pause the render, then press the [R] button on the Octane Live Viewer to refresh the scene, and then press the Octane button to restart it. This will clean the GPU cache and send everything back into VRAM. There are some things you should check:

      • Are the right materials on the right models?
      • Is there an active selection in the material tag that limits it to only a few polygons (or none because the selection tag has been erased but the material still contains something?)
      • Is there another material tag that overrides the material with displacement?

Check in the Octane Material 

You should ensure that:

      • Everything in the node tree is hooked up correctly.
      • The source image is in the /tex directory; The path to the texture is correct in the ImageTexture node. 
      • The height value in the displacement node is enough for the scale of your model to see everything. Make it 100cm to see if that changes anything.

If you are using Texture displacement and doing anything procedural (such as generating, mixing, mapping, OSL, etc), ensure that the procedural chain ends with a Baking Texture node before going into the Displacement node. If you are using Vertex displacement, you should set the map type correctly (Height for b&w, Vector for vector maps.)

2. Check the texture itself

Disconnect the displacement node and instead run the ImageTexture node into the albedo channel 

To better isolate the problem, create a new plane with 500×500 segments and apply the material to it. Note: Do not copy the tag from your model in case there’s a problem with the tag. 

      • In case  it looks like what you would expect, there is probably nothing wrong with the image itself, but it’s worth double-checking the rest of the steps in this section. Try rerouting it into the displacement node and seeing if it works on the plane now. If that is the case, the problem is with the tag, material settings, or model, not with the source texture.
      •  It is most likely a texture issue if the image appears black in the thumbnail and does not show up in the color channel (even on the new plane.)

Open the texture in a 2D image editor. If the image is corrupt, you will need to get a new copy of it, try to repair it, or use a different texture.

      • In case it opens normally, save a copy as a PNG. If that works, there is probably a problem with layers or other data in the original file that’s causing Octane to fail.
      • If the texture is a PSD file, open it in Photoshop or another image editor that supports PSD files and remove any smart objects or vector layers. Make a copy as a flattened image (no layers) and retry with the new flattened version, if so. While Octane recognizes PSDs with layers, if there are any special effects, vector objects, or procedural layers in there, Octane will often have the texture as black in the thumbnail and it will not work.
      • If the texture is an EXR file, open it in an image editor to see if it is a multi-layered file. If so, just extract the height map and use that. In case saving as a flattened copy does not work, the problem is most likely not texture-related.

3. Check the model

There is not much here that will make displacement will not work.

      • If you are going to use Vertex displacement, ensure that you have enough geometry in the form of subdivision or segments to actually displace polygons and see anything. If you do, the problem is most likely elsewhere.
      • Check that all of your normals are aligned and facing outward.
      • Examine the polygon selections to see if they are linked to the correct materials.

4. Check UVs/Projection

      • Ensure that you utilize the correct projection. 
      • If you are using UVW to XYZ projection, make sure to set it up properly.
      • If you are using MeshUV projection, check to see whether the UV island you want to displace is overlapping part of the texture with displacement.

Above are some directions iRender would like to direct you to fix the Not working displacement in Octane for Cinema 4D. If none of the above worked, try asking in the Octane forums or a Slack group to see if anyone else is experiencing the same problems. If not, it could be a system-wide issue such as a corrupted Octane installation or messed-up settings.

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