Maya fbx: does it contain Displacement Maps??

An art studio just asked me:


Maya has a plugin for export in fbx of course, and I can then open it for example with motionbuilder.

I don’t know if the fbx format read displacement maps, do you know?

If it doesn’t read displacement I’m going to break that connection nodes.


Does anyone know the answer to this ?!

I’m totally clueless.

Note that this question for instance import displacement map - Questions & Answers - Unity Discussions is too old to be useful

thanks for any info, anyone!

The FBX file format can store a link from a mesh to any associated texture file, and indeed embed that image within the FBX file. For further info on the FBX format itself please refer to Autodesk - Autodesk | 3D Design, Engineering & Construction Software for example:

“Vector Displacement Maps support
New support for Vector Displacement Maps (VDMs) in FBX 2012, lets you
transfer complex high-resolution details created in Mudbox 2012 to other
applications for rendering on low-resolution geometry.
VDMs can represent directional displacements that do not simply follow the
normal: for example, forms with appendages, undercuts, folds, and bulges,
such as a human ear; support for rendering VDMs is now included with Maya
2012, 3ds Max 2012, and Softimage 2012.”

If your question would be: what can Unity do with a displacement map imported from an FBX then the answer would depend on what you would like to do with it. If you wish to perfrom some mesh displacement on the associated models in Unity:

Mesh Displacement is supported with direct X 11 in Unity 4.0 so with the correct shader and output as demonstrated on our butterfly effect video (see website) displacement is possible but we haven’t yet shipped a complete option for this, and we do not have support for Vector displacement maps

If you wish to convert or use this displacement map as a normal map to give the appearance of some displacement but without tessellating or altering the mesh then you would need to do so by converting to a normal map from a Greyscale image in the inspector > Texture type > Normal Map > Check ‘create from Greyscale’ and assigning a shader that uses normal maps e.g. bumped diffuse. Additionally you can convert/create normal maps from an art package or tool such as Photoshop with the relevant plugins.