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A Trippy Take On Parallax Occlusion Mapping In Blender

3D Artist OfNodesAndNoodles has shared their own take on parallax occlusion using a form of ray marching, featuring texture lookups for each layer and no self-shadowing.

OfNodesAndNoodles, a well-known Blender artist and the author of Super Bump tool for adding shadow-casting parallax occlusion to Blender's Eevee materials has shared their recent experiments with parallax occlusion mapping.

Unlike Super Bump, which uses shell texturing, alpha-clipped layers of actual geometry, this method employs shader tricks to "simulate" the layers. According to the artist, it uses the "incoming" vector and ray marching to compare the Z value of the vector to the values of a height map and then draws the textures when the "ray" intersects the height map.

Apparently, this technique uses way more Geometry Nodes than Super Bump and performs more texture lookups. While they got it to work on a shape other than a plane, the artist says the only issue remaining is that the object still can't be rotated. Once this problem is solved, perhaps we'll see it in a tutorial or as a separate tool.

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