Patchwork 3D Enterprise 2020.2 X4

Enhanced Relief

Multilayer materials using a height map can be rendered with textural relief that is even more realistic. This option offers an enhanced perception of depth thanks to the way it handles parallax.

The use of enhanced relief is best suited to contexts where a standard material uses a texture that requires more visual depth than that which can be rendered using bump maps in diffuse and specular layers.

The Relief tab gives access to settings that provide a rendering which, while robustly real-time, requires more time to calculate. It is therefore recommended to use this option where appropriate, without overloading a scene.

Enabling Enhanced Relief


Enhanced relief is not compatible with the use of bumpmaps to create the impression of relief. Enabling enhanced relief for a layer will disable the bump for that layer, if it was enabled, and vice-versa.

Enhanced relief must be enabled:

  • globally for the material in the Relief tab,

  • then for the required layers in the Layers tab. By default, it is disabled in all layers.

Enable enhanced relief in the Bump tab of the Materials editor for a standard material:

  1. Tick the Relief checkbox in the Depth section and provide a value for the depth.

  2. Assign a texture as a Bump Map.

    Switch to the tab Layers :

  3. For the layer or layers that should use enhanced relief, tick the Use enhanced relief checkbox in the Bump section.

Disabling one of these elements will also disable the enhanced relief.


The settings for enhanced relief are found in the Relief tab of the Materials editor:



Relief depth

The depth defines the distance between the white and the black zones of the height map. The white zones are aligned on the mesh of the surface.

Because the perceived depth of the map's black zones is set using this parameter, the height map should make use of the full range of elevation available, from white to black. When this is not possible, make sure that the map's maximum elevation will be aligned with the modeled surface, that is, that it is represented in white on the height map.

A negative value will invert the depth of the texture: depth is rendered as rising from the surface instead of as incisions carved into the surface. While possible, this rendering is not optimal and is not recommended.


Values between 0 and 10 are usually sufficient. Using values that are too high can create visual deformations when viewing surfaces at low angles or when viewing curved surfaces.

Height Map

A height map is required. This map is a black and white texture that is assigned to the material as a Bump map.

The texture to be used as a height map can be square or rectangular. The height and the width of the texture in pixels must both be powers of two.


Although Patchwork 3D will resize height maps whose dimensions are not useable, choosing textures with dimensions that are powers of two is highly recommended in order to preserve the particularities of the height map.

Dimensions and Transformation of the bump map

These settings are modifiable as normal to adjust the dimensions, the orientation, and the position of the height map on the surface.