Oculus and relief simulation

Hello, dear friends.
I model a simple room and the walls have to be tiled by ceramic tiles. I use texture+metallic+roughness map and normal map to get tile’s relief and seams (one material per wall).
The problem is: Normal Map gives a good pseudo-relief on display, but as is known it’s doesn’t work good (or doesn’t work at all) in Oculus
I tried to use Bump Offset to get a realistic seam between tiles and it looks not bad as on display and in Oculus. But if I try to use Bump Offset to model tile with a deep relief, somethink like that for example:


… I get bad picture with some lamination of texture:


So my question is: is it possible to get real deep relief in Oculus using Normal Map and Bump Offset only? Or I should use a real 3D-model of every tile? Will it be too expensive way?
Thank you!

Hi Viktor,

no - Normal Maps don’t work in VR. Only at a distance the effect is somehow noticable. You can use POM materials, but they are expensive on the graphics card.

Geometry is very inexpensive on modern cards. For VR, I’d recommend using meshes with the geometry you need instead of complex shaders or tesselation.

You can also try parrallax occlusion mapping (should be as simple *** switching out the bump offset node). But it can be a big performance hit. Tesselation seemed to be broken for stereo rendering on 4.11 last I checked I think (when using instanced stereo rendering), but could also be a potential solution. But yes having more tris could be the cheapest, really depends on your specific scene setup.

It’s interesting that the first applications which popped into my head for this technology were not based in decades-old genres, but in the relatively new category we call “walking simulators” for lack of a more accurate term. Specifically, I wondered how something like Gone Home would work with Vive. If you could pick up and wave everything in the Gone Home house around using your actual hands, and everything reacted realistically to everything else…Maybe there’s something to this whole VR thing after all.

Good old fashioned geometry (polygons) is ironically the cheapest way to do it now. Keep normal maps for small/minor details and don’t bother with parallax shaders

Thank you my dear friends! You helped me so much!