Displacement Node vs Modifier

Hi All,

Promise I’ve had a search around but couldn’t find a clear answer, and threads specifically addressing the issue are quite old and potentially outdated.

So can some one tell me the difference between taking a height map and using it as a texture in the displacement modifier versus plugging the map into the displacement node and then into the material output?

As far as I can tell they’re both doing the same thing (as long as the surface displacement setting for the material is set to displacement instead of the default bump setting) - so is there a reason to use one method over the other? I like that the modifier takes affect in solid and material preview viewports, whereas the displacement node only shows in rendered views. Then again, as far as I can tell the displace modifier won’t allow for adaptive subdividing.

Any other reasons to go one way or the other? Any reason to use both?!


You can modify how the displacement is mapped by using the node set up, so you have quite a bit more control compared to using a modifier!

If you wish to displace a model with a simpler effect, use the modifier, if you wish to create something like this:

Then you will want to use a nodes set up

Thanks for the reply, thought I’d already responded but it didn’t seem to post! Seems like both modifier methods have their place then.