This implementation of Fabio Policarpo’s Curved Relief Mapping uses a modified version of the CG shader he developed. Like standard relief mapping, but uses a per vertex quadric curvature approximation to “wrap” the height map along the object’s profile. This per vertex curvature approximation is calculated via maxscript in a preprocessing step.
This script that makes this possible computes the quadric curvature of an editable_mesh per vertex, and stores the calculated quadric coefficients in a vertex data channel (map channel). Combine this with the provided “Curved Relief Mapping” HLSL shader, and you should be able to recreate the effect seen in the vfx section.
Maxscript: Super Quadric Computation (Currently has no UI – just run the script while an editable_mesh is selected)
HLSL: Curved Relief Mapping Shader (Requires PixelShader 3.0 capable GFX card AND the script above)