I have been trying to achieve a true mesh displacement on meshes for quite some time, without ever getting it to work.
If I understand it correctly, this experimental feature would allow me to easily displace the vertices of a mesh - or to create new mesh vertexes where needed - to get a displaced mesh in the result, based off an image, but without using a bump map (simpler, faster?).
This all sounds very exciting in theory, but I am having a really hard time finding examples or tutorials that are both recent and whose links function. So I think there is the need for a question here which will call upon detailed and recent answers to bridge that gap.
I'll start with a simple ico sphere:
Then, following Aldrik's answer here, I will change the Feature Set to the Experimental one:
I then add a pink granite image to the mesh:
Mark Seams, Unwrap, add image in the UV Editor:
and finally, in the Object Data panel, change the Displacement method from Bump to True as explained in Aldrik's answer:
no result yet:
if I click "Use Subdivision" this is what I get (so I won't click it right now):
Looking into the Node Editor, nothing seems to have changed with the Displacement of the mesh:
... but the result is a white ICO Sphere, similar to Image 1.
So, can the "Experimental Feature Set" be used to create actual displacement, and modify a mesh?
This is what I'm trying to obtain - but with the image of the texture actually displaying on the mesh (image from here):