Looking for some micro-environment inspiration and found a nice scanning electron microscopy image of Stomach Lining. Still a work in progress.
The displacement really needs to be enhanced as the surface doesn’t look like its composed of the individual mucosal cells, looks more like a displaced surface. Need to add the thin webbed membrane stretched over the surface as well. And also need to add a better sense of the folds and “caves” prevalent on the stomach surface.
Cinema 4D render:
Some more fiddling. One mesh. Five deformers. (not sub-poly displacement–displacement is achieved with displacer deformers)
Still NOTHING like the reference image, but it illustrates how when using multiple versions of the same displacer deformer with the same noise loaded in and set to Vertex Normal you can get quite interesting looking surface. (Updated a bit since original post)
The bottom 2 displace deformers are using the same noise/settings.
The first of the 2 displaces the normals based on the noise shader. The second 2nd of the 2 takes the new normals (pushed out and altered by the 1st deformer) and pushes them further with the same noise. This way you create the illusion of separate spherical objects while its really all one mesh.
Below is the mesh with just one 1 displacer deformer activated used just to create an undulating base mesh from which to apply the bottom 2 deformers to.