I was wondering about one of the features shown with the 3D Warps, specifically the one where the "Z" is protruding out of the plane. I am working on a project where I am animating African tribal masks, and I wanted the noses to bulge out a little for realism. Is this used by tweaking the bulge feature or would I have to use a displacement map? I'd play around with it a little, but the rendering times for this take so long. Thanks!
For your mask project that you're working on, I'd recommend working with the displacement maps. This way, you're able to create a map where you can control how much bulge you want for each area. You can create a gradient color near the nose so that it gradually protrudes. That should work pretty well to get the realism that you're looking for.
As for rendering times, try keeping the project in draft, and also keep the draft and best geometric map low so that it speeds up the preview time.