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In RenderMan for Maya, this attribute is enabled by the "Prevent polygon cracking" (rman_preventPolyCracks) check box. 

Hover over the image to see its effects.


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hoversmoothdisplacement_1_dsp.jpg
imagesmoothdisplacement_0_dsp.jpg

Hover = Prevent polygon cracking

Note

"Prevent polygon cracking" should only be enabled when necessary as it uses a bit more memory. The amount used is proportional to the number of vertices in the mesh.

Notice When you hover over the image, notice how using smoothed normals warped the cube's displacement pattern and changed its appearance:

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false
hover
methodoverlay
overlayedSlidertrue
leftImageimage_galleries_uuid_smoothdisplacement_topo_0_jpg-6b518b9f-2224-4217-83f7-9a7b8d9e1dd2rightImageimage_galleries_uuid_1.jpg
imagesmoothdisplacement_topo_1_jpg-15a93198-512d-49a9-ad78-2d11cc3117410.jpg

You can avoid that effect by inserting additional edges near sharp edges. This will limit the normal interpolation to the areas next to the edge and generally preserve the original appearance.

Rollover Image Link
hoversmoothdisplacement_topo_2.jpg
imagesmoothdisplacement_topo_0.jpg