Baked Normals and Displacement are Jagged

So recently I’ve been trying out displacement and normals baked from multires. Both textures are 8k and 32bit, saved as OpenEXR. You can see in the screenshot that the results are strange stepping and jagged lines, and I didn’t have the normal texture in use because it makes the shading look awful. Anyone have any advice on how to fix this?

The normal map should be set to ‘Non color data’ Change that and plug it back into any shader with a normal input.

Now in your screenshot you are using the maps on the high poly multires version. When you bake from multires it bakes from the sculpt level to the preview level, usually you want preview on 1 or 2 at the highest. Then you would either use the maps keeping the multires at 1 or 2 and deleting higher levels, or just get rid of it entirely and use a sub surf.

One way to use a displacement map is to add a sub surf to the low poly version, and then add a displace modifier, using the map set to uv. That gives you real geometry for the larger silhouette structures, and then let the normal map handle the very fine detail.

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Double post sorry

Even with non-color data, the normal map distorts the shading and creates strange seams and blocky shadows. And for displacement, the idea is to get detail through the texture rather than geometry otherwise I would just use a higher subsurf level. So unfortunately that didn’t help much.

By default the maps should be using UV coordinate even without an input, but just to rule that out, add a texture coordinate input and plug uv into the inputs. When you baked what was your multires sculpt and preview set to? The maps look fine though.

What is your plan for rendering in turns of keeping the multires 1 or 2, or deleting it and using a sub surf?

You may just need to add a multiply after the diplacement map and nmultiply it lower.

Hard to say, posting the blend would help.

Everything lines up and I tried using the correct UV map for input, no change. When I baked it, I believe it was at 2 or 3 for preview, but I don’t think that would cause such artifacting. So far I’ve just had the multires at 3 or so for render, as the base mesh is pretty low-poly. I had tried multiplying and it only makes it less noticable but the stepping is still there. I uploaded it to Dropbox, not sure if there is anywhere better.

I think you need to “share link” on your blend on dropbox, the link as posted just brings up a dropbox error page, although it will probably work for you if you are logged in.

The other recommended hosting for blends is

Don’t forget to pack your textures, otherwise it’s useless.

To theorize without the blend, if you baked 6 to 3 say, and then looked at it with multires on 5 (like the screenshot), it is probably going to look odd, as the normal/disp are designed for the lower level.

But of course it will be easier for people to know if you just post a link.

Fixed it, and the textures are packed.

It’s hard to say, you didn’t the have the normal map connected so when you packed it didn’t come along. The image(s) you are using seems awfully large, 32 bit is a pretty serious bit depth.

I baked off a normal and displacement, 8-bit pngs, 2048, from level 6 to level 2. And just used them in the nodes. The first is displacement node, full strength, I see some odd(ish) shading with that. The second is just the normal map, which to my eye is nearly indistinguishable from the level 6 render. Here are the side by sides, at level 2, and the re-packed blend if you want to have a look.

I did not delete the higher sculpt levels ,so the blend is large.

Thanks for all the help! I think the main problem was that I baked it to a different level than I was using which messed up the normal maps, and without normal maps it seems the displacement isn’t smooth. I know 32 bit images are a bit much, but in some similar threads everyone just said to use a higher bit depth to avoid stepping like that. So knowing that I have been able to fix it.

Nice. I must admit that I am never quite sure how to use the displacement properly, or how exactly the ray tracer treats a situation where there are both. Basically who wins in a normal vs. displacement fight? Almost always I use normal for fine detail, and sometimes I use displacement map with a displace modifier. I never seem to have any issue with using procedural displacement though.

You can also plug the displacement output into the height input of a bump node and use the normal output into individual shaders, for something with bump on the undersurface but a smooth glossy coat on the outside.