deesrt displacement > bump map

150 samples with displacement modifier

50 samples with bump map

its work in progress, but im trying to figure out a way to make a good looking desert, no need to point out the obvious, but i just wanted to show the difference between displacement and bump.

i think with some more tweeking i can get the bump version to look really good. i didnt make the material in this scene, it was made in a separate blend file on a flat plane, and it had nothing to do with this, but i thought since i had a desert scene too from a previous project (failed) i thought i could try and see how the material worked out, and i dont think it looks too bad… o.o

Desert is not waves, it’s dunes. So take out all the bumps and displacements, keep the dunes, and make a really fine bump for the material and high diffuse roughness to make the sand. Use HDR to light the scene, and it will be much better.

wave patterns do form in certain circumstances.

See this example.

As you can see, however, where they actually appear is not necessarily uniform, and in this case the wind direction appears parallel to the ridge.

They also appear to be shaped dramatically different than to water waves. In this example, they are sharply peaked with a gently sloping trough, highly uniform with odd micro structures that trail off in a 45 degree angles.

In this example, the formation has an almost finger-print like pattern. When planning consider wind direction relative to dune placement.

All dunes appear to have a gentle sloping trough, though some circumstances they appear to have sharper peaks than others:

referance image