Displacement Maps...

I Was looking at ZBrush recently, witch made me interested in doing !somthing! with Blender’s displacment mapping,

Of course, having never using it before, guess what, I failed miserably! :<

I was woundering if any of you guys out there have any tips…

Whell, Tanks


well, try changing the scale of your object

it should be noted that displacement maps from zbrush aren’t very useful because they are 16 bit, and when loaded into blender [through quicktime] are only 8. as in zbrush you will probably put a lot of detail on your mesh, this really makes blender’s results look bad

I’m not too sure about that, recently I reloaded that zbrush monkey head and using the latest cvs it came out much better than the last time I tryed it, not half as much …um paddy-field effect.

files and info in this thread

back on topic
you can load a blank image in uv editor and use the paint tools to paint directly on mesh, use the same image as a texture with displacement option/ save in uveditor and then reload in texture panel and render---->
10 second realtime displacement sculpting :slight_smile: hehhehee

i dont want to disapoint you but i dont think that blenders displacment is at the same level as zbrush’s render engine or renderman true displacements.

you get some results but not as good as in these apps.


Hi guys.

z3r0 d,
I don’t acualy have Zbrush, I was thinking of making displacment images in my paint program, then import them to blender, but thanks for the tip (just in case I ever did get it).


I’ll give it a try, but isn’t it the same as making an image outside Blender, in which I’ve "failed miserably! ".

Hey cekuhnen, I know, ZBrush is rrrreeeeaaaallllyyyy ggoooodd :wink:
I was just trying to get some…nice results with Blender.

Any tips on making Displacment ‘Images’??

Right, Blender’s displacement just doesn’t cut it for rendering Zbrush2 models. I’ve tried it a few times and my results were less then satisfactory…though I will say that if you aren’t doing really fine detail then it’s not too bad. Blender would need micropoly (or subpoly) displacement to achieve that level of detail the Zbrush displacement maps need. Cinema 4d 9’s advanced render has this capability if you’re interested you can get the demo from www.maxon.net I would absolutely LOVE if if Blender was a better renderer for importing Zbrush characters, it would be so sweet. Maybe that’ll be a feature of yafray sometime or something, but for now I’m using C4D for my displacements and character renders.

Edit: A good way to make displacment maps in GIMP or Photoshop would probably be to take your texture map (or UV map before you texture it) and draw your details on like creases in the forehead and what not if you 're doing a head, then import that image as your displacement. Just make sure it’s black and white and the darker the image the stronger the detail obviously.

You might want to try the Truedisplacement script here:


and jms also has the Dispaint script in the Scripts menu under Mesh and another UVdisplace under UV.


I messed up the lighting and can’t be buggered re-doing it tonight,
focusing on hair and ear for detail, some tweaking in gimp would help but this a quick raw test.
this is zbrush—>blender, nothing in between, 1 minute setup… nothing fancy
displace 1, nor 0
contrast 5, bright 1
also colour sliders just above contrast all maxed out.
oh yeah resize the head to about 0.1 or smaller … .05
(zbrush enlarges by a facture 4x)

All I use pretty much is ZBrush2.0 and Blender for all my work, and if you rack up blender’s sub-d levels, you can definatly get some really workable displacement maps.

A good tip is to break up the mapping into a disp for geometry, and then nor for spots where all you need is shading and not geometry.

Playing around with this, as well as playing around with the base geometry like subdivising the area’s that have a lot of detail before you even turn on s-mesh.