Living Room: Brick Problems

Dear all,

OK, I’ve got two examples here of this work in progress. This is a livingroom, with a brick fireplace. I have a lot more objects, improvements to existing objects, and new details planned, but before I tackle that I want to deal with these bricks. From the view-angle of the first render, things don’t look so bad. But from the view-angle of the second render, it’s clear that the bricks are utterly flat, and it looks awful - like something out of Doom (remember that game?).

Now I’ve considered re-modeling the fireplace brick by individual brick. But whether I do it brick by brick or as a whole, I’d like to look into the possibilities with bump and/or displacement maps. Here’s the problem with that though - the Blender Wiki doesn’t (to my eye, and I’d be pleased if I’m missing it and someone points it out to me) offer tutorials for learning these skills. I don’t know the first thing about Bump Maps, Displacement Maps, and I know less than nothing about Baking, I have no idea what Baking is. The Blender Wiki says for example that bump maps are “simple” and then proceeds to completely lose me in jargon that isn’t explained.

Anyway, please do take a look, and your help is appreciated. Thanks in advance hugs.


Rachel :yes:

Render 1:

Render 2 (was done slightly before the one above, hence the difference picture on the wall, but that’s not important):


Umm, I am noob and never got my displacing maps to work, but the way some tutorials seem to show it is that you get a texture, convert it to black and white, than subdivide you plane/cube (fireplace) into heaps (a lot!) of squares and apply the texture to bump and normal channels. Set the displacement to very low (I think) like: 0.003 and normal to 0.1 - thats what tutorials show, I dont remember where I got them from and as soon as I will I’ll post a link. Have a look at the Google yourself and keep in mind that I neve got the mto work for myself, except for when I was modeling water.

Good luck m8! :wink:

Dear GRoss,

I appreciate your posting, but it should be noted that I looked at the four links you gave. All four of them offer outdated information, and even putting that issue aside, it was fairly complicated, neither comprehensive or intuitive and definitely not written with teaching a noob in mind, step by step.

You yourself said “apply the texture to bump and normal channels.” What is the bump channel?? I am assuming you’re referring to the Map To tab in the F5 materials panel. In that tab, I see a Nor channel, but Bump?? Afraid not. I appreciate your taking the time to post though, even if it didn’t help a lot (you meant well).

So yes, the questions in the original post stand. Please folks re-read my first post in this thread, and take a look at the uploaded two renders (links are in that post). Thanks in advance! hugs

Rachel :slight_smile:

Here is how I have gotten decent results:

  • Convert your texture to greyscale. The darker the area will be more indented. If needed invert the photo.
  • Apply your new greyscale texture to your object and then uncheck it in Material buttons ->Texture panel
  • Go to the modifiers panel (F9) and add one subsurf modifier. Set the preview levels lower if your computer starts slowing down. The higher the render levels, the more detailed the texture will become.
  • Then add a displace modifier in the same window. Type in the name of your greyscale texture. The strength is how much bump your material will get. The midlevel is how far out the material will come. (just mess with them and see the results.
  • (Optional) If you want the bump a bit smoother, add a another subsurf under the displace modifier.I have used this method in several of my projects. The only problem is it could slow down render times and real time working greatly. I hope this helps.

Also you might want to try this out on a plane first to get the hang of it.

I think Quizznawk explained it pretty well, but here is a not particularly fine practical example. There are three methods used. Two textural and one modifier.

The Displacement Modifier is the only one to affect the actual mesh(basically light areas bump out and dark areas bump in - unless you use negative numbers); higher subdivision levels give greater accuracy, and you can use either the ‘Image’ or ‘Bumpmap’ textures.

The other two are fakes and only work visually.

The Normalmap texture is made with Gimp; Filters => Map => Normalmap; and is mapped to Disp and Nor(adjusting either of these will control the amount of apparent displacement).

The Bumpmap texture is also made with Gimp; (reduced saturation), mapped to Nor. Increasing the contrast of the greyscale image will increase the amount of apparent displacement.

One thing to note with all three is that it is better to use images made with flat lighting as the shadows will be used in the calculation and will distort the final result.

The Bump and Normalmap textures are currently disabled and ‘Render’ will use the Displacement Modifier version.

Experiment and enjoy!

.blend file

Sorry for the confusing post - by bump I meant displacement, lol (I am noob) and thanks a lot to Quizznawk and organic - I actually get it to work for myself! Good luck VoradPlochenko!