Noob at blender looking for help with shader nodes

Hey guys, I’m a beginner when it comes to blender and a fan of abstract art and I am interested in recreating this rice terraces effect in blender.

So I decided to use nodes I don’t know why but I have been messing around with it and I think I got the main pattern down, but I am having trouble on how will I do the different elevation. Any tips?

It’s all in the colorramp node. In it’s drop-down menu, change it from linear to constant. Next, use the “+” button to add a new color stop, then color it grey.

So essentially, the black parts will go down ( valleys) and the white parts will go up(peaks, mountains)???

Yes it could be either. I want to create the sort of stair effect it has like in the picture.

Thanks, I’ll try that. Do I just hook that up to the “displacement” in the material output?

Yes, but keep in mind it’s the opposite for mix nodes.

For example, if you want to mix two values by plugging a texture into the “fac” input, the top value would be determined by the dark parts of the texture, and the lightest would affect the bottom value.

You could, but you’ll have more control if you

  1. connect a bsdf node (diffuse, principle, ect) into the surface input
  2. plug a vector > bump node into the bsdf’s vector input
  3. plug your texture into the bump node.

That way you can easily tweak the material’s bumpiness. I can’t reach my computer to demonstrate, so if some part of this method confuses you, I’d be glad to elaborate.

Thanks! I’ll try that out right now. I’ll get back to you if I feel stumped xD

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Here is the pattern I made by changing the color ramp to constant, I think it looks better overall.

This is what it looks like rendered with the suggestions you made. I hope i got it right.

I can see the shadows made by the pattern and it looks really close now to the reference image, but how would I go about with actually displacing the mesh and create the “steps of stairs” effect like the terraces?

I googled a bit and found out that if you switch to experimenting you can displace the mesh if you change the value of displacement to “displacement and bump”


So I tried to recreate what you suggested with what I found but it is not displacing the mesh according to the pattern and I don’t know why.

Your mesh doesn’t have enough geometry to support the details in the texture. Try subdividing it and maybe decreasing the affect of the bump map.

In regards to making the texture look more like “steps”, experiment with adding a couple more color stops, each increasing in value until you reach the edge. In addition, try using the math node to multiply everything by a large noise (or musgrave) texture. This will imitate the mountainous look that you’re trying to replicate.

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Thanks! adding the subdivision really helped.

I really hate to bother you again but I am real beginner when it comes to nodes, where in the tree should I place them?(musgrave and math node) I tried adding both of them to the end of the displacement node but it just went haywire.

What you want to do is connect the Musgrave texture’s fac output into one of the math node’s inputs. In addition you’ll want to connect the colorramp to the remaining input on the math node. Lastly, connect the math node to the height input on the displacement node.

A general rule of thumb is to try to match the colors of the output slots with the colors of the input slots.

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