Painting Displacement Maps in Blender

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You could apply the modifier stack, retopo the unnecessary faces, unwrap UV, then go through the whole process again - but being able to add detail to the mountain sides on subsequent passes. Much too cool!

Edited your post because, until the image loaded I thought you were in the wrong forum and on the wrong thread.


Yes, this would be cool if it could happen in realtime, this reminds me of the Bryce terrain editor.

No need to save/re-load the image and all. Just un-check and then re-check the “enable modifier during interactive display” button. (for the displacement modifier) Works a treat!

Don’t forget to save the image when done painting!


Good catch pappy! It works on the other modifiers in the stack too - toggling any of them (just once) updates the viewport.

This looks like the kind of thing that could be easily coded to allow for interactive displacement mapping. Would this be a patch thing or a python thing, do you think? I’ll start bugging the developers if I know what to ask for!

Any reason I would use this instead of sculpt mode besides seeing where and how much the displacement would be?

It looks like a nice trick, but wouldn’t sculpt mode work a treat for things like landscapes?

Not only that, but you could also use proportional editing. Either way it would be easier than what you are showing us.

Unless, it is your intention to take this hight map elsewhere. Even then, using a gradient map and an ortho camera, you could create a hight map out of any landscape.

IMO this should be used in combination with sculpt mode and good old fashioned mesh editting. You can definitely do things with this technique which would be impossible with sculpt mode, because you can take the displacement map into Pshop or Gimp. You can clone, use transforms, all kinds of good stuff which sculpt mode can’t do. This technique gives you a fast way to rough out a displacement map in 3D space, something that’s always been a problem with texture maps created in 2D apps.