Procedural Terrain Displacement Cycles

I am working on a cycles node setup to make procedural terrain displacement. Fairly Satisfied with the results so far, but have plans to add a lot more functionality and optimization. Terraced terrain and different noise bases and such for example…

Here’s a screen of a current generated landscape:


Here is the current node setup (be warned it is messy):


I am looking into more than just cycles displacement for procedural terrain techniques. Here is the result of a technique of making a basic shape, a couple displacement maps, and the fill tool in sculpt mode-


The goal was a canyon environment. This method is useful because it is very fast, natural looking, and basically works for any basic shape you create such as arches, cliffs, mountains, or any terrain. I will be exploring further in techniques like this and how to refine and randomize the result best.

that second/latest image looks pretty cool.

Don’t forget…

When making terrain in Cycles, you can also use normal data to give different material and texture attributes based on the slope (so cliff faces would have a rockier texture than flat areas for instance.

You apparently already know how to texture by height, but having normal-based texturing will really add to it.

^Yeah I have done that. I was focusing primarily on geometry because that is where I feel the terrain made in blender lacks typically.

Heres the latest test with this method. If the resolution was higher the result of this could be really impressive, but my computer isn’t powerful enough.


Ive been really focusing on cliff faces lately:




Done procedurally with cycles nodes!

That last cliff is really nice as is the first one. What’s the nodes for the cliff?


Rock Shelf Node Group:



Breakage Node group:

Latest Results:


Still looking for ways to improve this… Hopefully I’m on the right route!

Cool stuff!!! that’s looking great!

Truly a well-made procedural work! +1

Looks great again, and thank you for sharing the nodes. I will have to mess around with it. For starters though I tried recreating your material, but wasn’t quite able to replicate the Sharpen and Cracks node groups. I think the Sharpen group is more important? It stumped me trying to figure out. Would you be so kind to share that also? Thank you very much, and keep up the great work! (this brings up an old side question about sharpening textures in materials. I haven’t found anything better than brightness/contrast which doesn’t work well, edit: forgot about multiply)

^Here ya go:


Turns the sine wave function into a triangle at .5! :0 Very useful in my opinion.

Cracks are unimportant, a modified voronoi cell texture used to add some tiny details…


Feel free to share your variations on this technique! I would love to see if people can come up with some better setups. One Idea I have is to have differently rotated and scaled sections of this node setup to blend between with some sharpened noise. It could make for some good variation!

Just a question. I’ve been looking into Blender myself to create procedural rock. Are these composite node renders of rock generated as actual workable geometry (highly subdivided mesh for example) or are they just limited to the Cycles render viewport and only suitable for use in rendering scenes?

Niiiiice! So no modeling or sculpting? Just a subdivided plain and displacement?

^Yes only displacement. No sculpting!

In order to get real geometry the displacement map has to be baked to a texture… that’s the only thing that makes it impractical.

What dicing settings are you using? I assume your using real and bump combined in the displacement settings?

^Only true displacement.

Looking to revisit this soon now with dynamic displacement and such… Stay tuned.

Good work on the world that you made 5/5 :thumbs up:

I have tried to replicate this based on the supplied node groups, but my result looks complete crap compared to dksloane’s images. Not sure what I am doing wrong…