Texturing then displacement

Via another forum it seems that “BLENDER” is my best option for achieving what I want to do.
It seems I am going in the right direction but my results are inconsistent.
I have tried posting images but it seems I do not have enough privileges to post more than one picture so I will try and describe my workflow and hope someone can tell me where my inconsistent results are coming from.

  • In Sketchup I have a lot of buildings I want to 3d print.
  • I am "stripping the buildings into walls as most only have a face and no thickness
  • I am extruding them to give me a closed object
  • Exporting them as an stl file.

So far so good.

At this point some tutorials havee seemed to be in blender render mode, others that I must switch to cycles render. I have tried both

I add a “vanilla” material
Then I add a greyscale image as a texture - (although black and white as I only need the most basic finished result) a brick wall which shows Black mortar lines and white bricks
I subdivide the surface quite extensively (have tried lots of subdivisions and just a few)
I go to the “spanner option” and choose displace

All seems OK at this point but whatever “strength” i choose for the displacement I just seem to get massive “pointed spikes” going in the z axis and cannot get anything other than “pointed bricks” just longer or shorter spikes.

I think I am missing something in the youtube tutorials (and I have watched dozens). I have watched and paused to check settings but I am wondering if the “size” or “ratio” of my original wall vs the amount of subdivisions vs resolution of my displacement map is where it is going wrong.
Perhaps someone kows of a tutorial I may have missed that may help.


Ensure you have applied any scale your objects may have (Ctrl+A in object mode). Have your object dimensions a realistic size not too large or too small.
Ensure your mesh is UV unwrapped and in the displace modifier set the direction to Normal and the coordinates to UV

For more help upload an example blend file (pack all textures in the blend via File/External Data menu before saving) to http://www.pasteall.org/blend/ and reply with the download link

Tried UV settings etc as suggested and reverted back to the “closest” I have managed to get so far. I think, in many ways, I am going “tutorial blind” - it seems there aare so many ways to achieve the same thing and I can’t even get one right!
Hope the link will enable someone to see where I am going wrong! The texture was made using crazybump.

In your blend file you haven’t included your texture file so no idea what that looks like

In your blend you haven’t applied the scale as I suggested. Your object has a scale of 6.7 so any displacement will be 6.7 times more than the figure you use in the displacement modifier

Image shows original (left) vs applied scale (right) using same displace modifier settings

Your object is not UV unwrapped so you have less control on how the displacement texture is applied to your object

Hi Richard.
http://www.pasteall.org/blend/29097 Includes the file, previously I had just uploaded spikes1 instead of spikes 2 (apologies).
Have hunted for the same “transform” screen as you illustrated but unable to find it, I can put in a numeric input for scale and hope it achieved the same.
The printed result this file achieves is practically there, I had tried UV unwrap etc but couldn’t get any closer and so it seemed to be an unnecessary step, may be wrong on this.
As lighting, shadows, reflections etc are all unnecessary to the 3d print I am hoping this will not be needed.
Here is a link to what I have in Blender to save as stl


and here is an almost perfect 3d print of that blender stl file.
appx 3cm x 3cm

In case I still didn’t manage to pack the files properly, here is a link to the image I am using for the texture.