Unusual shading when using baked displacement map

I’ve noticed this issue when baking displacement maps (only available in blender internal) while practicing some basic retopo techniques (hence the goofy looking fella here). Why is it that the displacement looks like layers, it looks bad and nothing like the relatively smooth
(and rubbish hehe) original model, the texture seems fine. How can I fix this?

Here is the blend file for anyone who wants to try it out (1st layer retopo, second is sculpt): https://www.mediafire.com/file/472myx79iqtdohi/Displacement%20and%20retopo%20test.blend

Original model:https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yx6L7EmIwB5fq5Wc9Nqm_6mwKrgyT39dxB3EllAxmjkCx1PNIAqP958ByhnIbVaiGvgL9DZvq7HE8RvOprL_z79QtBJHpqr5V3yrKTGwaB9AMxqwBSxBMUlKINbZIl9FIbp0AFjzQnE3J5SZg57trjh_zMSNDbJRHGa24iIVYJ5A0Y4hv-Nk_GpT0OPpC5CoP5R7HzmcVgV9o2vFfD7cdLueExOJbIm-n5QdsxNac8MiZ_7KoF0lve2AvOqZ_03JpE5O5ObVRIMJML96yxhd4J4oTL5vxezUlK_TPB8gon-V_9qkitn5P9ueEMBU4Mw3o1vJNiNQyD2LwZCXZ0aEivMIyG93QQtVM9sm8jlpK0G3FyaxqcAz2-aWutwOWtkTFcike-az9znxSiWmlxb-SpbFr0YOBnCVfHD_5DxNBuSgK_28JlI1yf9uL1pw7LxTCjcRkI30qiZ5swCIHTN2t3p1_kemtsQzhMEgzobQJbgFpPtBLFi5rfHlXW_Kivo1FghZY6m9xgYzU_kNv4RPf-dGJA12ZUm6xGkhCFNWlPOAEMrLYWlDPWON1dUKLu6_5nKmY10pHID5DBKj8Th-IePMxj1aBhi8RMWS-5A-5Qo=w960-h540-no
Retopo model with displacement: especially noticable around the eyes and mouth

Without the ability to see what you were trying to link to(google doesn’t seem to support the kind of direct linking you are trying to do here). I would guess that you baked to a low bit-depth image. Try creating a blank 32 bit image and then bake to that.

Oh sorry, I will use photobucket instead, btw I tried your suggestion and the same thing happens (only with more layers)



Original sculpt


yeah that looks like a bit-depth issue, are you sure you baked and saved to a 32 bit float format?

I uploaded the original file in my original post. With32 bits it’s certainly smoother now, but now it has these unusual cuts all around the mesh, and when I increase subdivisions it looks worse, like it has whiskers.

At 4 subdivisions

At 6 subdivisions

Man do I hate baking (not in real life though, I make amazing tea biscuits hehe)

Can’t replicate. The baked displacement map wasn’t packed in the file

Probably you need a XYZ displacement map instead of the default bake… This will force you to use the displacement modifier, as for now Cycles still doesn’t accept XYZ displacements.

For that you’ll need a different approach for baking it… NudelZ already posted an ‘how to’ video on youtube… The nodes groups are in the video info, or you can use my custom nodes for that purpose.

@JA12 It wasn’t packed in the file, I wanted to see the bake results, could you please show me the steps you took to bake and displace it, it’s driving me nuts.

My steps are; Select the sculpt object, then the retopo, I then created a 32bit texture. When it came to baking, I used “selected to active” and baked the displacement map, after which I added a subsurf modifier and then the displacement modifier (mapped to uv). That was all.

I used subdivision surface modifier while baking. That way the surface that gets displaced will be what is on there when displacement modifier works after the subdivision surface.

Well, the layers are certainly gone, now the last thing I need to deal with are the solid triangulated faces that appear all over the mesh (which is especially weird seeing as how none of my models are triangulated).
I baked it at 5 subdivisions and now it looks like this.


Had either of your object been set to flat shading during the baking process?

Both are smooth

Any other suggestions?

must simply be the resolution of the high poly object then. I take it you baked straight from the dyntopo sculpt?

Yes I did, it actually explains most of the issues except for the cheeks, which are high poly and don’t look like that in the sculpt