Step Three of new image: Displacement and specular maps

Step Three of new image: Displacement and specular maps
This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Fantasy art piece with free 3D tools


Time to give my textures a little depth. Again I would like to thank those of you who have given me advice on my journey into this world. :)

If you have read my previous articles you will have seen that I created the following texture from a photo of my bathroom floor:


Then I slapped it down onto the floor of my scene, much like gluing a colour photocopy of it onto a real floor. The result (when rendered in DAZ Studio) is this:


I hope its obvious from this picture that there is no depth to the texture. But I want my viewers to feel a sense the grout, of the slight rise and fall of tiles. Hence I need something that can do this. Obviously bump maps (mentioned previously) are one way. Another superior way is displacement maps. I won’t go into the theory of them as there is heaps of that on the web for you to enjoy. Instead let’s just make some.

NOTE: I used the InsaneBumps add-on for Gimp. Paint.NET and Photoshop both also have add-ons that you can use, it is just that after a bit of playing around I decided that this was my favourite tool for the job.

Now the first thing that I needed to do was make a copy of my texture and re-colour the dark-green tiles to white. Why? So as to ensure that the software does not think that these are crevices. Hence:


Then I opened this picture in GIMP and selected the InsaneBump


Very cleverly the program did this:


As you can see, it gives a list of different types of maps and what they look like. Then all I did was click “execute” and they all appeared (properly named) in the same directory as the original picture. Cool!

So now I needed to add this to my tiles in DAZ Studio. I opened my DAZ Studio file and selected my floor object.


On the menu I could see Displacement. So I selected that and added the displacement file that I had just created. I also did the same with specular (specular maps control how shiny a surface is).


So what did the end result look like?


depth with specular

Scroll back up to the top and look at the difference. Can you see that the grout is lower than the tiles? Subtle but more real.

Now I know that this is only a little thing. But I intend to do this on all of my textures and hopefully create a richer final scene. :)

Series Navigation<< Very basic introduction to Sweet Home 3DDisplacement maps finished >>


  1. Great use of the existing texture. I can only imagine what you were doing when you were contemplating the bathroom floor…..


    1. Thank you ☺ Due to my eye disorder i like to look intensely at things to make sure that i am seeing them properly. I then lock these images away in my memory so that i don’t need to really notice them again. Sounds weird? As an artist this is useful because i can search images in my memory to find ones that i can use. ☺


  2. Those little things are what makes a good work stand out =)

    Have you checked this little app out by chance? It’s said to be the best free normal mapper out there:
    (there is a download link on the left, at the bottom)


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