I downloaded some textures recently and they come with several other files, used to dictate height, normal, roughness, and ambient occlusion. I was wondering how to use all these so they produce a nice final texture. Do I do this with the node editor? I'm in Cycles.

  • $\begingroup$ it really depends on what you want, perhaps give the example of one texture, and even with one texture there are several solutions to create a material $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 22, 2018 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ Also answered here $\endgroup$
    – David
    Aug 24, 2018 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


Yes. Here's a basic node layout:

enter image description here

If you have a normal map you wouldn't also need the height map generally. Note on the annotation that you need to set the right type of normal map. If you don't know, you can try the different types.

The images are, from top to bottom, Ambient Occlusion, Color (Diffuse), Roughness, and Normal maps.

Note as JtheNinja points out, Ambient Occlusion is not "real" lighting...so it's a stylistic effect rather than realistic. You might play with different modes (besides Soft Light), or decide to not use that map. Blender also has built-in AO that you can turn on if you choose to.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is poor practice on multiple levels. Using only a glossy shader is rarely appropriate except for metals, the principled BSDF is a better choice. Multiplying AO over the color map is not something that should be done as a standard matter of course, only when needed to highlight details and such. Your example also has the normal map set as "color" (gamma corrected) which will almost always give poor results, normal maps are not vector data and should be set to "non-color data" $\endgroup$
    – JtheNinja
    Aug 22, 2018 at 5:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ JtheNinja, sorry, I was trying to keep it simple. I thought I had set the Normal map to Non-Color Data but I guess I must've missed that. Thanks for the corrections...i changed the image out and added some notes on AO. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2018 at 5:37

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