I am trying to build some arches in blender, and I want to find a way to apply a pattern to an object in a similar way as using a texture, however instead of having a texture applied to the model I want the model to be the pattern. I am afraid I am missing the knowledge to name precisely what I want.

enter image description here A view of the 3D models and the UV mapping of one of the arches

A few things that hopefully clear things up:

  • The darker shapes to the left are the models that I have. They already have the pattern I want applied to them as a texture. This can be seen on the right where the UV map of the selected middle shape can be seen.
  • At the moment however this is only a texture wrapped around a flat model. I want the pattern to not be just a texture but to be a true part of the model itself, so that I can extrude the pattern and the model is no longer flat but has a thickness.
  • I tried to find a way to wrap a flat and square object along the models but I can not figure out how to do it. The object I want to use is the white pattern next to the darker models. This is not a textured plane but the same pattern layed out in vertices and not an image.


  1. Either I am looking for a way to use the Alpha layer of my (darker pattern) texture to somehow be removed from the models, so that only the pattern remains.
  2. Or to wrap the (lighter pattern) shape along the models not unlike a UV map so that the result is the pattern in the shape of the models.

I hope someone with more skills in Blender can help me out!


Just for fun, you can achieve this using displacement.
It works on any BW image texture, but requires a heavily subdivided mesh.

01) Displacement Node

  • Subdivide your mesh enough
  • Connect texture through Displacement Node
  • Enable true displacement in material settings

enter image description here

enter image description here

02) Displacement modifier

  • Use your image to create a texture
  • You can apply the modifier to turn the displacement into real geometry

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Cheers Jachym! This gave me an almost perfect result! My model wasn't too clean so I had to smooth some vertices here and there but it came out beautifully. I struggled shortly with it before posting, but when I set it to UV in the modifier as you pointed out it was spot on! If I could ask you one more question: How can I make it so that the displacement modifier becomes the true model? As in that I can edit and remove the vertices as they appear with the modifier? Do I need to go through the Displacement Node to achieve that? Apologies for not responding during the weekend. $\endgroup$ – Leeuw170 Dec 8 '19 at 21:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ PS: nevermind, I figured it out, I had to add and apply a subdivision modifier first. $\endgroup$ – Leeuw170 Dec 8 '19 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ Greetings! I have one more question that is the next step I am working on. I tried using patience to remove all vertices but due to the subdivisions that seems an almost undoable task. I tried using a Boolean modifier but that does not only remove geometry, it makes new geometry as well... Is there a way to remove geometry completely using other geometry as an 'eraser'? In the image I linked I want to use the white object to remove from selected dark geometry lh5.googleusercontent.com/… $\endgroup$ – Leeuw170 Dec 9 '19 at 15:43

Mesh-thickness from Texture (img) isn’t possible as far as I know.

There are two soulutions wich spring to mind:

  1. Use a vector-format (svg) as your pattern. you have to active the addon first:
    enter image description here
    then you can extrude via modifier and even better via the curve menue.

  2. If you have a mesh (includes mesh from .svg) with your pattern you could use the array + curve modifier to get your result:

enter image description here

You can change the size of the mesh cia the radius of the curve-vertices in the n-panel:

enter image description here

  1. if the result from the curve radius isnt precise enough, you could also use a lattice for that last step.

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