I am trying to apply a static displacement map to a plane. Even though I am using the Cycles renderer, and I have configured the Principled BSDF shader to use "Displacement and Bump," I am still not seeing any variation in the plane's geometry.

  • Windows 10 version 2004
  • Blender 2.83.0
  • Cycles Renderer
    • Cycles Feature Set: Experiemental

Actual Result

It appears that the plane has a bump map effect, but the displacement aspect isn't working.

Expected Result

The plane should have both a bump map and displacement map effect, where the geometry of the plane is being modified by the black and white displacement vector that's being fed into the material output node.

Additional Details

Here's the wood texture I'm using

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Here's a preview of the plane. It's flat, despite having the bump texture on it. The displacement isn't actually modifying the plane's geometry, like I'd expect it to.

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Here's what my node editor looks like:

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Here are my material settings:

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If the input is a height-map, you should use a 'Displacement' rather than a 'Vector Displacement' node. And.. (not relevant to there being no displacement at all).. sRGB .jpg is not the best format for the map. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ I was trying to convert the color image into a greyscale, using the ColorRamp node, and then feed that into Vector Displacement, since the standard Displacement node doesn't support integration with the ColorRamp node. Is that not a good way to go about handling displacement? $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


Does your plane have enough subdivisions? A flat plane with only one face obviously can't be displaced so you need to add some geometry in edit mode or by using a subdivision modifier before the displace modifier

  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering about that, honestly. Although I figured that the whole point of displacement maps is that you are modifying geometry without adding any additional geometric detail. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ I tried adding a subdivision surface modifier, but that didn't help the displacement. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 18:30
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Try 'Adaptive' subdivision. that will be pixel-based, and subdivide according to visible resolution in the render. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 18:39

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