i have old coin pictures as pngs or jpegs i want to turn them in to a displacement map that i can get good height to get a good rendering result.

how can i do that?

i have tryied these steps but it did not help.

How do I make a normal/displacement map when all I have is a photo?

  • $\begingroup$ how does you picture look like? Maybe try a software like CrazyBump $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jun 25, 2020 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ similar to this kvmgm.ktb.gov.tr/Resim/91918,ankarasahtesikke01.png?0 crayzbump did not work somehow it quits when i load the picture $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2020 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ seems perfect for a bump map, what difficulty have you met? Do you need a fake displacement or a real displacement of your topology? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jun 25, 2020 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ can you check this answer? blender.stackexchange.com/a/174124/88382 $\endgroup$
    – Sanbaldo
    Jun 25, 2020 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ with the displacement node and the methods described at other blender.stackexchange page i could not get the high resolution i want. that the main problem accually. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2020 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


Actually it is still not clear to me if you want to fake the 3D effect or if you want to really displace the topology, for example for 3D print purpose.

I don't know if you can achieve an accurate real displacement just from a b&w photo, because for this purpose you will need a picture that will precisely use black for bottom surfaces, white for peak surfaces, and all the shades of grey inbetween respecting the heights of the object surfaces, which is rarely the case with most photos.

Here is what my attempt gave from you coin picture. I chose a coin that had a better chance to give a good result: no oblique shadows, and the dark areas can be interpreted as the the bottom surface, bright areas as the peaks. As you see it is not very satisfying:

enter image description here enter image description here

So the following answer is not for real displacement, it's only to fake 3D with Normal or Bump maps, in that case it's much less important if the grey spectrum doesn't respect exactly the heights of the real object.

I gave it a bit of additional margin to make the mapping easy:

enter image description here

I created a normal map with CrazyBump (a bump would have worked as well, no big difference):

enter image description here

Then I unwrapped, mixed a Diffuse with a Glossy, plugged the original (extended) image in their Color inputs, plugged the Normal map into their Normal inputs:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ hi did you just use blender for height maps? $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2020 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ what do you mean? To create the normal map I've imported the coin picture into CrzayBump and convert it into a normal map (I could have converted to a bump map and use a Bump node instead of a Normal map, it's almost the same). Height map and bump map means the same thing actually, it's a b&w picture used to give (or fake) 3D. Normal map are a bit different, it works with 3 colors. $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jun 25, 2020 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ Actually it is still not clear to me if you want to fake the 3D effect or if you want to really displace the topology, for example for 3D print purpose. In the latter case, you need very particular height map that are able to reproduce the real bumps of the object, otherwise you won't have any good result. $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jun 25, 2020 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ i want a real displacement not fake one. like this youtu.be/arvhK4tvYuY?t=830 fake displacement maps will cause problem when i start animation like rolling or falling coins with different light sourse. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2020 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ btw you did a pretty good job anyway. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2020 at 17:57

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