Baked normals not calculating gradient smoothly when using a depth map

I'm currently trying to bake normals using a depth map generated from a rigid body simulation I did featuring a few hundred coins -

The problem I'm encountering which I wasn't able to find anywhere else (potentially because my approach is flawed) is the presence of these noisy lines that run across the gradient of coins which don't lay flat, as seen here -

Baking the depth at a much higher resolution and baking the normals again doesn't eliminate the artifacts and only makes the lines more defined with the added detail—manually painting out all of these lines is obviously not an effective solution, and I'm interested to hear if there are ways of baking the normals without the presence of the lines that very obviously catch the light when applied to a surface.

I figure that the approach of converting a depth map to a normal map in this way may be fundamentally flawed and that's why I'm potentially running into this issue, but I'd like to hear any potential solution from anyone who has more experience in the area of baking. Thanks!

• How did you create the depth map? Apr 7, 2021 at 4:53
• We need to know how you made the depth map, as well as everything you ever did to it in other apps, in order to tell you what you did wrong. Yes, if that .png is the depth map, it doesn't look great. (Maybe it spent some time as a .jpg and suffered .jpg compression artifacts?) The file itself would let us recreate the problem. However, you're always going to have artifacts from bump mapping when zoomed in to the pixel level. Apr 7, 2021 at 4:59
• Save bake as OpenEXR ... You need to save in a format that supports 32 bit depth in minimum. Apr 7, 2021 at 6:26
• The depth map was generated with an orthographic mist pass over the simulated pile of coins Apr 7, 2021 at 7:21
• EXR was what did it for me (bit depth of depth map), thanks a bunch @vklidu—you can make an answer if you choose that I can mark as the solution Apr 7, 2021 at 7:25