I'm trying to imitate the material (and glossiness) of a ceramic glossy tile as shown below:

Tiles Example Large

Tile Example Closeup

The following picture is where I have gotten to now, but I'm not satisfied at all with the results.

Current material preview

I've tried many things in blender cycles, including normal maps, displacement maps, etc. I guess I need some more professional guidance.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Lighting is key with reflections. Poor lighting will make it look very flat and fake. Try and HDR environment setup for a quick way to get complex lighting. Also use the displace modifier, not normal maps. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Apr 16, 2015 at 16:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Try also to add some granulation: one small noise texture set to multiply in the mix, one larger for mixing the orangy variations with the main green. $\endgroup$ Apr 16, 2015 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


To get the best result you should sculpt the highpoly surface, bake the displacement, paint the surface and build a shader. This is a lot of work so when you have a reference texture you can do following in your favorite 2D app:

  1. Remove any lighting from the texture. I used cloning-brush to remove the gloss and dodge-tool to re-light the shadows. You should get diffuse like this:

    enter image description here

  2. Paint a displacement map. Go into 32-bit depth as you don't want mini-stairs on your mesh from not enough precision.

    enter image description here

    Always blur your displacement a bit.

  3. Create a glossy mask:

    enter image description here

  4. And finally a detail bump map. This will be only noticeable in close ups so otherwise skip it:

    enter image description here

  5. Now for the geometry: Simple-subdivide a plane enough-times and apply displacement:

    enter image description here

  6. The ceramic tile itself is matte bumpy colored surface with clear glossy smooth coating on top:

    enter image description here

    The Glossy shader takes gloss mask as color through curves to adjust the glossiness intensity. Do it like this and not with the mix shader slider - you want to keep the diffuse part constant in the shader.

  7. Pick a nice HDR environment or setup some area planes around to give the tiles something to reflect. Here's a render with the reference for comparison:

    enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Jerryno for your clarifying mini-tutorial! It's seems that lighting is a very important issue here. Could you please let me know how you set up your lighting environment? I'm struggling with that. Thanks in advance! $\endgroup$
    – Christophe
    Apr 20, 2015 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Christophe There is only 1 sun lamp and a overall neutral color HDR map. The reflection you see in my render has a cold bluish tone, but the HRD is warm elsewhere to keep it neutral. $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2015 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Christophe There is a good answer from Gandalf for lighting here: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/18223/… $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2015 at 16:12

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