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I rendered a normal map for a pattern that I want to map on a curved beveled path later on. This way I don't have to deal with many polygons. It looks as intended from a certain view (1) but lowering the angle gives black artifacts (2). Although there seems to be a solution for this (here and here), I couldn't make it work properly.

So I tried it with a displacement map but even subdividing the model + adding a subsurf modifier avoids the stepping effect. Texture is 4K 16bit.

What other option do I have?

enter image description here

edit:

excerpt of the normal map rendered from a mesh. enter image description here

excerpt of the displacement map rendered from a mesh. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Can you post your normal map? $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2017 at 18:26

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The reason why your tiles are becoming so rounded off, is because you have created the displacement map from a picture where there is a lot of reflections coming from one of the sides of each tile. Blender sees this as a height difference and this is your result. You'll either have to try getting those reflections out of the map (not recommended, because it's pretty difficult), or you'll have to raise the tiles manually. Also, displacement maps need a ton of faces. More than you would ever need to just raise flat tiles.

Good luck!

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