How to Render Brick Walls

Written by daniel ketchum
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How to Render Brick Walls
Creating realistic renders of bricks can be difficult. (brick wall image by Alison Bowden from

3D models are integral to the creation of the computer-generated movies that have come to dominate the animated film genre. And one of the most important aspects of these models is the array of textures that can be applied to them. Most 3D models produce flat and lifeless renders without their textures (renders of the images that the software produces, either as a still image or as part of a series of frames.). For example, if you want to render an image of a "brick" wall, without texture it will be flat. There are several principles to keep in mind (which will apply in any 3D renderer) when trying to create a realistic render of a brick wall.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Start your 3D program. Then open the file containing the wall you want to render. Alternatively, open a new file and load a cube Primitive into the scene. Rescale it to the thickness and size you want for the wall.

  2. 2

    Use your material editor function to add the brick texture that you want to use. Set it to Parametric so that it will tile smoothly across the model. Most programs come with a basic brick texture you can use, but you can also go to sites like Mayangs, Renderosity and Dosch to get others. Make sure that the texture map you use also come with a Bump map.

  3. 3

    Use the material editor to add the Bump map to the model. In the dialogue, adjust the strength of the Bump map, evaluating the effect on the preview of the material. You want it to look as thought the brick mortar is depressed into the wall.

  4. 4

    Position the camera so that the Wall is seen from an angle when you render. But do not position it so that the edge of the wall shows up close, since Bump maps don't really work on edges.

  5. 5

    Render your image or animation and save your work.

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