How to make realistic sand in Blender?


Bring in a plane into the scene, and subdivide it as much as you like it. For this tutorial, I’ll be sub-dividing my plane by 100. 

The next step is throwing a displace modifier into the mixture, but before doing so, make sure of that you applied all properties (Location, Rotation and Scale) of the mesh (Ctrl A + All) so the mesh does not float when we apply the displace modifier.

Create a new texture within displacement modifier and name your texture however you like. Now, we’ll go to the texture properties tab and set the texture type to distorted noise to create some real life bump aka noise in digital world.

And that’s it. From that moment on all we need to do is play with with contrast and amount values value to get the desired result. If you’d like to have more details, you can subdivide your mesh even more. When you capture something that looks like what you were after, you can bring in your sand texture and you can add even extra displacement through displacement node that is located in shader editor.

My plane became bumpier than I wanted, so to give it a smoother appearance, I placed another subdivision surface modifier after the displacement modifier.

(Optional Read): The reason why the contrast value creating such drastic changes is that because the displacement texture we created is color coded in black/gray/white scale. Making the transition from black to white sharper or smoother affects the reflected image towards the plane.

Final Sand Result

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