Three-dimensional finite element simulation is employed to investigate the general indentation behaviour of bulk materials and corresponding film-substrate systems in Vickers hardness test. MARC™, a routine finite element software package was used on the following samples: bulk aluminium, bulk steel and their respective film-substrate systems, i.e., aluminium on steel as soft film on hard substrate and steel on aluminium as reverse situation. The results are given in two different cross-sectional planes, i.e., through opposite pyramidal edges and perpendicular to pyramidal side faces. In all cases the calculation provides a general view of the deformation characteristics, but also values for material displacement and the extension and shape of the stress fields as well as the plastically deformed zone under load or after load release. The indenter load versus indentation depth relation during loading and unloading are also calculated for all the examples.