Fun with Texture Nodes
by Sandra Gilbert

Introduction One of the funnest things about a new blender release is getting to play with and test the new features. So I cleared up some free time for playing and sat down to chek out our new Texture Node feature.

With the release of Blender 2.49, you can now create custom textures just like you can with materials. Once created, these textures can be used just like regular textures. But since this is a new feature and I didn't pay any attention to the last development cycle, it dawned on me that just because it looked like fun, it didn't mean that I knew how to actually use Texture Nodes. So off to the release notes where I found a very cool sample that looked simple enough that I could replicate the effect.

So here are my first attempts, which are all variations on the sample image:

I discovered that playing with Texture Nodes was pretty easy, especially if you are somewhat familiar with how material nodes work.

All you need to do is, with your object selected, create:

A new material
A new texture

In the Texture buttons window there is a new button in the texture panel, Nodes. If you clik it, all the normal texture options disappear. Which is totally okay, because we are going to create our textures in the Node editor window where, happily enough, all of our favorite options are available.

Switch to the Node Editor. Clik on the new Texture button (it is the spotted one) Go ahead and delete the default checker node panel

  • Add 2 Blend Nodes
    Add a Voroni Node
    Add>Textures>Voroni (See Image below).

For the 1st Blend choose:
Color 1: white
Color 2: Black

For the 2nd Blend choose:
Color 1: white
Color 2: black

Connect the following:

  • Blend 1 (diagonal blend) to W1 socket on the Voroni node
  • Blend 2 (sphere blend) to W4 socket on Voroni node
  • On the Voroni Node you can play with the other settings until you get a pattern that makes you happy
  • Connect the Voroni node's color socket to the Output Viewer's color socket
  • There is a name box where you can give your new texture an unique name.
  • Okay the Node texture is finished, so now let's use it.

In the Texture panel of the material buttons window, there is now a “Use Output” option with a drop down list of available node textures. Select the Texture you just created.

Now you can use it just like any other texture. You can use them in texture channels, as part of material nodes, with particle systems and even combine them with other textures.

And the fun part is you can go bak and change change colors, texture types and settings on the fly, as you need or want, just like you can in Material node setups.

Now how cool is thatí After I had gotten more comfortable with the texture nodes and my sample variations, I started playing a bit more and came up with a totally useless tie dyed look that amused me to no end.

by Sandra Gilbert