Modifier Textures Question / Suggestion

So I’ve been having fun trying 2.8 out and there’s something I’ve been wondering after BI has been removed.

I have a workflow that involves using multiple procedural textures co create / decimate geometry for example.
The included blendfile is a good example of it.

Basic Procedural Example

All of the textures that the modifiers use are linked to BI, as I understand it. (And I get that you’re still working on it.)
So I wanted to start a discussion about how a single, unified texture system in Blender could be a big step forward.

Honestly, I don’t care about backward compatibility and would be more than willing to sacrifice it for the following:

  • Node based mixing / editing of textures supported in Cycles, Modifiers and Compositing.
  • All textures accessible in Cycles, Mods & Comp, allowing for a linked workflow. (So being able to use the same texture in a displace mod as well as Cycles for advanced shading techniques.
  • More procedural textures to mix and choose from. (Like FastNoise, for example: to name only one.)
  • Have all or most procedural textures be 4D, ie. be able to animate an evolution to get more complex effects than faking it with translation and rotation.

Now, I’m not a dev, so I don’t know how possible this all is. But I think Blender could greatly benefit from having a robust, unified procedural texture system.
Add to that this is purely opinion, but again, I think now is the perfect time to have a discussion about how this could be improved and made more extensible for the future, as in 2.79 textures are unfortunately disjointed from one another depending on how / where they’re being used.

Like, even texture painting could benefit form being able to have a 4D texture node that you can evolve and use as a mask on different parts of a mesh would be really cool.

Is there any documentation at this point on what the current plan is for this stuff? Would like to be able to follow it up, cause I’m all giddy looking at the current improvements already. :slight_smile:

(Edits because I suck at forums)


Here’s the code quest task:

We want to make the same set of texture nodes work everywhere, though extending them with new functionality is outside the scope of the code quest.

I understand extending is outside the scope of the code quest and that’s fine, but if we’re only left with the current maps that cycles supports I feel that we’re losing some options.

A good example of this is the Cell Noise. It’s incredibly useful for all kinds of “tech” looking patterns in 3D. The only thing that comes close in cycles is the Brick texture, which is 2D and wouldn’t work the same way.
(The Distorted Noise map is quite useful in general, but I understand some of it’s functionality can be recreated with nodes.)

Is it at all possible to port over some of the BI ones that are 3D to strengthen the current library?
The reason I bring it up is because other apps / renderers tend to have quite an number of different options at their disposal and it would be a shame to end up with less functionality than before.

Unless I’m completely missing something. :slight_smile:

And thank you for the task list I can follow, if it’s easier to continue a conversation over there, let me know.

We’ll probably add some of the noise bases and more voronoi options, as far as I know those are the main things missing.

That’s great to hear, thanks for the clarification!