6 - Practical methods for texture design
Review articleOpen access

Publisher SummaryThis chapter discusses several aspects of texturing from a practical point of view, especially in dealing with the texture controls (parameters) that users manipulate. Building blocks such as fractal noise functions, color mapping methods, and bump-mapping related to nearly every texture are reviewed. Fractal noise is the most important element used in procedural texturing. The chapter discusses some enhancements and modifications to the basic noise algorithm, mostly to produce high-quality and easy-to-use noise. Most textures use a paradigm that computes a value such as fractal noise and then uses this value to decide what color to apply to one's object. In simpler textures this added color is always of a single shade, and the noise value is used to determine some “strength” from 0 to 1, which is used to determine how much to cross-fade the original surface color with the applied texture color. This mapping allows the user quite a bit of control over the applied color, and its simplicity makes it both easy to implement and easy for the user to control even with raw numeric values as inputs.

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