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Procedural Textures

Procedural textures are texture maps that are generated, as opposed to those that are drawn by artists or taken from photographs.

One can generate both diffuse, normal (bump) and specular maps via procedural methods.

Procedural textures can be rendered to file or supplied as a number of parameters and rendered real-time (possibly using own shaders). Those textures often have no problems with tiling, thereby forming seamless textures. They rely on techniques like coherent noise, fractals and mathematically produced turbulence.

Those textures are generated with user supplying a number of parameters, like color, roughness, number of oscillators, masking, etc...

Advanced procedural textures can be used in games and (as shown by .debris by theprodukkt can be indistingiushable by the eye from photo-realistic textures).

They are often used for terrain height map.

Most of 3D editing software, like 3ds max and lightwave has their own versions of gradients, noise, perlin noise and other procedural textures.

Personally I think the future online games should use a lot of these to speed up the world downloading process.


Some of the packages in "Software" section are available as middleware to be included in developed games, therefore there is no need to pre-render and supply texture files.


.werkkzeug 3 TE by theprodukkt is the procedural texture generation software [texture generator for free, paid middleware]
libnoise can be used for procedural textures also
genetica [$150-900]

See also

Procedural world