Animating a procedural texture's position?

I’m using the Clouds texture as a displacement map.

The really frustrating thing is I can’t seem to get the Node Editor to display ANYthing. I get that I’ll have to use the node editor to move the texture, but it won’t even come up.

What are you using the clouds texture for? Actual clouds?

Try using a UV warp modifier before the displacement modifier.

Do you use the shader editor or the displacement modifier? I guess the diplacement modifier as you use the cloud texture.
Add an empty and change the modifier to object and select the empty. Now you can move the object and the displacement will move with the object.

That is precisely correct: I added a Cloud Texture and moved it w/a null. (EDIT: Oh, …"Empty’. :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes: ) Totally/shamelessly plagiarizing your technique.

Of course, a new problem arose: why can’t I use the Texture Node Editor to access the Clouds texture? No Output node appears.

(Also, weirdly, when I loaded your kindly supplied blend file, my Cycles plugin went missing. I had to re-install it, NBD. But do blend files even have the capability of defining installed plugins??? Or was it just some weird glitch?)(If it were a glitch, perhaps that’s why my node editor was acting up.)

Texture Nodes Editor is an atavism at this point. Be cool if it worked, but, well…

As for “losing” an add-on, that can happen if add-on filter is enabled (which is per workspace and is stored in the blend file).

So, Node Editor for Textures is just not a (functioning) thing??? :: confused :: As a LW’er, that’s baffling. How do you do advanced stuff with procedural textures?

Ooof, that’s a nasty surprise.

Why should it be baffling? It’s Blender, not LW :crazy_face: The answer is… you don’t, for now. Beyond what’s possible with modifiers and/or object tex. coords, that is. Supposedly, a replacement system for that texture node editor should come at some point.

If you want to use nodes for displacement you only have two options.

  1. Use cycles and use the displace output in the shader editor.

  2. Make your own displacement with animation nodes as I did here. Works in both Eevee and cycles.
    https://blenderartists.org/t/discuss-lightwave-workflows-and-lightwave-blender-comparisions-here/1203538/260

Because here’s this whole system in the UI, apparently defunct.

Ok, so if you weren’t an LW’er it wouldn’t be baffling then?.. See, that’s what I couldn’t understand - you made it sound like it was baffling to you because you were an LW’er. Even though this is not LW so there really isn’t any reason to expect anything to be like in LW.

I mean, I do get this - you see a Texture Nodes editor, you try using it, it doesn’t work - that’s puzzling. But what does being an LW’er have to do with it?..

It’s as baffling as coming from any other dcc to LW and try to texture paint or model in the same environment as you animate, not possible. Crazy isn’t it?
All apps are different you just have to adapt.

So if you use the displacement modifer you can’t use nodes but you can use several displace modifiers and vertex groups if you want to mix different textures like a layer system.

1 Like

So, are you guys saying there’s no way to affect the built-in Clouds procedural via nodes,

OR
That I’m going about it the wrong way and should BUILD a Texture network using a Clouds node as a source?

If you want to displace an object with nodes and use the clouds texture then I think the only way is with animation nodes. You could also use the noise texture in the shader node editor its similar to clouds. If you explain in more details what you want to achieve its easier to help with more details.

Why do you want to use the cloud texture and why do you need to use nodes with it?

Texture nodes were a thing for Blender Internal renderer. They never got adapted for Cycles, and then BI went away, and now, they’re just a placeholder. There might be some way to make them work for brushes, I dunno. It’s not really worth looking at them, and yes, it’s a little weird that there’s even a current interface for them, considering the history.

However, the way that people do displacement is much more likely to be via material nodes, which now (for a while now) implement true displacement. A clouds texture is just a noise texture.

There are a few limits to that. One, you can’t screw with modifier order with material-based true displacement. Two, you can’t do things like real blurs without tons of work. You have to work with the textures on a per-sample basis. You can’t work with the whole thing at once.

That’s not the biggest deal in the world, because any material displacement map in the world can be baked to an image, which can then be used in a displacement modifier, and because verts are so precious, there aren’t really any sampling worries to be had. Texels are cheaper than verts anyways.

Yes, someday, it’d be cool if they got texture nodes working again. But really, it’s not that big of a deal. Sure, there are still some lingering issues-- baking kind of sucks, you can’t do it dynamically so you have to take a bunch of steps anytime you change a value. And there aren’t good tools (beyond dynamic paint) to create animated images, to make displacement a function of time. Of course, that’s addressable; if they ever get Eevee baking working, maybe we’ll see an improvement on a lot of that, because the reality is that reasonable raster images can be generated in a fraction of a second. (I’ve built a baker in a 2005 game engine, and it bakes at about 30 fps for a million verts at 2k^2 on my machine, so I know that this can be done dynamically.)

So, yeah, restoration of texture nodes would be kind of cool, barring any other changes. But improved nodes and dynamic bakes would make it unnecessary anyways.

1 Like

Pretty much useless but texture node editor can be used for brushes.