How do you manage your textures when using Blender and Cycles?
Textures are extremely versatile and are used for a variety of purposes from materials, to compositing, to sculpting brushes, to governing particles and hair, to applying modifiers and simulations. Blender’s method of creating, accessing and editing these textures can be tricky.
Using Blender internal we’ve gotten used to the janky way of accessing certain textures depending on which tab you navigated from.
In Blender Internal:
Want to access material textures? Select your object, find its materials, then click the textures tab.
Want to find particle textures? Select the particles tab and THEN click the textures tab.
Even with the desired object selected, going from the World tab to the Textures tab won’t find your objects textures.
Ok, so its a little headachy to find these textures, but not impossible. However, if you’re using textures applied to modifiers or simulations, what do you do? Well, afaik, you need to add these textures to a material (making sure to switch them off, so as to not ruin your material) and edit them from there.
These problems stem from once-upon-a-time when Blender only used textures for materials. These workarounds have been fine for Blender Internal, but now we’ve moved onto Cycles, our textures tab isn’t as helpful anymore.
Try creating a texture to alter a modifier or affect a particle system. Easy. Now try and find those texture properties. Unfortunately the only way to see these texture properties is to set the whole system to Blender Internal, make changes, then back to Cycles for render. Same goes if you’re using a texture as part of a compositing setup. Want to edit that texture? back to BI you go. This is a terrible system.
So, what do you do? Got any tricks/addons you use to make this workable?
What would you prefer instead? and developers, what are your plans for the future of textures?