I am thoroughly confused by the texture tab in Cycles

Hi there

If I understand correctly, I can make textures in the texture tab of the properties editor. But I have a couple questions:

  1. What is this dropdown for? Can I use this tab solely for brush textures?

image

  1. Why are the texture settings drastically different from the nodes?

  1. Why can’t I use my created textures (voronoitest) in the shader editor?

Yes, it is a BRUSH… mostly used in Texture Paint mode but can be used in sculpting to give texture to the sculpt… You will notice you can import your own image textures for grunge and alpha maps as well… and the mask will add a mask to your object of the texture then say in sculpt the mask will mask out your sculpting…

Basically, it is a Texture Generator and is Blender Internal…to create textures on the fly… the nodes are just the Varoni part of the Texture generator…you could with knowledge of nodes re-create the same as in the texture with a node tree…see question 3 >>>

I feel your pain! I wish that was possible also…but it just isn’t ( for now)…that said …I do have a work-around that takes a bit of time…
After you have created your texture…
Add a Plane to the scene…enter Texture Paint Mode…
Add a new Texture Paint Slot…Diffuse/Roughness etc…set color to white and scale to your needs…
Select your texture in the Texture Tab…
Set the color to gradient B/W…Scale the Brush to completely cover the plane then some++ Strenght Max…Set mapping to Stencil…with out moving the mouse once you start…hover over the plane and click left mouse…do as many times as needed to gat the texture on the plane to the darkness you need…SAVE the image as PNG
You can now import that texture into the node editor!!!
Takes far longer to explain than to actually get it done…brush up on texture painting to cover anything I probably missed!!

And feel free to ask questions on this…hopefully someone else can chime in and explain some of your points better!

Texture Workflow was poorly taken into account by 2.8 redesign and not considered as a priority.
As a consequence, current UI is confusing.

Texture tab in old design was displaying textures for any use with old render engine.
But with Cycles and EEVEE using textures as nodes inside the material, texture tab is now only pertinent to use textures for brushes, modifiers, particles and Freestyle Line Styles.
This tab kept old design and uses only old Blender Internal textures types that are different from Cycles/EEVEE textures.

We can only use same procedural texture for modifiers and materials by using geometry nodes.

That is still an area of UI that needs to be corrected.