Here is my first attempt at a useful solid procedural. It's based on one of Ken Musgrave's contributions in " Texturing & Modeling A Procedural Approach". It's essentially the standard Perlin noise function with the addition of a distortion applied just to spice things up. While the result in the image above is fairly close to standard noise you can get some fairly wild effects as the distortion becomes more pronounced.
Noise Type: Provides four options on the base noise function that is used.
plain noise. Basically the same as fractal noise with the Levels setting
at 1. When the noise type is set to Regular, the Levels spinner is inactive
(because Regular is not a fractal function).
Fractal: Generates noise using a fractal algorithm. The Levels option sets the number of iterations for the fractal noise.
Turbulance1: Generates fractal noise with an absolute value function applied to it to make fault lines.
Turbulance2: Similar to Turbulance1, this provides a slightly different flavor of turbulence. For those that really care this version is identical to the one used in Max's Noise map. The first version is found in the texture and modeling book I've mentioned previously.
Use Regular Noise For Base Checkbox: This controls what type of noise is used for the Distortion parameter. If the checkbox is checked the distortion is based on standard noise. If the checkbox is left unchecked the distortion uses the same type of noise that is currently selected. If Regular noise is selected this checkbox has no effect. In addition if Distortion is set to zero this parameter will not produce a change of appearance.
Pinch: When enabled, the noise takes on a pinched appearance. This is only apparent when the distortion value is greater than zero.
Phase: Controls the speed of the animation of the noise function.
Levels: Determines how many Iterations are used for the Fractal and Turbulence noise functions. While it is possible to animate the number of fractal levels this will cause the procedural to jump.
Fractal Increment: When this is set to 1, the base noise function is relatively smooth; as it goes toward 0, the function approaches white noise.
Lacunarity: Is the "gap" between successive frequencies used to construct the fractal and turbulent versions of the noise.
Color swatch: Display the Color Selector for thecolor.
Map buttons: Assigns a map to the color.
Check box: When on, enables the associated map. When off, disables the associated map (the color reverts to the color swatch).
Size: Sets the scale of the noise function.
Min: Sets the minimum scale of the noise function when a map is used.
Max: Sets the maximum scale of the noise function when a map is used.
Map buttons: Assigns a map to the size value.
Check box: When on, enables the associated map. When off, disables the associated map (the value reverts to the size spinner).
Distortion: This provides an underlying distortion to the noise. The Noise type selected influences the look of the distortion unless the Use Regular Noise For Base checkbox is checked. The greater the value the more convoluted the distortion will appear. At high values this can lead to AA issues so it is best to either super sample the map or use a renderer that allows the scene to be super sampled. ( Brazil works great for this)
Min: Sets the minimum distortion of the noise function when a map is used.
Max: Sets the maximum distortion of the noise function when a map is used.
Map buttons: Assigns a map to the distortion value .
Check box: When on, enables the associated map. When off, disables the associated map (the value reverts to the distortion spinner).
As this map is a very close relative of Max's Noise map it should be fairly well behaved. It is possible to get it to alias if the size is very small or the distortion is really cranked up. As with all the maps if you find any errant behavior please let me know.
This map allows for both the size and distortion values to be mapped. While this can lead to some really interesting effects it can also cause unanticipated problems. This is especially true when the size parameter is mapped. If the UVs are offset the effect will not be uniform as it moves away from the origin. While this may not be a problem for static usage, if these values are animated there can be issues.
This map also has the output rollout add to it. Please look at the Max help file for explanations on what these parameters do. These controls can radically affect the look of the map and can easily replace the clamping controls found in the standard Noise map.
Please do not redistribute these files. Changes/bug fixes may be made to the plugin and it makes it much easier to guarantee you have the latest version if it is grabbed it from this site. Thanks.
Version 1.0 released on 03/01/03
This map was started about the same time as ColorNoise. Here shortly I will show a few more images to better illustrate the possibilities.