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How to create Wood with procedural Textures

Wenge Wood Example by C. E. Kuhnen.

There are several ways to create good looking wood with procedural textures. The big advantage of procedural textures is that they are truly 3D, as you can see in the image Wenge Wood Example.

One thing is very important for wood textures. They have a certain direction. That you can achieve either with scaled and rotated Emtpys as Map Input coordinates, or you have to scale the texture space.

The orientations of the 3D-Object and the Emptys are very important in this tutorial. The object has no rotation, the Emptys all have a rotation of 90 Degrees at the X-Axis. If you don't want to rotate the Emptys, scale them mostly along the Y-Axis, and not along the Z-Axis.

Wood 1

The material settings are very simple. Give the material a basic color and turn down Spec (Wenge Wood Material Settings).

Wenge Wood Material Settings.

We need four different textures.

Clouds 1

Clouds 1 Material Settings.

The first texture is a Clouds texture. We will use it to give an overall noise and irregularity to the material. Just add a new texture and lower the Col value in the Map To panel to 0.685.

Give the texture an appropriate name. Now switch to the Texture buttons (F6).

Clouds 1 Texture Settings.

Choose Texture Type Clouds, reduce NoiseSize to 0.018, increase NoiseDepth to 6. This will make this Clouds texture appear more like noise and less like Clouds. The advantage over using a Noise texture is that we have more control over color, because we can use a Colorband to add slight variations in color.

Clouds 2

Clouds 2 Material Settings.

The second texture also is a Clouds texture. We will use it to create the pores (tiny black spots, especially visible in the vertical parts) in the wood. Add a new texture and lower the Col value in the Map To panel to 0.726. Turn Nor on. Set the Nor slider to 0.5. This will bump (create the impression of real 3D) the pores.

To set the direction of the texture you need an empty. Just add an empty and name it "Clouds 2 Empty". In the Map Input panel switch the button Object and type in the name of the Empty.

Give the texture an appropriate name. Now switch to the Texture buttons (F6).

Clouds 2 Texture Settings.

Choose Texture Type Clouds, reduce NoiseSize to 0.046, increase NoiseDepth to 6. The Colorband allows us to get these localized spots. The left half of the Colorband is completely transparent.

Now scale the Empty in Z-Direction, here it was scaled by 21 units in -Z direction. The right orientation is essential for the texture to work. For the orientation of the wood plank and the Emptys see Orientation of the Emptys to scale the textures.

Orientation of the Emptys to scale the textures.

Your wood should now look something like this (Wenge Wood with the first two textures applied).

Wenge Wood with the first two textures applied.

Wood

Wood Material Settings.

Now the actual Wood texture. We will use a second empty here, scale this empty to (4, 6, -31). Set the Col Slider in the Map To panel to 0.576.

The actual Wood Texture.
Wood Texture Preview

The texture settings of the wood texture depend heavily on the type of wood you would like to create. You have to use the colorband to create the typical annual rings.

Voronoi

Voronoi Material Settings.
Now the finishing touch, a Bump texture. We will use a Voronoi Texture, again with a scaled Empty (-14 units in Z-Direction, 0.66 in the other directions). Map To Nor, set the Nor Slider to 0.34 (Voronoi Material Settings).
Voronoi Texture Settings.

The texture settings are relatively simple, just create some irregular dark round spots on a white background.

Voronoi Texture Preview

Ready

Our Material is ready. Use another empty (the fourth) and parent the plank and the first three emptys to it. So the emptys rotate and scale together with the plank when you change the controlling empty. If you have difficulties achieving the desired effect, deactivte all textures but one, and change it alone, in color as well as in direction and scaling.


Blender3D FreeTip.gif
Creating This Texture Without Empties
You can scale the texture by using the size fields in the Map Input panel. Drop any negative signs and then use the inverse. So, for instance, if you've been told to scale an empty 4,6, and -31 on the X, Y and Z axes, you should put 1/4 or 0.25 in sizeX, 1/6 or .1667 in sizeY, and 1/31 or .0323 in sizeZ.