CG Jam

Texture input node

whats it for??- Texture input node.

Textures? they’re for using on models right? Well today we show you how you can use them in Blenders compositor as well!

Whats it for?? Texture input node.

Blenders texture input node, allows you to do exactly that, to input a Texture directly from Blenders in built texture editor. in order to use it, first you have to build your texture which is done from the texture editor found in the right hand  properties panel under the texture tab.

the design of the texture editor is slightly different depending on whether you are using cycles render engine or the Blender Internal renderer, but the procedure is just the same. it doesn’t really matter what type of texture you use, whether its a world texture or material texture or displacement whatever, the texture input node will have all the Textures available to you in the drop down menu. first though we build a texture to use. select a texture slot and add a new texture then select the type. Blender has a large selection of texture types available and you might want to play around with a few to familiarise yourself with the different options.once your happy with the type you can colourise it with the use of the colour ramp in the colors menu, though often it is better to use the default grey-scale and colourise it in the compositor later, but that’s up to you. one thing you may note is that the mapping functions do nothing to the texture in the compositing work flow, but you can work with the size and scale later in the compositor.

Ok once you have your texture that your happy with, its time to jump back to the compositor and add a texture input node to your node tree.

you’ll notice that the node has two outputs, a value and a color.

unusually the value is on top which implies the grey-scale values are given more significance  than colour values for this particular node.and I’m inclined to agree. You can  achieve a lot greater result by passing the node through a few colour mix nodes than you can from the texture editor. A technique we used extensively in our sun tutorial we did a while back.


the viewer window does exactly that, it displays the currently selected texture.

you can select your texture from the menu button just beneath the viewer, if you have just opened blender to create a background you wont have any other textures than the one you just made, but if you are compositing a project with 3D models then you are likely to have several to choose from. simply choose the one you wish to use for your project.

the next options are the offset and the scale values.

these are vector inputs, which usually relate to size and movement functions, as such, manipulating the offset can move the texture around on your scene. remember these are generated textures that have an infinite seamless texture, so you can move it around your scene to get a look that you like. the offset and scale inputs are seperated into their xyz co-ordinates . the X being from left to right, the Y being from top to bottom and the Z being from front to back. this might be a bit weird to you if your used to the 3D world co-ordinates, but if you imagine it as if your looking at a plane through the camera from the top view (numpad 7 in the 3d window).

The offset values are constrained to -2.0 to 2.0 so  upto basically 4 stops of offset in each direction, the default centre being at 0.0

the scale is is similary  constrain but the value is from -10 to 10.

these values may seem limited but you can use the vector inputs to give you more room to work if needed.

to use the node you need to mix it with your image or render layer, if you using it as a background you can simply use a mix node with the alpha channel checkbox selected.

however if you need to use the texture as a fore-ground asset as we do in the second part of the video, you’ll need to connect it through an alpha over node.

we will be covering the uses of these nodes in a later episode.

so thats it, you can check out the video for a couple of examples that you can try to make use of this node and if you do something cool why not share it in the comment section. 🙂

so until next time…




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