Using Procedural Textures
Blender offers basically two kinds of textures: image-based textures and procedural textures. Unlike image-based textures, where you explicitly create and load an image as a texture, procedural textures are created in software with a specific pattern algorithm.
The advantage of procedural textures is that you can quickly add a level of detail to your objects without worrying about the unwrapping described later in this chapter in the section “Unwrapping a Mesh.” The software handles mapping the texture to the mesh for you. Of course, procedurals can be a bit more difficult to control than image-based textures. For example, if you have a character with dark circles under his eyes, getting those circles to show up only where you want can be pretty tough, maybe even impossible. So the ideal use for procedural textures is as broad strokes where you don't need fine control. Procedural textures are great for creating a foundation or a base to start with, such as providing the rough texture of an orange rind's surface.
Besides the None texture type, Blender has 13 procedural texture types that you can work with, accessible through the Type drop-down menu in Texture Properties. In addition to these procedurals, you can also choose Image as a texture type. Figure 8-3 shows all available texture types.
Noise basis option
Roughly half of all the procedural textures share an option labeled Basis, short for noise basis. The noise basis is a specific type of pseudorandom ...