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While searching teh web for new texture synthesis ideas I discovered a cool texture generator called NeL Texture Editor. It's created by a guy named Hulud from a demo group called Digital Murder.

Right until now my main inspiration for Gentex was the famous Aardbei Texture Generator (ATG), and the accompanying Hugi #18 article by Ile. Gentex' nodes are based on the effects that were present in Ile's texture generator. But Gentex' connected-nodes-network view is completely different than ATG's static-4-layer view. That's were I wanted Gentex to differ from the oldschool systems. (I think ATG's GUI, with only 4 preview views and the use of an effect stack kind of sucks and limits the functionality of the tool...)

But this new texture generator tool, NeL Texture Editor, looks a lot like the tool I want Gentex to become. (Although it does lack a good looking GUI :)). Next to having lots of available nodes, it also uses a graphical network structure. Just like Gentex does :) So I've been analysing NeL's features to see what I could use in Gentex, and I've come up with the following cool stuff:
  • Each node should have an extra input port, and two extra properties: "Blend mode" and "opacity". This way you can chain nodes together, blending one on top of another one. Without the need for a seperate Mixer node. This simplies the network.
  • The Mixer node I currently have, should be converted into a Masked Mixer. Should take a mask as an input.
  • I'll need some new nodes:
    • AlphaSetter, 2 inputs. It will combine the RGB of input 1 and the alpha of input 2.
    • Cells, 0 inputs. It will need a mode setting, to choose between "cells", "diamonds" and "blobs" mode. Especially the diamonds mode looked very cool in NeL, so I should implement that too :)
    • A vector art node, 0 inputs. To generate coloured line drawings. Very useful basic building block.
    • A sinus pattern, 0 inputs. Together with the already planned displacement you can create cool wobble effects. And it's usefull for other purposes too I guess.
    • Gradient image. Map the color(s) of one image into some other range.
These are all just ideas. But I'm planning on implementing them soon. Hopefully I have some spare time next weekend :)

3 Comments for “Improvements”

  1. Anonymous Ondergetekende 

    I see you've chosen the approach of integrating stuff into nodes... Looks like a smart choice to me.

    Are you also going to integrate channel-splitting into the nodes. I could imagine the nodes having one combined output, and via check boxes, one could add another output (such as alpha or blue or saturation). That way you wouldn't need a separate node to split channels (which I think is a common operation)

  2. Anonymous Glow 

    Hmm interesing idea. I could add optional outputs to my node. Just like UnrealEngine's Material Editor has them. But perhaps even dynamic. So you can add any number of output channels. So you put your "Perlin noise" node in place. And you define that you want a Hue output channel and a Saturation output channel. You can then do whatever you want with them. This way working with different color spaces and components is a bit more intuitive then by converting them within the nodes themselves.

    Thanks for teh hint, I'm going to think about implementing this. (For now I can already come up with 8 different channels: R, G, B, A, RGB, H, S and V.). I'm going to investigate it a bit further :)

  3. Anonymous Glow 

    Wait... 9 channels! R,G,B,A, RGB, H,S,V and HSV.

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