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After watching several videos on how to make procedural textures I'd like to know if it's worth the effort.

So far the benefits of procedural textures I always hear and read is their infinite resolution like a SVG image, it's not rasterized. The other big advantage is that it's not as memory consuming as image textures and thus Cycles can use the GPU for big scenes again if all textures were procedural generated.

But how about render times? I mean at the render the procedural textures have to be rasterized at some point for proper path tracing if I'm correct.

Does loading the procedural textures increases render times or consume more memory depending of its rasterized scale? (like on an object that is very close to the camera, where a rasterized texture would be like 8192x8192 pixels to show the details)

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this is a great question!

Procedural textures made in Blender do take quite a hit on a render's speed, as well as the memory that is used. This obviously scales with how complex the texture is, so it's difficult to predict exactly how much the texture will slow it down.

Unfortunately, I don't know the technical details of how procedural textures are computed during a render, so I can't help with that. Maybe someone with more technical experience knows the answer :^)

In general, here are my experiences on the matter. It's normally efficient enough that for general usage you can go ahead and mix noise to your heart's content. If you have very large procedural textures, (let's just go with >100 nodes) it might be worthwhile to use Blender's baking functionality to bake them to images. This would be much more important if you plan on doing animations, because the extra time on a single frame get compounded with every other frame that the animation uses.

So ya, I'd say it's generally good! Just know that you can bake them down to images if you plan on doing an animation or something.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ oh yeah when i did my testsfor this post I didnt take huge node setups into account. But generally i had faster results with some P-Materials. $\endgroup$ – DrachenSeele Apr 26 at 10:13
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The procedural textures are mathematical formulas and do not need to be converted to rasterrized Textes to be rendered. This saves a lot of ram

The performance in speed is depending on your hardware. If you have slow VRAM then it would be slower for blender to load huge texture files. This could slow it down in the before rendering phase as it all had to be loaded in.

I tried it on a complex sczene that I did procedurally first and then baked the textures as a 2k image for object to keep it the same as the original one.

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