Noise Lab

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Welcome to the the NOISE LABORATORIES! In this article, we will join resident mad scientist Crapadilla in an exploration of the mysteries of Perlin and Worley. In its course, we'll uncover the fundamental principles of Noise Engineering, and demonstrate how the basic building blocks of the Filter Forge toolset can be harnessed to create a wide array of special-purpose noise generators. We'll also be providing an in-depth look at the Question of Questions: "How much Noise do you really need?".

[Note that The Other Question of Questions (that would be :"Where's all my hand-signed cushions?") will not be discussed here. However, we cannot totally exclude the possibility that cushions may make an appearance somewhere in this article.]

So, there you have it. Bored to death by the prospect of reading through another 1000-page technical manual, you are thus sufficiently prepared to enter the NOISE LABS. Now come, let us explore the Art & Science of Noise Engineering together!

This article is currently under construction, and will be for quite some time [Yup, I'm busy with projects currently, and I'm writing this up mostly in my spare time]. Accompanying the work on the article, I will release noise generator snippets to the filter library. Once I have established a general markup of topics for the article, filled them with something usable and worth a reader's time, I'd be excited to have others contribute their noise generators as well...

If you run into other sections colored like this one here, don't panic. These are just my 'design notes' where I collect and solidify my cluttered thoughts. I'd wager they'll be eventually replaced by something much better in the final article.

-- Crapadilla


A Quick Tour around The Labs

Where's all my Noise?

"People will always want more, even when they already have what they ask."
-- Vladimir Golovin of Filter Forge, Inc.

One's initial reaction to the component bar's Noise category might be quite similar to that of a bank manager opening the vault on a monday morning, after the greatest heist in history has been pulled: the unrepressable realization that space - at times - can be quite embarrassingly empty.

It is only after this reality has rubbed itself in thoroughly that a few clouds of dust are perceived in the empty space, shyly settling in a corner where some unremarkable Blocks, Chaff and Stones are loosely strewn about. The forensic faculties - as if complicit in the whole mockery - later disclose the unsettling presence of Cells on the crime scene, as well as small... Pyramids! And behold: While scientific theories about the completeness of generalized Worley-space would much later demonstrate infallibly its existence, nevertheless, a miniscule cluster of Techno miraculously managed escaping detection, hiding in humiliation for having been condemned to the bottom of the worleyan hierarchy by mere alphabetical neccessity.


Brutally traumatized by this initial exposure to a crucial aspect of Filter Forge's design philosophy, the would-be noise engineer is left deeply puzzled as to what should be made of this seemingly blatant overabundance of absent Noise.

"Wait a second! This is supposed to be a texturing app!!! Where's all my Noise!?"

Off marches the noise addict... to the Feature Request Forums! Ignorant of the fact that what he seeks is already laid out before him (and - naturally - of the existence of an obscure feature called 'Search', which merely exists to allow for its very existence to be most lavishly ignored), he demands that Filter Forge better look to application X for having a gazillion pre-made noise generators. Gradually, while being gently prodded with a Rod of Generality +255, the whole truth begins to dawn upon him.

Thus, another aspiring noise engineer is set upon the path of enlightenment...

Essential Links:

Towards a Philosophy of Noise

aka 'From Generality with Love' or 'Less is More'

"When it comes to Noises, our approach is different from that of [App XXX]: instead of pre-made generators, we provide tools to make these generators."
-- Vladimir Golovin of Filter Forge, Inc.

"So then," you ask, "how much Noise do you really need?". Here, we'll briefly pause... and then rejoice about the fact that shortly, we'll share with the honored reader the fruits of a fantastillion of computation cycles. The answer to the Question of Questions is: " 7 "!

The Art & Science of Noise Engineering

Noise Engineering Fundamentals

All is full of Noise

Basic Noise Lore. Getting to know your Noise intimately. Learning to choose your noise wisely.
  • Knowing your Noise: Noise parameters and what they do
  • Types of Noise
Noise Examples:
  • A Noise for Every Occasion: Looking at existing filters

The Anatomy of a Noise

Dissecting Perlin & Worley

  1. Every Noise has its Profile
  2. Table: The standard Noise Profiles - An Overview

The Power of Profile Curves

  1. Exploring the Curves Beyond
  2. Building Your Own Profile Curves
Noise Examples:
  • Maze
  • Tree Bark

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Details!

  1. Things Seldom Seen: Noise Details
  2. Profile Curves, Details & Roughness

A Noise Engineer's Cookbook

  1. Strange Cuisine: Worley Noise Formula

Image:Blocks_profile_1.jpg Image:Blocks_profile_2.jpg Image:Blocks_profile_3.jpg Image:Blocks_profile_4.jpg Image:Blocks_profile_5.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_flat.JPG Image:Profile_contours.JPG Image:Profile_layered.JPG Image:Profile_circuitry.JPG
Image:Cells_profile_1.jpg Image:Cells_profile_2.jpg Image:Cells_profile_3.jpg Image:Cells_profile_4.jpg Image:Cells_profile_5.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_flat.JPG Image:Profile_contours.JPG Image:Profile_bacteria.JPG Image:Profile_ripples.JPG
Image:Chaff_profile_1.jpg Image:Chaff_profile_2.jpg Image:Chaff_profile_3.jpg Image:Chaff_profile_4.jpg Image:Chaff_profile_5.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_flat.JPG Image:Profile_contours.JPG Image:Profile_maze.JPG Image:Profile_flowers.JPG
Perlin Noise
Image:Perlin_profile_1.jpg Image:Perlin_profile_2.jpg Image:Perlin_profile_3.jpg Image:Perlin_profile_4.jpg Image:Perlin_profile_5.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_camouflage.JPG Image:Profile_electricity.JPG Image:Profile_ghost.JPG Image:Profile_organic.JPG
Image:Pyramids_profile_1.jpg Image:Pyramids_profile_2.jpg Image:Pyramids_profile_3.jpg Image:Pyramids_profile_4.jpg Image:Pyramids_profile_5.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_flat.JPG Image:Profile_contours.JPG Image:Profile_layered.JPG Image:Profile_city.JPG
Image:Stones_profile_1.jpg Image:Stones_profile_2.jpg Image:Stones_profile_3.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_flat.JPG Image:Profile_contours.JPG
Image:Techno_profile_1.jpg Image:Techno_profile_2.jpg Image:Techno_profile_3.jpg Image:Techno_profile_4.jpg Image:Techno_profile_5.jpg
Image:Profile_linear.JPG Image:Profile_flat.JPG Image:Profile_contours.JPG Image:Profile_layered.JPG Image:Profile_circuitry.JPG

Tripping the Forge

To Blend Or Not To Blend

  1. What A Difference A Blend Makes
  2. Multiplying Noises Beyond Necessity
  • Fabric
  • Scratches
  • ...

Elevating Your Noise Above The Rest

Noises & Elevation Gradients

  • Layered Stone
  • ...
  • ...

Tools Of The Trade

Adjusting & Processing Noise

As Noisy As It Gets

Adding to the Noise

  1. Explorations into Chaos
  2. Why you should fall in love with Noise Distortion
  3. Distorting Noises... with Noise!
  • Cracks
  • Marble Veins
  • Mossy Growth

Noise Distortion according to Worley

  1. Going Beyond Perlin
  2. Reverse Engineering Noise Distortion
  3. Distorting Noises again... the Worley Way!
  • Noise Distortion Reverse Engineered
  • Worley Distortion

Migration of the Samples

  1. Boiling It Down: The Essential Offset
  2. Building Your Own Distortions: Noises & Offsets
  • Rusty Paint

Exploring Noise Cartography

Mapping your Noises with... everything!
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

Keeping up with the Noises

Putting it all together: Complex noise generators
  • Crack Melt
  • Swirly Marble
  • ...

Troubleshooting Noises

Keeping the Worleys in Line

The Devil in the Details

Sampling the hell out of your noise? Tame your details!
  • How noise detail impacts rendertime.

Bad Company

Choose your connections wisely!
  • Components that really hate your Noise...

Four Worleys and a Perlin

Managing the noise overload
  • A look at existing filters that use many noises. Ways to optimize them...

Worley Heights

Noise & the Surface Filter: Safely navigating the Heights!
  • A look at noises used as height maps.

Advanced Noise Engineering

Meet the Patterns

Noises and... Patterns? Yup! Because most of the time, creating Noise is only the first step. Noise is indispensible for giving your patterns that extra bit of realism!
  • Lounge Lizards
  • WormCraft(tm)
  • Worn Metal Plate

Where No Noise Has Gone Before

Exploring the far reaches of Noise Space: Noise generators from way out there!
  • Many Crazy Noises That No One Really Needs, No? ;)

The Vault

This area will become an Index and Link section for all the Noise Generators.

Noise Generators Library filters using similar techniques
2419-small.jpg Noise Lab: Fabric Military's camouflage fabric
Old Parchment
2426-small.jpg Noise Lab: Scratches Rotated Polaroid
Worn Metal Plate
2420-small.jpg Worley Distortion -/-
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