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Fractal textures are very useful for simulating many natural phenomena. Some examples:

You can create even more interesting effects by having one fractal node attached to the Amplitude attribute of another.

Aside from the attributes listed here, Fractal inherits many other attributes from its parent node, Texture2d.

In the table below, important attributes are shown in bold in the description column.

This node is MP safe

Node nameParentsClassificationMFn typeCompatible function sets

Related nodes

layeredTexture, envCube, envSphere, envSky, envBall, envChrome, bump3d, uvChooser, bump2d, texture2d, ramp, file, cloth, water, stencil, checker, bulge, grid, mountain, texture3d, projection, cloud, granite, crater, leather, stucco, brownian, solidFractal, marble, wood, rock, snow, defaultTextureList, place2dTexture, place3dTexture

Attributes (11)

amplitude, animated, bias, frequencyRatio, inflection, levelMax, levelMin, ratio, threshold, time, timeRatio

Long name (short name)TypeDefaultFlags
amplitude (a) float1.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Amplitude controls the amount of fractal effect. When you increase it, the bright areas become brighter and the dark areas darker. If you are using the fractal as a bump or displacement map, it will make the bumps more pronounced.
ratio (ra) float0.707outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Ratio controls the blending between the bright and dark areas of the fractal. As you increase Ratio, the edges between light and dark are more blurred. If the fractal is used as bump map, this would make the bumps appear more like rolling hills and less like craggy mountains. If you decrease Ratio, the edges in the fractal become sharper.
threshold (th) float0.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Threshold controls how much of the Fractal is white. As you increase this value, more of the Fractal is white. At high values, the fractal looks like a white area with irregular darker dots. As you decrease this attribute, more and more detail becomes visible.
levelMin (lmn) float0.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Level Min and Level Max are used to control how much calculation is done by the Fractal texture. Fractals are created by an iterative mathematical process; as the process goes over more levels, it produces a more detailed fractal, but takes longer to do so. Normally, the texture will choose a level it thinks is appropriate for the surface being rendered. You can use Level Min and Level Max to control the minimum and maximum amount of calculation the node will do.
levelMax (lmx) float9.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Level Max. See the description for Level Min (above).
frequencyRatio (fr) float2.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Frequency Ratio This determines the relative spacial scale of the noise frequencies. If this ratio is not a whole integer then the fractal will not repeat at the integer uv boundaries. A cylinder with default placement would then display a seam.
bias (bs) float0.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Bias This biases the -1 to 1 noise towards either 1 or 0. Values greater than 0 make the fractal more contrasting while values less than zero make it more flat with spikes.
inflection (in) boolfalseoutputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Inflection This applies a kink in the noise function This is useful for creating puffy or bumpy effects. It is equivalent to abs(noise) * 2 - 1.
animated (an) boolfalseoutputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Animated. Turn this attribute on if you want your fractal texture to be animatable; that is, to shift and change over different frames of your animation. This is useful for creating effects such as static on a tv screen, or irregular bubbling on a liquid surface.

After you turn on this attribute, you must also keyframe the Time attribute of the Fractal node at different frames to get the effect of motion.

timeRatio (tr) float2.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Time Ratio This determines the relative time scale of the noise frequencies. If this ratio is not a whole integer then the animation will not repeat when time = 1. The default is equal to the frequency ratio, which means that higher frequency noises move faster in direct proportion to the frequency. Many natural effects, such as water waves, move instead relative to the sqrt of the frequency, thus it may create better motion to make the timeRatio = sqrt( frequencyRatio ). Thus if the frequencyRatio is 2, make the timeRatio = 1.4.
time (ti) float0.0outputinputconnectablestorablekeyable
Time is used to animate a Fractal texture. (See the Animated attribute, above.) Once you have turned on Animated, you can keyframe the Time attribute to control the rate and amount of change of the fractal texture in your scene. Set keyframes on this value to make the texture start or stop moving, or speed up, etc.