The Fast Noise node is a very fast and flexible Perlin Noise generator. It can be useful for a wide range of effects, from clouds, to swirling fog, waves, water caustics, stylized fire, and smoke, and other organic textures. It is also invaluable as a noise source for other effects, such as heat shimmers, particle systems, and dirtiness maps.
Fast Noise Node Inputs
The two map inputs on the Fast Noise node allow you to use masks to control the value of the noise detail and brightness controls for each pixel. These two optional inputs can allow some interesting and creative effects. There is also a standard effect mask input for limiting the Fast Noise size.
- Noise Detail Map: A soft-edged mask connected to the gray Noise Detail Map input will give a flat noise map (zero detail) where the mask is black, and full detail where it is white, with intermediate values smoothly reducing in detail. It is applied before any gradient color mapping. This can be very helpful for applying maximum noise detail in a specific area, while smoothly falling off elsewhere.
- Noise Brightness Map: A mask connected to this white input can be used to control the noise map completely, such as boosting it in certain areas, combining it with other textures, or if Detail is set to 0, replacing the Perlin Noise map altogether.
- Effect Mask: The optional blue effect mask input accepts a mask shape created by polylines, basic primitive shapes, paint strokes, or bitmaps from other tools. Connecting a mask to this input limits the Fast Noise to only those pixels within the mask.
Fast Noise Node Setup
The Fast Noise node is used to generate images for other nodes to take advantage of. For example, below the Fast Noise node is used as a bitmap source in the Particle Emitter.
Fast Noise Node Noise Tab
The Noise tab controls the shape and pattern of the noise for the Fast Noise node.
Normally, the noise function interpolates between values to create a smooth continuous gradient of results. Enable this checkbox to create hard discontinuity lines along some of the noise contours. The result will be a dramatically different effect.
Select this checkbox to invert the noise, creating a negative image of the original pattern. This is most effective when Discontinuous is also enabled.
Use the Center coordinate control to pan and move the noise pattern.
Increase the value of this slider to produce a greater level of detail in the noise result. Larger values add more layers of increasingly detailed noise without affecting the overall pattern. High values take longer to render but can produce a more natural result.
This control adjusts the overall brightness of the noise map, before any gradient color mapping is applied. In Gradient mode, this has a similar effect to the Offset control.
This control increases or decreases the overall contrast of the noise map, prior to any gradient color mapping. It can exaggerate the effect of the noise and widen the range of colors applied in Gradient mode.
- Lock and Scale X/Y
The size of the noise map can be adjusted using the Scale slider, changing it from gentle variations over the whole image to a tighter overall texture effect. The Scale slider can be separated into independent X- and Y-axis scale sliders by clicking on the Lock X/Y checkbox immediately above, which can be useful for a brushed-metal effect.
Use the Angle control to rotate the noise pattern.
Adjust this thumbwheel control to interpolate the noise map against a different noise map. This will cause a crawling shift in the noise, as if it was drifting or flowing. This control must be animated to affect the gradient over time, or you can use the Seethe Rate control below.
- Seethe Rate
As with the Seethe control above, the Seethe Rate also causes the noise map to evolve and change. The Seethe Rate defines the rate at which the noise changes each frame, causing an animated drift in the noise automatically, without the need for spline animation.
Fast Noise Node Color Tab
The Color tab allows you to adjust the gradient colors used in the generated noise pattern.
- Two Color
A simple two-color gradient is used to color the noise map. The noise function will smoothly transition from the first color into the second.
The Advanced Gradient control in Fusion is used to provide more control over the color gradient used with the noise map.
Fast Noise Node Image and Settings Tabs
The Image and Settings tabs in the Inspector are duplicated in many Generator nodes. These common controls are described in detail HERE.
About the Author
Justin Robinson is a Certified DaVinci Resolve, Fusion & Fairlight instructor who is known for simplifying concepts and techniques for anyone looking to learn any aspect of the video post-production workflow. Justin is the founder of JayAreTV, a training and premade asset website offering affordable and accessible video post-production education. You can follow Justin on Twitter at @JayAreTV YouTube at JayAreTV or Facebook at MrJayAreTV