Showing procedural textures in viewports


Hi folks,

is there a way to show a procedural texture (checkboard, noise, etc.) in the viewports, just like a texture image or just like any other 3D package does? I’m new to XSI, so maybe it could sound like a silly question…but I really can’t find a way to do such a thing…



I think you can through some of the game-based shaders… but in general… no. You’ll get used to it, it would be nice though.


I’ve read that they just added this into lightwave and it’s so slow it’s pretty much useless.


sometimes it could be useful; in this specific case, I’m translating a tutorial from one package to XSI, and I was pretty much surprised to find out that…it just can’t be done…:smiley:


you can get halfway there with lightmaps plugged into clips, but there’s no such thing yet as an OGL counterpart to show the MRay procedurals inside the viewports without MRay being involved at any stage.


I doubt those of us used to having it work will.


Then if it’s slow it is indeed useless. That would be the same as render region/lightmap combo.

The 3ds max solution in this area is very nice. Near real-time feedback in viewport… :slight_smile:



I did… started in Max.


I’t is slow with many(at my machine with more than 13 layers) layers mixed with gradient or incidence/slope layers per channel.
Sometimes the settings of the procs. make it useless, yes.

The drawing(rendering in viewport) itself is not slow, but the calculations needs some time with complex surfaces.

I think in 9 it will be better, for sure.

I wish MR in render region would be so fast with procs. as fprime in LW.

 I've read that they just added this into lightwave and it's so slow it's pretty much useless.


Its not a lost cause to make procedural textures apear in viewport in XSI. You can even make it update dynamicaly as you work in shader tree. Its not pretty tho (at least the way I made it work). I think even MAX just bakes procs to image maps and then does shading on them, so rendermap in XSI can emulate that. The only differences being XSI needs to write this image to the disk first and a need to change or derive a different shading tree for correct display. So, this is the way i did it, there are better way tho…

  1. Add a rendermap property
  2. Albedo and enough image resolution to have visible detail set in the rendermap
    3 Realtime shading tree utilising the rendemap ouput picture as a colormap
  3. Binding on a event and a small script updating the rendermap ( you just copy/paste what script editor says after you press regenerate in rendermap ppg)

note. i used sceneupdate event if i remember correctly just for testing

as you make changes in thr mental ray render tree you get update in the viewport as you watch realtime output


You can bypass the rendermap setup altogether by using a lightmap directly in the render tree.



I did the forementioned setup in 4.2, i guess 5.0 opens new possibilities. Thanks for the info.


I love Fprime, and it’s well worth it, but it is an expensive solution. It is more than a previewer though, and excels at rendering large images (I use it to create things for print that need to render at least at 3000x3000 or more). I find the render region in XSI works for most of my needs, and if I need to see procedurals when first tweaking them I often just plug that straight into the surface node.

Yes, it would be cool if it was as fast as Fprime, but keep in mind that Fprime isn’t really previewing always exactly what LW will do, and the render region IS what MR will do. That being said I’d pay $300-500 extra for XSI if it were included or there was a similar plugin. Till then it’s the bypass straight to material trick for most procedurals for me…


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.