Cell Noise to Displacement

Amplitude of cell noise shader keyframed

 

Cell Noise is a very versatile shader that can be used to reproduce a wide variety of shading effects. In this short and simple tutorial we will show possible uses for it to produce some abstract 'collage' style graphic effects. We will connect the cell noise shader to the displacement attribute of a transparent object in front of the camera to distort the subject matter behind it (in this case a head). We will use the the various attributes of the cell noise shader to reproduce some of the example images below (all of which can be animated).

The digital Emily model can be downloaded here.

A simple scene file can be downloaded here.

 

  • Start off by creating a plane (feel free to use other shapes) and position it between the camera and the subject (in this case a head model).
  • Create a Skydome light. Ensure that the default Camera visibility of the Skydome is 1 so that there is something to refract other than black.
  • Assign a Standard Surface shader to the plane. We want to make it look like glass but without any of the specular shading. Change the following attributes:

 

Base Weight: 0

Specular Weight: 0

Transmission Weight: 1

  • Create a Cell Noise shader and use it to displace the plane. The overall effect depends on how much displacement you use. Start off with small values and work your way up.

Specular IOR

Try changing the Specular IOR value of the Standard Surface shader to see its effect (remember you can use values below 1 too).

Cell Noise

Patterns

Below are renders using the various noise Patterns of the cell noise shader.

Randomness

Changing the Randomness value can have a big effect on the result.

  
Further Examples

Once you have mastered this effect, why not try applying it to different scenes to see what you can achieve. You could also try adding other shaders to alter the effect of the cell noise shader such as utility, ramps and color correct. Below are some further examples using these techniques.

 

 

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