Turbulent Noise Node

The Turbulent Noise effect uses Perlin noise to create greyscale noise for organic-looking backgrounds, displacement maps and textures. Among other things, it can be used to simulate fluid effects like clouds, fire, lava, steam, flowing water, or vapour. The Turbulent Noise effect models turbulent systems with smaller noise features moving more quickly than larger noise features. The Turbulent Noise effect creates smooth animations and takes less time to render than other noise or grain effects.

For detailed video tutorials and sample scenes by Adam Phillips, see:



Being a generator, the Turbulent Noise node does not require an input image. It generates noise using its Layer Properties. However, its default settings will only output solid black.

The Turbulent Noise node can be hooked to a peg, allowing you to transform and animate the effect.

NOTE: In the example above, it is hooked to a Quadmap to simulate a perspective effect.

Optionally, a Turbulent Noise node can also be connected to a matte image. In this case, the noise will only fill the shape of the matte.

Layer Properties

Parameter Description

Allows you to enable or disable the node. When disabled, a node has no visible effect on the rendered image, nor on the preview in the Camera, Perspective, Side and Top views.

Colour Swatch

Sets the colour of the layer in the Timeline view and of the node in the Node view.

Name Allows you to enter a name for the node.
Noise Type

The algorithm used to generate the noise:

  • Perlin: Creates pseudo random patterns. The greyscale contains a continuity between different tones of grey.
  • Simplex: Creates a more contrasted noise pattern with more variation than Perlin. There is a smooth variation of intensity.
  • Sinusoidal: Creates a repeated wavelike pattern.
  • Sub Scaling: Applies Perlin noise twice. The second noise is added where dark areas appear in the original. The frequency of the second iteration is higher so the noise is smaller.
  • Rocky: Uses the Perlin pattern but converts the very high and low values to more moderate values. For example, the whites become light greys and the blacks become dark greys.
  • Small Bumps: Uses the Perlin pattern. The transitional grey areas between blacks and whites become inverted so they look like dark lines. The extremes, black and white areas, become whitish.
Frequency The density of displacement appearing in the noise. A higher value produces a greater amount of displacement in a given area; a lower value produces a smaller amount.
Offset Moves the entire image.
Locked Applies parameter value while retaining the X and Y ratio.
Separate Allows you to apply different parameter values to X and Y.
xy When locked, applies parameter values to both X and Y. When separated, allows you to apply different value to X and Y.
Evolution Determines the displacement pattern over time.
Evolution Frequency This factor makes the complexity iterations animate or transform at a higher speed. In other words, the second, third, etc. passes, controlled by the Complexity parameter, will mutate faster than the main one.

The number of noise layers that make up the noise. Each successive layer has a higher frequency, resulting in a smaller noise effect. You can have up to seven passes. Increasing this number increases the depth and amount of detail in the noise. Use Complexity with Sub Scaling when the value is 1 or greater.

NOTE: Increasing the Complexity results in longer rendering times.
Gain Controls the amount of opacity present in the iteration of noise. This also affects the layer when using Sub Scaling. With a value of 0, you will not see the sub noise. A value of 1 will show the sub noise just as strong as the main one. For example, with water ripples, a higher amount of Gain will reveal more ripple or subripples.
Sub Scaling: The factor by which the main noise is modified at each iteration of complexity. A value of 1 make the two noises identical. A value of 2 makes the sub noise twice as small. The next iteration would be 4 times smaller. Values must be greater than 1.
Depth This value determines the composition order when the Z value of two elements is the same.
Invert Matte If the Turbulent Noise node is connected to a matte image, by default, the noise will only fill the opaque areas of the matte. If this parameter is enabled, the noise will fill the transparent areas of the matte instead.