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Blur node

Blur node

Why isn't there a cheap simple blur node for Maya?

When I think of texturing, there are some basics: One of them is the ability to blur (or sharpen) images or noise.

Blur is more important and it has not to be extreme, but it is something basic.

And you can get that in an 99cent-Smartphone App, so it is for sure not complicated.


Sometimes it helps just to tweak noise a bit softer.


Thanks for considering!


For some nodes you can play with Filter and FilterOffset attributes - the promised result is a blurred texture, this works for the Grid procedural texture. However, I noticed that for some nodes the effect is blur-unrelated (Mountain), for some nodes it has no effect at all (Noise) and for some - absent as such (Ramp). Therefore it barely counts for Maya 2019, idk about the latter versions.


The problem with a blur node is that it can't ever be cheap and simple. Blurring requires making shader calls at multiple UV values and averaging them out. This is not something that other shader nodes do. Multiple lookups can quickly become very expensive if you have a complex shader graph, particularly because some shaders need to compute derivatives. Even if Arnold decided to implement a blur node, third party render engines would ignore it because it's such a pain to deal with.


There is an alternative that might work. Open Shading Language (OSL) provides a blur function, but it is only available during initial texture lookup. Since many render engines are implementing OSL, they are adding in support for texture blurring too. Allowing blurring only on a file texture means the blur can be done ahead of time, and the shader doesn't explode in complexity. So one thing Maya could provide that render engines might realistically support would be a blurredTexture node, or a checkbox on the file node to enable blurring.


Increasing the mip-mapping bias will blur the texture in the image shader.

The redshift Blur.osl seems to work.




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