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Procedural "wear and tear" using cycles Nodes


Jtornhill has published an impressive 200 page guide to creating procedural nodes in Cycles, focusing on how to 'dirty up' your materials. The document is open to commenting too, so you can ask questions and/or help improve it!

Hi all!

The nodes for cycles could be a jungle for many people. I have taken it as my mission to clear things out on how you approach the nodes when creating materials in Blender.

So, for all of you that want to know the ABC on wear and tear using cycles node I have written  documentation on how you could apply wear and tear using Cycles nodes. The document ends with an in depth practice and the files for those are reachable and free to use as wished.

About the Author

My real name is Joakim Tornhill, but most people know me as "Blender Insight"... the procedural node & material guy :). I love how Blender can turn a simple sphere in to a photo realistic cherry, orange, planet or football....without using any external sources like images at all. That is amazing! However, I can do other Blender stuff as well (been at it since 2012) and share my knowledge as much as I can on YouTube at:


  1. Thank you very much for the documentation but please stop letting other people work on the document!

    People are changing colors, some people don't even know they are working on it, it's anonymous, is the information still right? Are the links still to safe places?

    • Joakim Tornhill on


      You can comment (and unfortunately it looks like those comment are visible), but you can't change anything. I have to approve the suggestions to let them through... but you are right. There is a lot of mistakes in those comments, so it could be that I shut it down.

    • They can't change anything, but suggest. Unfortunately that leaves very visible traces in the text... so yes, I will remove that feature.

  2. Regarding it's cycles procedurals, the result is awesome, really. I did wear textures many times and never got to such results with procedurals. Especially double voronoi cells with offset got me - very nice scratches, or paper hair!
    However, and that is something I hope we overcome in blender someday - 3 days shader work in blender = 20 minutes in Substance Painter....
    Don't kill me ;) I hope we all will get there one day!
    I am personally very much looking forward to progress with Armory paint!

    • Joakim Tornhill on

      To make it from scratch every time takes a lot of effort, but when you have built your library of things it is rather easy to get a quick result, but to manage to beat Substance Painter... don't think we can manage that in Blender yet regardless :).

    • Lovely that you found something of interest in there :). No, I will not compete with Substance Painter. It has things that Blender can't achieve yet.
      It will also take some time to create a good node tree from scratch in Blender. On the other hand, if you build your library of node groups in a good way, most wear and tear can easily be on place on your models within minutes.

      • Well, what I like the least about the procedural approach is having to tweak pointiness for each object... and when you change subsurf level, you're back on the start again. But it's still wonderfull likte the very limited set of procedurals can be used and combined in so many ways.

  3. I recommend releasing a PDF version of it. and leave the doc version to allow potential udpates (for authorized changes) that could improve this even further.

    I'm eager to get home and test this process of yours on my mesh :)

    • I agree that the doc version will not be a future thing for this. If it will be in a pdf, wiki, blog... I don't know yet. Have to think about it. Right now it's about 50-60 people reading simultaneously.

      Have fun with it when you are back home :)!

      • Thanks for doing this. Joakim, is there some other way we can send you messages? I don't know if you intend for people to print or copy it, but I was able to click on the printer icon in the top left of the page and print it to a pdf file which was saved to my account. Also the File menu lets me save it to my drive account.

    • Thank you :D.

      We will see what happens with it.
      This was about "wear and tear", but I am thinking about doing the same for these things as well:
      * Basic "Get Started kit"
      * Fruit and other organic materials (except skin)
      * Skin
      * Working with volume based shadings I have some things on my mind and how all this should be saved I don't know, because as I wrote as answer to some one else here..I don't believe in keeping this as just a shared doc.

  4. Thank you Jtornhill, nice job and an awesome documentation. About the document format, anyone can download it "as pdf" from the Google docs page.

  5. Thank you for sharing. A great reference. I am slowly studying all the different procedures to make use in my own materials. Regards.

  6. I happen to have a brand new lantern similar the one above, same blue color too. Mine is a Jupiter Lantern which holds about a half gallon of fuel. I sure hope mine ages better then that one.

    What version of Blender is this for? 2.79?

    • I'm sure yours will age better ;).
      Yes, the documentation is for 2.79, but most things are still valid.
      However, I kept that lamp and did a material course on Udemy where I recreated the rust and paint for 2.8x, so it exists both in an old and a new version...but both versions has a lot of rust .

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