Creating Procedural Textures

Using a Files-Based Custom Procedural Texture

To use a files-based custom procedural texture, you need to create a folder containing at least 2 files:

  • config.json
  • custom.fragment.fx

The config file is a Javascript Simple Object Notation file containing 4 elements. Here is an example:

"animate": false,
"refreshrate": 0,
"uniforms": [
"type": "float",
"name": "dirtAmplifier",
"value": "6.0"
"sampler2Ds": [
"sample2Dname": "dirt",
"textureRelativeUrl": "textures/dirt.jpg"
"sample2Dname": "grass",
"textureRelativeUrl": "textures/grass.png"

The animate property indicates if a time value should be created and increased each time the fragment shader code is executed.

The refreshrate property is set to 0 if you want the texture to only render once. If set to 1, it will render every frame, 2 every two frames, etc.

Uniforms are the values that will be passed from the javascript code to the shader code. By setting them that way, you can allow the custom texture user to modify this value at runtime... to customize the texture.

Uniforms can be of type:

  • float (parameters : value)
  • Vector2 (parameters: x, y)
  • Vector3 (parameters: x, y, z)
  • Color3 (parameters: r, g, b)
  • Color4 (parameters: r, g, b, a)

Textures2D are 2D image files that are passed to the shader code as sampler2D variables. They can be read by the shader code and be used to create the final pixel color. You only need to provide a name and the relative path inside the folder.

The custom.fragment.fx file contains the GLSL code. The purpose of this wiki article is not to teach you how to create a fragment shader or how it works. You simply need to know that the code contained in your main function will be called once for each pixel to create on the texture. In this main function, you only know the coordinates of the current pixel in the final texture.

Here is a simple code which is setting all pixels to a specific gray.

#ifdef GL_ES
precision highp float;
void main(void) {
vec3 color = vec3(0.9, 0.9, 0.9);
gl_FragColor = vec4(color, 1.0);

Gl_FragColor is the variable in which you put the color object you want the pixel to be. Here is a more complex example using 2 samplers and mixing their color equally.

#ifdef GL_ES
precision highp float;
varying vec2 vPosition;
varying vec2 vUV;
uniform sampler2D grass;
uniform sampler2D dirt;
void main(void) {
vec3 color = mix(texture2D(dirt, vUV).xyz, texture2D(grass, vUV).xyz, 0.5);
gl_FragColor = vec4(color, 1.0);

To use this custom texture, you need to make your folder available to your babylon.js html/javascript files and use a CustomProceduralTexture class instead of a standard one. The difference is only that you specify a new parameter which is the relative path to the folder containing the custom texture. Babylon.js will automatically read the config.json and custom.fragment.fx files and load everything for you.

var texture = new BABYLON.CustomProceduralTexture("texture", "./pathtotexture", 1024, scene);

Using a ShaderStore for Shader Storage

You can also use the ShaderStore to write a shader inline and use it in a CustomProceduralTexture. This can be done easily using the BABYLON.Effect.ShaderStore array :

BABYLON.Effect.ShadersStore["LinesPixelShader"] =
"#ifdef GL_ES\n" +
"precision highp float;\n" +
"#endif\n\n" +
"varying vec2 vUV; \n" +
"void main(void) {\n" +
" gl_FragColor = vec4(vUV.x,vUV.y,-vUV.x, 1.0);\n" +
"}\n" +

Note that your shader name should be suffixed with PixelShader as the Procedural Texture shader is always a pixel shader. Babylon.JS will automatically understand it is a pixel shader.

To use this shader, you just have to create a CustomProceduralTexture and put the name of your shader in the store instead of the path to the files.

var customProcText = new BABYLON.CustomProceduralTexture("customtext", "Lines", 1024, scene);

Using a DOM Element for Shader Storage

Finally you can also use DOM Elements to store your shader. You just have to create a script tag in your HTML file like this:

<script type="application/pixelShader" id="LinesPixelShader">
#ifdef GL_ES
precision highp float;
varying vec2 vUV;
void main(void) {
gl_FragColor = vec4(vUV.x,vUV.y,-vUV.x, 1.0);

To use it, you just have to create a simple object containing one property which is named fragmentElement and contains the id identifying the script DOM element.

var linesShader = { fragmentElement: 'LinesPixelShader' };
var customProcText = new BABYLON.CustomProceduralTexture("customtext", linesShader, 1024, scene);

Using Node Material to generate procedural texture

You can use NodeMaterial to generate the shaders for your procedural texture. The code to generate it is very simple:

BABYLON.NodeMaterial.ParseFromSnippetAsync("#A7A3UB#1", scene).then((nodeMaterial) => {
const proceduralTexture = nodeMaterial.createProceduralTexture(256);

Example: Node Material Procedural Texture Example 1

More here: Creating Procedural Textures

Note : when using ShaderStore or DOM Element shader for custom procedural textures : the config.json file is not needed anymore and you can just use setFloat or setVector3 (and so on), and setTexture on the CustomProceduralTexture will give values and Sampler2D to the shader code.

Feel free to play with this scene here: Node Material Procedural Texture Example 2