Node Texture 3D Parameter

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https://docs.snap.com/assets/images/nodes_inputs_parameters_texture_3d-4bbe882bd2c24ce74e3c9827a34559a2.png

Hello,
although I'm actually quite familiar with 3D/shaders, I don't know what the Node Texture 3D parameter is good for. Which applications can create 3D textures? What are they used for?

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  • Max
    Max Posts: 26 🔥
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    A 3D texture is in essence a sprite sheet!
    You can think of each frame as z-slices of a cube, so it could describe a volume.
    The X and Y dimensions are the coordinates inside each of the frames, and the Z dimension determines which frame to look at (on a scale of 0-1). If you pick a position in Z that's not exactly on one of the frames, it will interpolate between the previous and the next frame (similar to when you do that in X or Y on normal textures).

    For example, imagine we generate a 3D texture of a sphere - the first few frames would be small circles, the middle frame is a circle covering the full frame, and then the circles get smaller again towards the end.
    This is very similar to how SDFs work in Lens Studio! They are also 3D Textures. (However, SDFs work with distances to the mesh surface instead of actual z-slices.)

    3D Textures are also really useful if you want to have more interesting animated noise patterns in your materials.
    The Voronoi and Simplex nodes are nice, and combining them can create cool effects, but sometimes you want something more complex. In the Asset Library there are looping 3D noise textures for exactly this reason! They seamlessly repeat in 3 dimensions, so you can scroll through them.