We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Perlin Noise?

Andrew Kirmayer
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Perlin noise makes use of a partially random series of numbers which are computed into an image. Two- and three-dimensional images created this way are intended to mimic natural objects such as the sun, clouds, and marble, for example. The concept was created in the mid-1980s by Ken Perlin, a computer science expert and college professor still as of 2007. It provides relatively smooth random functions compared to the capabilities of typical programming languages. Control for small scale as well as large-sized elements are possible.

Graphics rendering programs make use of Perlin noise. At the programming level, the simulation noise is computed using mathematical formulas. These complex formulas are used to generate graphics in one, two, or three dimensions. Various parameters are numerically defined in an equation. The number representing the noise value, along with the sum of other values, results in a graphical line in the first dimension.

In two dimensions, a computer-generated visual effect uses numerical values less than an image’s resolution, particularly a gray-scale image. Perlin noise can also be visualized in three dimensions. Textures of objects on a computer screen can be analyzed beyond just one side and at any point on the surface. These points can be moved to produce a rotating image, and various functions can be computed to change the image texture. This helps in the imaging of rectangular images and translating them to spherical representations.

Perlin noise can be used in the creative process using the same methods. It is used in animation, as the same principles can be applied to animated characters so their motion appears smooth. Realistic looking clouds as well as terrain can also be created from both a ground perspective and from above. Color and texture can also be added, so Perlin noise is beneficial for creating detailed simulations and images that are either abstract or realistic.

Computer programs control the value noise, so the user does not need to understand the mathematical concepts involved. One program uses an algorithm for choosing an input point, picking a gradient vector for nearby points, and calculating additional gradients. Calculations using coordinates then derive the image’s scale, and patterns repeating into smaller variations can be created to simulate the nature of a fractal landscape. Changing the scale of such patterns means making use of a numerical scaling feature called octaves. Various computer programs help to render detailed images based on numerical calculations that would take too long for a person to perform manually.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Andrew Kirmayer
By Andrew Kirmayer , Former Writer
Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various industries and disciplines. With a degree in Creative Writing, he is skilled at writing compelling articles, blogs, press releases, website content, web copy, and more, all with the goal of making the web a more informative and engaging place for all audiences.

Discussion Comments

Andrew Kirmayer

Andrew Kirmayer

Former Writer

Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.