TIP: Randomizing Leaf Color

Nothing says “Autumn” like creating Cycles materials, right?

I for one am ready for apple cider, jack-o-lanters, and fallen leaves! So in this quick tip I want to show you how a single material with a single texture can be used for several separate leaf objects, while still maintaining the ability to vary the color of each leaf. This is accomplished with the Object Info node. By using the “Random” output we can procedurally manipulate any nodal value based on objects in the scene. For color variation we’ll use the “Hue” value of the Hue Saturation and Value Node.

This technique can be used for any duplicate-heavy situation:

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44 Responses to “TIP: Randomizing Leaf Color”
  1. Posts: 11

    Great tip, thanks so much!
    But a slight pointer. I am trying to randomize the color of an ivy, and the thing about the ivy leaves is that they are all in the same object, and as it seems to me it doesn’t work with the object random feature. Maybe there is a way around that, besides separating the leaves into separate objects.

    • Posts: 2128

      Indeed the object info node works on a per-object basis. Separate polygon islands within the same object won’t work. You could simply separate by loose parts in edit mode to make each ivy leaf it’s own object. Then the object info node will randomize the leaves.

    • Posts: 6

      In my project I found a way around this by plugging a Noise Texture node to the Hue input on the Hue Saturation Value node.

  2. Posts: 3
    hlemuss says:


    I was looking on how to get the random output of the object info node to use specific colors and I found out that using a gradient with the “constant” option with the random output of the object info as a fac and customizing the colors I want was the solution. But then I remembered this article and the way you use the multiply and add nodes to get the range of colors. I used a color ramp as linear, selected a range of autumn colors and then I mixed the output with an overlay node. The output of the colorramp being the color 1 and the image texture being color 2. I used a factor of 1 and looks good. I’m pretty sure there are more elegant ways to do the same but for me is more clear to see the range of colors in the colorramp node. I don’t know how to upload an screen-shot of it.


    • Posts: 2128

      Thanks for sharing, hlemuss! Feel free to upload a screenshot to the “User Submitted Images” gallery above the comments. I’d like to see you setup.

  3. Posts: 14
    skinman95 says:

    hey, i’ve found that the object info node doesn’t work for the particle system, for now i found a solution, and that is to use the particle info node, using the index output, conecting it to the sine(math node, to make the output from 0 to 1 randomly based on the input), connecting it to the hue input of the “hue sat” node and then to the material color.

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