Adding new Texture vs Manipulating w/ functions

So I’m wandering :

Is it “better” to add a new texture to use (i.e for AO) when I can just manipulate an existing one to get the same result?

Basically I’m asking if the various functions like Cheapcontrast, gradients and all that are costly in terms of processing.

Hi CosDim -

I wish I could give you a straight answer, but honestly depends on your material setup , the texture size, and how much manipulation you are attempting to do. In general, math is cheap for the computer, and textures can be costly, but if you are doing a lot of math to get the ultimate results you are looking for that would be a single texture call it might be worth the additional texture. Also it is worth noting that you can open a material function up by double clicking the node so you can see exactly what that node is doing, more may be happening in there than you think …

Thank you -

Eric Ketchum