The fracturing, fissuring surface quality of marble seems immune to codification, or at least that’s what I first thought. Over my final semester at ITP, I audited the inimitable Ken Perlin, the mind behind the noise function.
After one particularly lengthy lecture about raytracing, Ken was so kind as to regale us about that time he worked one the vase scene in Weird Science. The director worked with Ken on perfecting the look of marble for a vase flying through space. This is process called procedural solid modeling. Using raytracing and noise, Ken came up with turbulence, a function that creates sudden stops and reversals using absolute values of a fractal of noise.