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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now that we've got a couple of materials assigned, we can look at the different types of materials. Currently, these are both of the type Standard. So if I select this sample slot, this is my logoMaterial, and you'll see next to it, it says Standard. So that's the type of material that I'm working with. If I click on this button, I can choose a different type of material, and that's the most sort of base level that we can work with is choose a different type of material. When I click the button, I get a new window popping up. It's called the Material/Map browser, and this is showing me two things.
First of all, it's showing me all the possibilities I can choose from, of all the different types of materials and so it's listed here. It says Materials. Then below here, it's got a section here that says Scene Materials. So this tells me what is currently in the scene. So I want to convert the Standard material to something else. So I've got different options. For example, an Architectural material, if I double-click on that, now I've got a different material type. It's of the type Architectural. Architectural materials are a little bit simpler to work with than the Standard material type, and with Architectural materials I can choose a template.
So, for example, if I wanted this to look like metal, I could just choose that template, and it's a little bit easier to see over here if I turn on the Background in my sample slot, and so you can see I'm getting a little bit of a reflection there. So Architectural materials work this way: You're supposed to choose a template, and then once that template has been chosen, you can go in and play around with things like the color. So I can give that a tint. So it's an Architectural material. I'll click again so I can choose a different type of material.
You'll notice that there is something here called a Multi/Sub-Object material, and that one you might need to use sometimes when you want to assign more than one material to an object. Additionally, there are a couple of other specialty ones, like Blend and Composite. We are not going to be looking at those today, but those are useful when you need to combine multiple materials and sort of layer them together. Most of the time, you are to be using a Standard material. So I am going to reselect that and click OK, and now I'm back where I was, in fact, you will notice that it's wiped out the colors that I chose before.
So I just converted it from Standard to Architectural, and then converted it back, and I did lose information in the process. So I can go back and choose a color. So that's one way to choose a material. Another would be you can actually select a slot, whether it is active in the scene or not, and you could click the Get Material button, and either choose a new material or grab one from scene or from files. So I'll click Get Material here, and it takes me back to the Material/Map browser once again so I could choose a different material type if I desire.
Again, most of the time you'll be using Standard materials. If you get into lighting and shading with mental ray, you'll start looking at other fun stuff like Arch and Design materials, which are a little bit more advanced. But for now, we are going to stick with the Standard materials.
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