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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.
I've successfully applied a bitmap to the Diffuse Color Channel of this backdrop material. But let's say I wanted to go back and change some of the other properties like, for example, Specular or what have. You you'll notice that I'm currently kind of stuck inside the Bitmap parameters in the Material Editor. And I scroll up and down, and I'm looking for, for example, my Specular Highlights section, and it's not here, and the reason is we are down inside the material and what we need to do is we need to go back up to the top level of the material.
This can be done in a couple of different ways. The simplest way is to click the button here that says, Go to Parent. Now this is just another example of kind of unfortunate terminology. There is no real parent-child relationship going on here as you would see in linkage between two objects like bones in a character. That's parenting. This is not really parent, but it's a higher level in the material shader tree or the material hierarchy. So if I go up one level, now I'm back at the shader basic parameters, and I can do things like play around with the specularity.
If I want to go back down into those map parameters I can just click on the button here, or same button here which will maybe drill down into the Bitmap parameters, and there I can do things like, for example, choose a different bitmap. I could click here, and let's look at all formats. I can choose a different image and apply that. I am going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo that and go back to what I had, and there's another way that you can navigate through a material, and that's using the Material Map Navigator.
So it's a little button on the Material Editor, and it launches a little mini window that shows you the structure of your material, and you can use this to visualize the structure of the material, and also to navigate through it. Now there are more sophisticated ways of navigating a shader tree or material hierarchy. For example, you can use the Slate Editor to do that, but this is how you can do it in a simple compact Material Editor, so you don't get confused when you're stuck down here inside a bitmap. You can always go back up, or you can use the Material Map Navigator to go up and down through different levels.
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