We launched a new IT training category! Check out the 140+ courses now.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using the Material/Map browser

From: 3ds Max 2011 New Features

Video: Using the Material/Map browser

The Slate Material Editor's Material/ Map Browser is the area in the editor where you choose the type of material or map you're wanting to use in building your skin. As you scroll up and down, you can see the way things are categorized. The material is positioned at the top, followed by the maps down below. The column can be widened to the right should you have a few longer names in the list. Be aware that the available choices and options listed in the Browser will differ all depending on the specific rendering engine you've set the scene up to render with.

Using the Material/Map browser

The Slate Material Editor's Material/ Map Browser is the area in the editor where you choose the type of material or map you're wanting to use in building your skin. As you scroll up and down, you can see the way things are categorized. The material is positioned at the top, followed by the maps down below. The column can be widened to the right should you have a few longer names in the list. Be aware that the available choices and options listed in the Browser will differ all depending on the specific rendering engine you've set the scene up to render with.

The Mental Ray Renderer offers a healthy handful of additional choices. Let's go ahead and switch away from the default Scanline Renderer, with which we are currently configured. We will close the Slate dialog. Then hit F10 to go to our Render setup. If we go down to the bottom of the list, we can open up the Assign Renderer, and then just to the right of Production, we will click on little icon with the three dots. From here we will choose mental ray Renderer, and we will say OK. Very good! We can close that out and we can then hit M to reopen the Slate Editor.

Now, as you can see, quite a few additional things have now hit the list. We have both the Arch & Design Shader, in addition to the new Autodesk Materials, which have basically replaced the original mental ray Pro Materials, which you might remember from the previous version of Max. The mental ray engine also gives us a slew of additional special mental ray maps. So we now have a much more robust material building tool set. Further down the list is another brand new addition in 2011, a terrific collection of over 1,200 pre-made, ready to use skins, called the Autodesk Material Library, which we're going to be looking at in more detail in an upcoming video.

So bottom line, we've got a lot of different materials and maps to work with. Now, the browser can also be easily converted into a floating window. You can do that by merely grabbing the title bar and dragging it onto the main Max interface. Getting it back to its original position is done by simply double-clicking back on the title bar. When not in use, it can also be hidden altogether using the toolbar, the Tools pull-down menu, or a keyboard shortcut, the letter O. There's also an X in the upper right-hand corner that you can click on to close it up.

The browser also has an extremely handy Search feature up at the top. Typing in the letter S for an example would list every material or map or map controller that starts with that letter. We will go up to where it says Search by Name and we will simply type S. And I will scroll down. We can see all the Ss that would be included in the browser. Now, you can also make your own custom group or category of materials and maps that you use most often. That would be done by going to the arrow to the left of where we just searched, and from the list choosing New Group.

Why don't we go ahead and name this My Materials and Maps? To add entries into the group, it's now simply a matter of dragging and dropping. We will choose the name from the list and then we will pull it up to our New Group name. So let's say for an example we want to add a Standard Material. Why don't we also do a Multi/Sub-Object? We'll get an Arch & Design in there. And why don't we also add a few maps. We will close the Materials. I will get the Standard Maps up.

Let's throw a Bitmap in. And we also use the Noise quite often. Let's go ahead and have that. Now, to make the group and its contents more recognizable, we can also change the background color of the tabs. For that, we will put our mouse on the name of the group and right-click. From here we will edit the group color and then we can change it to whatever we like. Anytime a custom group is no longer wanted, it can be easily removed from the Browser list by simply right-clicking on the group name and choosing Delete.

So here is how it works. When setting out to build a skin, you simply locate and drag your material type into the View window to the right. Centering an entry within the View workspace is done by either hitting the Z key on the keyboard or using one or more of the Zoom functions down in the lower right-hand corner of the interface. Now, once the Material type has been chosen and added to the Middle View window, it's just a matter of then wiring in the needed maps to construct the look of the skin.

So maybe for an example, we will add a Cellular Map to the Defuse channel. And we will place a Noise Map in on the Bump channel. Once we have done that, maybe a few more minor tweaks, and we are ready to go. So that's what's happening with the Material/Map Browser. Now in the next video, we'll look into making the most out of our material workspace. In other words, working with the View window just to the right.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 3ds Max 2011 New Features
3ds Max 2011 New Features

28 video lessons · 4646 viewers

Steve Nelle
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed 3ds Max 2011 New Features.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.