Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Layering and masking with a composite map, part of 3ds Max: Advanced Materials.
- [Instructor] The composite map is an indispensable tool that, as the name indicates, allows us to layer or composite multiple maps. And we can choose different blending modes and layer masks to achieve complicated effects. Unfortunately, in the current version of 3DS Max that I'm using, the composite map does not work with the ART renderer. And so I've switched back to the NVIDIA mental ray renderer. I'll just show you that in the render setup dialog.
I've chosen NVIDIA Mental Ray as my production renderer. And if I go into Global Illumination, I just want to show you one thing there. In the Global Illumination tab, I've enabled Indirect Diffused GI and disabled Final Gathering. This uses the next generation GI algorithm called GI Next and it's much better than the old file gathering. Alright, so we've got our production rendering setup. And, let's open up the material editor and I've got that set up as well.
I've got a couple of bitmaps Egg Ink and Egg Paint and also a color map, if I double click on that, you'll see it's just a flat color. And then here we've got our physical material for the egg. Double click that and there's nothing feeding into any of these map channels, nothing connected here. If you've hidden the material map browser, you can enable that from the Tools menu here. I've got it visible and opened up to Maps, General. And here's Composite, drag and drop that over.
And then connect it up to the base color of the physical material. With that physical material selected, we can also go into the Material Editor toolbar and enable Show Shaded Material in Viewport. And, now, we've got a red stripe on that indicating this one is being shown as shaded. And, it's turned black because we have nothing feeding into this composite map yet. Let's go ahead and make that connection. I'll drag the output of Egg Ink onto layer one of the composite map and now we're just passing that information through.
And we're not doing anything to it. Double click on the composite map so we can see its parameters. The only thing we can really do here now is dim the opacity down and it's going to head towards black because there's nothing below this layer in the composite map. Let's add another layer up here at the top you'll see it says Total Layers are equal to one. There's a little button here to add a new layer. The new layer is added on top of the old one. And it's shown physically above the old one in the Parameter Editor.
But over here in the Node Display, in the View, we can see that layer two is below layer one so there's a bit of a mismatch here. This is the top layer of our actual structure. And you notice then as I move my mouse around that actually updated. If this doesn't update for you, you can double click on another node and double click again and it should say Layer Two at the top here. Now, we're supposed to be able to drag and drop these layers around but again, in the current version of 3DS Max, I'm having issues with that.
So, I'm not going to attempt to change the order of the layers. I'm just going to make the connections over here as needed. Let's connect Egg Paint to Layer Two and now we see that the paint has overridden the ink, the color is now completely covering the egg and that's because layer two is on top here. And if we're not really clear on what top and bottom are in terms of our layer stack, of course, we can rename that layer. There's a button here and I can just call it Top and that way I know that this is gonna be the top layer.
And it's listed here as well. If I wanna change that order, then I would just flip flop these, just connect them up. Now we have Egg Ink as the top layer. Now let's have some fun with this. We can go over to that top layer and there's a pull down list that says Normal. That's where we can choose a blending mode, just like in Photoshop, we can choose Multiply. And now I've got an interesting effect here, where the white parts of the map are allowing the underlying bitmap to show through.
Or, we can do an add mode, which is also known as Linear Dodge. And now we're summing those two RGV values together. Let's also do a mask. Why don't we make the paint the top level? Let's do that. We'll switch it back and we'll make this blue color the bottom level, or Layer One and then use this as the mask for Layer Two. Now, I've got that connected up. So, we've got Layer Two is on top.
It's being masked off by this black and white bitmap and then, the color map is at the bottom, or Layer One. And once again, we can change the blending mode for Layer Two. Let's see what we can do. We can try Linear Burn. It's kind of interesting. Or we can just switch it out to Normal. And then, finally, I might want to reverse the color of the ink, in order to show more color on the surface.
Double click on that Egg Ink bitmap. Go into its Output and just enable Invert and now we've got a pretty interesting looking setup here in which we're using this black and white mask to cause this interesting color to appear on certain parts of the egg but the underlying parts are going to be a solid blue. Now, we can do our Draft Quality Production Render. Just make sure you have focus on the physical camera and then click Render Production.
And here's the end result, showing how we can layer various maps, combining them with blending modes and layer masks in the composite map.
- Streamlining material editor workflow
- Managing XREFs and materials
- Laying out a scene for material testing
- Using the Physical Material
- Controlling highlights with Roughness
- Directing reflections and refractions
- Simulating translucency and scattering
- Building a shading network
- Combining and color correcting maps
- Baking maps such as ambient occlusion
- Procedural mapping with Substance
- Using relief maps: bump, normal, and displacement