Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Layout and select commands, part of 3ds Max: Advanced Materials.
- [Instructor] Efficient workflows for the material editor graph or view should include some key commands for selecting and moving nodes around. The first thing we'll do is add something else into this view. I've got my Sample Slots with a concrete physical already there. I can drag that over into the view. Release the mouse, and I can choose Instance. Click OK. And now, I've got a view that's got stuff overlapping. And I can move nodes around, but it's kind of inconvenient for me to make sense of all of this.
Well luckily, there is a command, which will just lay out all of the nodes. And that's gonna be found on the toolbar for the material editor. Here it is, Lay Out All, and the default behavior is Vertical. You can click that button or you can use the keyboard shortcut, which is L. So, press L on the keyboard, and now our view is laid out so that each one of the shading networks is in a row. So they're stacked on top of each other. If we want to lay it out the other way, we just go back up here and click and hold on that button, and we get a flyout, and we can choose layout horizontal.
And that executes the command to layout horizontal, and it also changes the behavior of the tool for the next time we click the button or use the keyboard shortcut. And now, we see that each shading network is in a column, and they're stacked side-to-side now. Cool, so that's layout. Now, when we move things around, we want to have some control over what we're moving. Let me zoom in a little bit here with the wheel. And pan with the middle mouse. And, if I want to move this network around, one way I can do that is to enable Move Children, and then just select the top level material.
Move children is here. Click on it, or use the keyboard shortcut, which is alt + c. And either way, you're going to toggle the state of that feature. So now, when I click on the top level of the material here, and select it, and click and drag, I move all of its connected nodes. And that is hierarchical. If I select this Mix node here and move it, its children will move, but its parent here will not move.
Similar to Move Children, we have the ability to Select Children. And that allows us to perform operations, such as delete all of the connected nodes all at once. So, I can click on wood physical here, and then issue the command to Select Children. And there's a menu here, select Select Children, but the keyboard shortcut is much faster, and that is ctrl + c. So, be aware that ctrl + c, in the context of the Slate Material Editor, does not mean copy into the clipboard.
It means Select Children, ctrl + c. And now, all of those children are hard-selected. We can see that they've got outlines around them. And if I press the delete key on the keyboard, I delete all of those nodes, because they were all selected. Once again, I didn't delete the material in my scene. That one was actually assigned onto a sphere in a scene. If we open up Scene Materials, we can see that it's still there. Okay, and the last one I've got for you is Select Tree, which is a similar command.
It allows you to select all of the connected nodes, both children and parents. If I select, for example, this rough concrete RGB Multiply node and issue the command to select the tree, then we will select all of the nodes connected. Once again, the keyboard shortcut is just faster. It's ctrl + t. Just click on that node to make sure it's selected, and then use the keyboard shortcut ctrl + t. And all of the connected nodes are now selected.
Very cool. And we can delete that as well, because this concrete material is in a sample slot. So, I'll press delete. And, just to totally clear out my material editor, I can also close this Material Preview. Alright, those four layout and selection commands should speed your workflow in the material editor, because you'll spend a lot less time selecting individual nodes.
- 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