Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Loading the Bitmap2Material node, part of 3ds Max: Substance to Arnold.
- [Brian] Assuming that we have installed the Substance for 3ds Max plugin as discussed in the previous chapter we are ready to make a start at using the Bitmap2Material 3 application right here inside of 3ds Max. With our start scene open then let's select the ground geometry, hit the M key to open up the Slate Material Editor and then jump into the empty ground tab that has already been setup in the scene for us. In the Material and Map Browser search field we can start to type the word substance and then drag a substance2 not substance node onto the work area.
We need one of these because Bitmap2Material 3 is, in reality, just a substance archive that has been setup to perform some very specific and very clever functions on the images that we feed into it. To be able to use those functions we will need to double-click on the substance node in order to load its options into the parameter editor. After that we can click on the big Load Substance button found in the substance package browser rollout. We will then need to navigate to our Bitmap2Material 3 installation directory which, in my case, can be found at D:\Program Files\Algorithmic\BitMap2Material and then from there we need to jump into the 3 and data folders where we should be able to see the Bitmap2Material_3-1.sbsar archive.
Now a quick tip that you might want to make note of in order to help save yourself some precious time is if I just right click on the parameter rollouts here and then opt to close them all up you will notice, if you have any experience using the Bitmap2Material standalone, that the configuration or order of the rollouts is a little bit different given that they are being sorted alphabetically here. Now we could, if we really wanted to, left-click to grab the handle of a rollout and drag it to a new location but, unfortunately, as soon as I close the material editor and re-open it again any changes that we made get undone and the rollouts automatically reset back to default.
Leaving things as they are then if we zoom in on the substance node in the editor window we can see on the left-hand side that we have a number of inputs although only the main input here is essential and on the right we have a number of outputs that, given their names, clearly can't be applied directly to a mesh in the scene which means that we will need to add a material to the mix. The obvious question is which one? Well whilst we could, as already noted, make use of 3ds Max's physical material or the third party shaders from Anders Langlands, the AL shaders, in this particular instance simply because I really am a firm believer in using as much of a render engine's native toolset as possible when teaching others I'm going to grab a new standard surface shader from the library and drop it onto the work area.
The only material tweak that I want to make right away here is to ensure that we aren't getting any reflections from this material because, given the use that we will be putting it to, we really don't need them. This can be easily achieved by setting the IOR value on the specular property to one. Now before we go ahead and connect things up here there are a couple of setup steps that we need to take which makes this as good a time as any to move on to our next exercise so as to see what those couple of steps might be.
- Why should we use substances?
- Choosing a substance workflow
- Using Bitmap2Material in 3ds Max
- Building up your material
- Working with substances and maps from the Designer application
- Using a substance with Arnold
- Improving your substance results
- Exporting your map types