Create shader nodes and connections in the Slate Material Editor.
- [Instructor] The Slate Material Editor is a node-based interface for designing and editing shading networks or material shader trees. Before you open up the Material Editor, you should choose the active renderer because what you see in the Material Editor will depend upon the active renderer. So let's go into Render Setup, and previously in the course, we setup the ActiveShade mode. Let's also setup Production Rendering mode, and that will affect the Material Editor.
Set the Renderer to Arnold, and in the System tab, we have the option to enable Legacy 3ds Max Map Support. And if you enable this, then you will get access to all of the so-called Legacy Maps, especially procedural maps, such as smoke and so on. So turn that on, and then they will appear in the Material Editor, but this says that, in certain rare cases, there may be stability problems with ActiveShade.
So that's just a caveat, be aware. You shouldn't be using ActiveShade if you're manipulating parameters on an old map like smoke. Also down here, I don't want to use all the threads, so I'm going to turn off Auto-Detect and set my number of threads to minus one. So even during a production render, I'll have one thread available. Okay, so now I've setup my Arnold processing options. I can close the Render Setup dialog, and open up the Material Editor from its button on the main toolbar or press the keyboard shortcut, which is m.
The Slate Material Editor has an older cousin, which is called a Compact Material Editor, and I don't recommend that because you can't see a graph of the network, but it's here in the Modes menu if you want to switch back to the old school Material Editor. I'm going to stick with the Slate Material Editor for this course. Slate is made out of four windows. The main window includes the title bar, the menu bar, the toolbar, and one or more of these view panels, which show graphs of the shading networks.
On the left is the Material/Map Browser. That's another panel separate from the main Slate window. In fact, I can click and drag and drop that off and make it float separately if I want. I can dock it back to Slate by dragging it over there and then dropping it onto one of these arrows, put it back over there on the left. On the right, we have two windows, the Navigator, which just shows us an overview of where we are in the graph, so the view panel here is represented by the red line in the Navigator.
And if I nagivate around with the middle mouse button, we can see how that window is changing or I can zoom out with the mouse wheel or zoom back in. I can set the zoom amount down here to exactly 100%. I don't ever use the Navigator, so I'm going to hide it. Just click the little x button, and it goes away. If you want to get it back, you can find it in the Tools menu here. Double click on a node in the view or graph to load its parameters into the Parameter Editor.
To assign a material to objects, you can simply drag from the material output node onto an object. Let's make a new material, and we'll see how that works. I'll drag a material out from the Material/Map Browser. Under Materials, General, Physical Material, drag that over, double click it to load its parameters, and let's rename it File Cabinet. Change its parameters. Go over to its base color.
Click in that swatch, and just change it to, maybe, a blue or a sea green. Click OK. Also, we want to give it some roughness. Right now it's going to be a perfect mirror reflection. Set the roughness to 0.5. We can drag from the output of the File Cabinet node onto an object in the scene, and that material is assigned. But these objects are all in groups, actually, so I can speed the process.
Select any one of those objects and all members of the group are selected. And then if I do that same thing, drag from the output to the group, then I get a little Assign Material popup dialog. Do I want to assign to just the object that was under my cursor or to the whole selection? I want to assign to the whole selection, so click OK. And now that whole cabinet has that material assigned, or I can use a button on the main toolbar. So let's select all of these cabinets.
Hold down Control and just select everything. And then select the node in the view and finally click the Assign Material to Selection button. And now all those objects have that material assigned. All right, we've gotten started with the Slate Material Editor.
AuthorAaron F. Ross
Learn how to get around the 3ds Max interface and customize it to suit your preferences. Discover how to model different objects using splines, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and freeform sculpting. Then, learn to construct hierarchies, add cameras and lights, and animate with keyframes. Author Aaron F. Ross also takes an in-depth look at materials and texture mapping, as well as options for rendering engines such as Arnold and ART.
- Customizing the interface
- Selecting, duplicating, and editing objects
- Modeling with splines
- Parametric modeling with the Modifier Stack
- Polygon and subdivision surface modeling
- Freeform sculpting
- Framing shots with cameras
- Lighting with photometrics and daylight
- Building materials
- Mapping textures
- Linking objects in hierarchies
- Creating and editing keyframes
- Rendering an image sequence
Skill Level Intermediate
3ds Max 2017: Advanced Materialswith Aaron F. Ross2h 34m Intermediate
3ds Max 2018 Essential Trainingwith Aaron F. Ross10h 10m Beginner
2. 3ds Max Interface
3. Scene Layout
4. Spline Modeling
5. Parametric Modeling with Modifiers
6. Polygon Modeling
7. Subdivision Surface Modeling
8. Freeform Modeling
9. Camera Techniques
12. Mapping Textures
14. Keyframe Animation
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