Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the exercise files, part of 3ds Max: Advanced Materials (2017).
- [Instructor] Sample exercise files are provided with the course. If you have access to those, go ahead and download them and unzip to a convenient location such as on the desktop here. If you don't have the exercise files, you can still follow the course and create your own assets as you go. If you're on a mobile device or you just don't have 3ds Max in front of you, you can still learn by observation. Let's take a look at what's in the exercise files. First, under Render Output, under Examples, are some sample renderings that I've generated over the course of the demos.
Next in Scene Assets, there are a couple of interesting things. Under Images, there are a couple of abstract images and also an HDR environment file, and inside Examples are some files that we will either create or copy over the course, and I've placed them inside of Examples so that there's not an error message when you create or copy the files. Likewise, inside of Scene Assets there's also Substance Examples, and I've named it that way so again, that there will not be a name clash when you create a new folder here over the course of the demos.
And the Substance folder includes the default substance files provided with 3ds Max 2017. And if we go down inside there. These are just very small, and I placed them all inside my current scene assets in order to make sure that if the substance library changes in the future that my scene will not change. Scene Assets includes the dependent files for the scenes. Let's go into that folder and these of course are all the Max files, and there's usually one per movie.
Sometimes a movie will not have a Max file associated with it, and sometimes there will be two Max files. The one that has no special label is the begin state, and if it says finished example that's the end state. I'll scroll down a bit in the window to show you that there are a few that are prefaced with the word XREF, and these are models that are referenced into the other scenes, and I'll show you how to do that in the course. I used XREFs to save disc space, so that we weren't storing the same information over and over again in every scene.
Last there is a Maxstart.max, and that's just simply a default startup condition when you launch 3ds Max from this project. Okay, so let's look at projects now. You will either need to assign 3ds Max to the exercise files project, or you'll need to create one of your own. Let's create one. I'll close this window. Right-click on the desktop and choose new folder. I'll give that new folder a name, advanced materials project and press enter.
And now I'll go into 3ds Max, and let's check in on our current project. Up here on the caption bar, we can hover our mouse over the little folder, and it says that our current project folder is the default one, which is current user documents 3ds Max. Let's create a new project by clicking on that button, or by going into the application menu to manage, set project folder. Inside this dialog, we just wanna navigate to our desktop, advance materials project, and click okay.
And now all the sub-folders have been created. We can check that. Minimize 3ds Max. Inside Advance Materials, we can see that all those sub-folders have been created, and 3ds Max is now referencing this as the current project. If you have the exercise files, you'll want to point to this folder on the desktop. Once again, back to 3ds Max, and back into the menus to manage, set project folder, and just select the exercise files folder, and don't select any of the sub-folders.
Make sure you've selected the root, and click okay, and now if we go to the File Open menu, we should be taken directly to the current project scenes. And that's what's happened. We're at desktop exercise files scenes. Very good. That's how we set up exercise files and project folders for 3ds Max advanced materials.
- 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