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3ds MAX: Tips And Trick For Texturing/Materials

Posted: June 29, 2010
1. To remove an assigned material from a mesh, drag the NONE material from the 'Material/Map Browser' via the 'Material Editor' on to your mesh, or use the UVW Remove utility in the utilities panel (click the 'more' button to open it).

2. To hide the materials in the viewport select 'Object Colour' in the Shaded section at the top of the display tab.

3. You can apply a single UnwrapUVW modifier to multiple meshes simultaneously to allow them all to be unwrapped onto the same texture map a lot easier.

4. If a material is assigned to anything in the scene, small triangles appear in the corners around the material slot in the material editor.

5. Material editor is not the list of all materials in the scene, here is how to list them: Material editor > get material > scene).

6. To display an assigned texture map in the viewport click the 'Show Map in Viewport' button (the blue/white checker cube) in the 'Material Editor'.

7. Click the eyedropper tool next to the material name then click on an object the viewport and it will copy the objects material to the selected sphere.

8. An easier to use alternative to the Morpher material is to create a multi-sub material with the different materials in it then use a Material modifier on the object and animate the material ID over time. This is particularly useful in Mental Ray as that doesnt support the Morpher material.

9. You can rotate the sphere (or custom shape) in the material editor slot by holding down MMB and dragging your mouse. (you can't rotate it if you enlarge the slot window though)

10. When unwrapping uv's using copy and paste is a HUGE time saver.

11. When unwrapping selecting certain chunks and use flatten mapping to get a head start. (instead of using flatten on everything)

12. You can drag and drop images/video right into the viewports from windows explorer to create a new material with that image/video in the diffuse slot. (just use the eyedropper tool to place it in the material editor) Additionally, when dropping images/videos to different polygon selections, max assigns material IDs as needed and with the eyedropper you get a Multi/Sub-Object material.

13. Saving your uvs in .eps format will allow you to work with them as vector lines in Adobe Illustrator and wont decrease in quality as you zoom in.

14. The 'Render Map' option (right-click a sample sphere whilst in the diffuse/bump/spec slot .etc in the material editor) is great to create bitmaps using all the procedural maps, compositors, etc, available in max.
Even better, you can render animated maps to video files.

15. To unwrap in about 45sec do the following:
Select the head. Add Relax + Spherify modifiers. Crank up the relax iterations. Add an Unwrap UVW on top. Perform a cylindrical mapping (make sure the seam is at the back of the head). Delete both Relax and Spherify modifiers.
Et voilą! Now you have a pretty decent base to work from Smile

16. A Gradient Ramp can do pretty much everything a Mix map does, PLUS a lot more!
Add more flags as needed.
Right-click the flags to access their properties and add your maps there.
Set the Interpolation to Custom to edit that property independently for each flag.
Set the Gradient Type to Mapped and add your mask in the Source Map slotted.
And last but not least, Gradient Ramp has a nice set of Noise settings.