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Basic Materials & Lighting

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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The Basic Materials

Now that we have lights, it is time to begin to look at how materials figure into this whole equation.

There are whole books dedicated to creating materials, and this book by Pete Draper is one of the best when it comes to really seeing how powerful the materials can get (Fig.20).

Fig. 20

However, it can be a bit much to handle if you don't have a firm understanding of the basics first.  Basically that's what I'm here for!

What we are going to work on here is the setup, concepts and implementation of how I believe you should go about creating your materials.

First off, a material is not a map and a map is not a material!

I'll explain as we go:

Go ahead and open the Material Editor (M on the keyboard) (Fig.21).

Fig. 21

So to sum up: a Material is made up of maps. Maps by themselves are nothing.  Please don't forget this!

Now on to our first Material!

First thing we are going to do is setup our base colour, this will be our Diffuse map. I want you to use this image (Fig.22).

Fig. 66
Fig. 22

(Right-click on the above image, Save Image As, and save it as "SlimyMetal_diffuse.jpg")

Note: this image and the ones to follow were found from this website:

Now I want you to load this image into your Diffuse channel. For those that might be unfamiliar with how to do this I will explain it once and then it is up to you to remember (Fig.23). If you are good on this point skip down to the next step.

  1. In the Material Editor open the Maps rollout under the first free Material slot
  2. Click None in the Diffuse channel
  3. Double Click on Bitmap to chose this as the map type (more on the different types of maps later)
  4. Load the SlimyMetal_diffuse.jpg

Fig. 23

You should now see this in your Material Editor (Fig.24).

Fig. 24

All we have to do now is assign the material to our object and we can continue.

With the proper Map loaded into our Material let's go ahead and assign it to our sphere.  Select the sphere in the scene and press the Assign Material to Selection button - it only highlights if you have something selected (Fig.25).

Fig. 25

Once we assign the Material we want to be able to see our map so we next tell Max to show the map in the viewport by pressing this button (Fig.26).

Fig. 26

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Rangana on Sun, 20 April 2014 5:13pm
Thank you very much for this tutorials I learned lots of thing from this tutorials. may god bless you
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