To manage an objects materials we should not be satisfied with the slots, they are just there to allow us to edit them.
A further step is necessary to use the material libraries.
A material library is a *.mat file, and in them we can record hundreds the materials.
That makes it possible to constitute reusable material libraries from other *.max files.
Click on the icon Get Material.
The window Material Browser appears.
By default max saves a material library, into a 3dsmax.mat in the Matlibs directory.
To create your own library, within the framework use Browse From and select Scene.
Only one material exists for the moment, it is the Colors material created previously.
Select Scene in the Browse From: Palette then Click Save As, to save our working Scenes Mat file with a name of your choice.
It is good practice to associate a library with a project so as not to confuse its use with the other *.max files.
Although we can still use these materials in any other scene.
Select the Mtl Library.
To charge your library Open your premade *Mat file.
Note that we can amalgamate several libraries with Merge.
Let us create another material in the slot on right-hand side.
Click on the square opposite Diffuse.
Material/Map Browser appears, click Checker. Here we will use the procedural texture of checker.
A procedural texture is a texture generated mathematically by max and avoids having to use a bitmap file for example.
Within the Coordinates framework, change Tiling (repetition of the image) to 10 for both U and V.
The checker now repeats 10 times on the object.
Go up a level in Material Editor, by clicking the Go to Parent icon.
This returns us to the top level of our material.
Within the Maps framework, the Channels Diffuses Color has the Checker texture assigned.
Name the material checker
It should be noted that the channels Diffuse Color is now also a material (a sub-material of the material checker), and we can name them as needed etc.
For the needs of legibility all the screen captures of textures are at Color Self-Illum 25%.
This is not needed for you own work.
To put this new material in our library, click on the Put to Library icon. Max requires a new name, but we can leave the name as is, namely checker
It is good practice to give explicit names to materials, this avoids confusion. We can then come back to a scene a few months later and remember what we were doing back then.
If you open the Material/Map Browser, you will see your new material there.
By changing the view as shown opposite (uncheck the Root Only option) we can see the tree structure of our materials.
The levels of tree structure can be very complex and Material/Map Browser makes it possible for them to be found quickly.
Return on Material Editor, select the "colors" slot material then click on the yellow Sub Material.
Make a drag and drop of the Checker material from the Material/Map Browser on the framework opposite to the Diffuse map like above.
That makes it possible to quickly copy a material to the Sub-Material of another slot.
Repeat the same operation on the other Sub Materials.
To move from one Sub Material to another, use the icon Go Forward.
Change the white color of each checker to the originals diffuse color.
Name each Sub-Material in the same way that you would a Standard Material.
It should be noted that we can add another name in the Name column.
We will now apply mapping coordinates to the object.
The mapping coordinates indicate to max how a bitmap texture or 2d procedural (in this case Checker) is projected on an object.
(a 3d procedural texture such as Noise do not need mapping coordinates because they are made from a calculation, a function in 3d space and are independent of the object itself).
By default an object does not have mapping coordinates, it is necessary to define how to cover an object.
In the case of a very simple object like a primitive Cube or Sphere, the standard projection of coordinates (also called mapping) covers the object perfectly.
In the case of a complex object such as we have here we need several projections of these coordinates.