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Using Materials  

You use the Material Editor to design materials and maps to control the appearance of object surfaces. Maps can also be used to control the appearance of environmental effects such as lighting, fog, and the background.


A variety of materials in the Material Editor's sample slots


House on left uses the default standard material.

House on right uses a compound material.

Basic Material Properties

You set basic material properties to control such surface characteristics as default color, shininess, and level of opacity. You can create realistic, single-color materials using just the basic properties.

Using Maps

You extend the realism of materials by applying maps to control surface properties such as texture, bumpiness, opacity, and reflection. Most of the basic properties can be enhanced with a map. Any image file, such as one you might create in a paint program, can be used as a map, or you can choose procedural maps that create patterns based on parameters you set.

The program also includes a raytrace material and map for creating accurate reflections and refraction.

Viewing Materials in the Scene

You can view the effect of materials on objects in a shaded viewport, but the display is just an approximation of the final effect. Render your scene to view materials accurately.

See Designing Materials.

source: Autodesk 3ds Max Help

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