Posted by Eddie Perlberg, 20 April 2010 12:00 am
One of the most compelling new features to 3dsmax and 3ds max Design is the Slate Material Editor. If your running into this for the first time and are totally confused by it, don’t panic, you can always flip back to the Classic Editor or the “Compact Material Editor”. In fact, I’ve been creating my materials in Compact mode and then refining in Slate mode.
For as long as I can remember, the material button on the Main toolbar has opened the “Material Editor”. The first time I used it to open the material editor I got the Slate editor. While I had been exposed to it in all of our development meetings, I totally panicked and couldn’t remember how to access the other mode. Closed it and tried to use the “M” button to bring it up. The “M” key will now bring back whichever mode you left the material editor. Only after a deep breath, did I remember how to flip from one mode to another. So if you get nothing out of this entry, remember how to flip your Material Editor Modes.
Main Toolbar Material Editor Flyout.
From the Main tool bar, pick and hold the Material Editor button to access the 2 mode options.
The “Classic” or Compact Mode has the mini Material editor.
The Slate Material editor shows a bar moving to another bar.
I can also flip from one mode to another from inside the Material Editor. By accessing the Modes drop down menu, I select the desired mode.
Better now? Good. Ready for more?
Now, that we know there’s a map back to a safe haven; let’s take a quick view of what is this Slate Material Editor. The Slate Material Editor (Slate) is a “Node Based” editor. Rather than drilling through dialog box to dialog box, jumping through Parents and Children, all of which was a great source of frustration to new users, we now see each component of a material as a separate module that gets connected to slots.
Immediately, you can see how easy it is to identify the components being used to create the Concrete material I’ve started.
1. Menu bar
3. Material/Map Browser
5. Active View
6. View navigation
7. Parameter Editor
We will spend many posts here to help you become a “SM” (Slate Master), but for now baby steps. I have found that creating materials in the Compact Material Editor and tweaking in the Slate Editor is a good productivity strategy. However you approach the new capabilities, the first element to understand is the Material Map Browser.
Material map Browser
Alright, by now you should be feeling a little better. See, it’s all here.
Lets Try it.
Look like this?
You now have access to all of the Noise Parameters.
So that’s it in a simple scope. Can you do more? ABSOLUTELY! We’ll take a deeper dive as time goes on. But for now, I hope you feel a little bit more comfortable in the new Slate Editor. ‘Til then.
PDF is Here.
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