The Physical Material has been around in 3ds Max for a couple of years now and is the material of choice to use with the various rendering engines that ship with 3ds Max. Yet when you create a Physical Material node in the Slate Material Editor, the parameters displayed default to a mode named Standard. It is a mode where Base Color and Reflections parameters are combined into a single group.
This was designed to simplify the process of material creation. However, this may be fine when you’re a beginner but very soon, you find yourself wanting more control. For that, you switch to Advanced mode where you separate Base Color from Reflections parameters.
Inevitably, you get to a point where this extra step gets really annoying, having to manually switch the option every time you create a new material.
It is actually quite simple to make the Advanced Mode state permanent; all you need to do is add a couple of short lines to the 3dsMax.ini file.
Use Windows Explorer to find the 3dsMax.ini. It is under your user name, under a hidden folder named AppData that you need to type in manually, following your user name.
From there, you need to navigate to navigate to Local > Autodesk > 3ds Max and the version of the software you are using, e.g. 2018 – 64bit
You’ll find the 3dsMax.ini file under the ENU folder, so the whole path may look something like this:
C:\Users\yassina\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2018 - 64bit\ENU
Open the 3dsMax.ini file in Notepad and browse to the bottom of it. Add two lines that read:
That’s it! Save your file and restart 3ds Max for the changes to take effect. From this point forward, any new Physical Material node you add to the Slate Material Editor will default to Advanced mode, where you have separate controls for Base Color and Reflections.
If you need to revert to the old default, you can either delete the two lines that you added, or set the DefaultMode value to 0. 0 reads the first item in the drop-down list (in this case Standard), and 1 reads the second item in the list (in this case Advanced).
You can also watch a video tutorial of this procedure using the following link.