Materials and Mapping in 3ds Max - Real World Mapping Scale

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  • Design Visualization
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Texture Baking
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  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Beginner
4 min

Materials and Mapping in 3ds Max - Real World Mapping Scale

In this tutorial, you are introduced to a 3ds Max technique used to measure textures using their real-life dimensions. This simplifies the mapping process in 3ds Max a great deal. However, this technique works mostly well on objects that you can measure like bricks or ceramic tiles, but much less on surfaces like grass or dirt.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2010
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2010 or higher.


00:00:00 --> 00:00:05
Real-World Mapping in 3ds Max is a technique for measuring textures
using their real-life dimensions.

00:00:05 --> 00:00:10
Some textures, by their very nature, are good candidates for
Real-World Mapping while others are not.

00:00:10 --> 00:00:15
Typically, only textures that are easy to measure in real-life make good
textures for use in Real-World Scale.

00:00:16 --> 00:00:19
Architectural materials like brick and ceramic tiles
make very good candidates.

00:00:19 --> 00:00:24
Not only can you measure them, but they typically come in standard
dimensions that are universally recognized.

00:00:25 --> 00:00:29
Other textures like grass, sand, and dirt have dimensions that are
more difficult to measure.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:38
Ironically this makes them easier to use, since a surface of gravel
that is "out-of-scale" is not as noticeable as an oversized brick,
for example.

00:00:48 --> 00:00:52
When you use 3ds Max Design, the Real-World Mapping Scale is turned on
by default.

00:00:53 --> 00:00:58
In 3ds Max (Standard), Real-World Mapping is turned off by default.

00:00:59 --> 00:01:08
Either way, you can force Real-World Map scale on or off using
the "Use Real-World Texture Coordinates" option in the Preferences dialog.

00:01:12 --> 00:01:18
You can also force Real-World Map Scale on or off when you use
the Custom UI & Defaults Switcher.

00:01:19 --> 00:01:31
The Max schemes support traditional mapping (non-real-world) whereas
the DesignVIZ schemes are set to use Real-World Mapping.

00:01:38 --> 00:01:43
In this scene showing a kitchen space, let's see how we can map the floor
and part of the wall above the counter.

00:01:45 --> 00:01:47
Materials have been applied as placeholders.

00:01:50 --> 00:01:54
You want to use the same tile layout for both areas, but with different
mapping values.

00:01:55 --> 00:02:04
For the floor, you want to use tiles that are 1'x1' (30x30 cm),
but on the walls you want them three times smaller (4"x4" or 10x10 cm).

00:02:04 --> 00:02:12
On the Floor Material, replace the yellow color with a bitmap.
In this case, you are using a 4x4 tile layout.

00:02:17 --> 00:02:22
After you enable Show Map in Viewport, notice what happens.

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The floor looks more like a carpet than a ceramic floor.
The mapping is much too small.

00:02:26 --> 00:02:32
Notice in this case that Real-World Scale is enabled,
but that the "Real-World" dimensions are set to only 1"x1".

00:02:32 --> 00:02:38
If each tile is 1'x1', the total layout has a side dimension of 4'x4'.

00:02:39 --> 00:02:45
By changing the width and height dimensions accordingly,
the display in the viewport now appears far more realistic.

00:02:45 --> 00:02:49
For the wall strip, you want this texture to be three times smaller.

00:02:51 --> 00:02:55
Using a different material, load the same bitmap in the Diffuse channel.

00:02:57 --> 00:03:01
Notice that even with Show Map in Viewport active, you cannot see
the bitmap on the object.

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This happens when the object has no mapping coordinates.

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Earlier and because of the nature of the Floor object, Mapping Coordinates
in Real-World Scale mode were automatically generated.

00:03:10 --> 00:03:16
The wall strip is an editable poly that went through various modifications
prior to its current shape, and has no mapping coordinates.

00:03:16 --> 00:03:24
After you apply a UVW Map modifier to the object and set it to Box mode,
notice how the Real-World Map Size option is enabled by default.

00:03:24 --> 00:03:29
This option should work in tandem with the Use Real-World Scale option
in the assigned material.

00:03:29 --> 00:03:37
After you change the "Real-World" size of the bitmap to 16"x16"
(four tiles of 4"x4"), the ceramics on the wall appear as they should.

00:03:41 --> 00:03:46
You can also offset the placement of the tiles using real-world
dimensions to force a starting point.
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  • 3ds Max
  • 2011
  • Basics
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