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.
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Real-World Mapping in 3ds Max is a technique for measuring textures
using their real-life dimensions.
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Some textures, by their very nature, are good candidates for
Real-World Mapping while others are not.
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Typically, only textures that are easy to measure in real-life make good
textures for use in Real-World Scale.
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Architectural materials like brick and ceramic tiles
make very good candidates.
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Not only can you measure them, but they typically come in standard
dimensions that are universally recognized.
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Other textures like grass, sand, and dirt have dimensions that are
more difficult to measure.
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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,
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When you use 3ds Max Design, the Real-World Mapping Scale is turned on
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In 3ds Max (Standard), Real-World Mapping is turned off by default.
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Either way, you can force Real-World Map scale on or off using
the "Use Real-World Texture Coordinates" option in the Preferences dialog.
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You can also force Real-World Map Scale on or off when you use
the Custom UI & Defaults Switcher.
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The Max schemes support traditional mapping (non-real-world) whereas
the DesignVIZ schemes are set to use Real-World Mapping.
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In this scene showing a kitchen space, let's see how we can map the floor
and part of the wall above the counter.
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Materials have been applied as placeholders.
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You want to use the same tile layout for both areas, but with different
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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).
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On the Floor Material, replace the yellow color with a bitmap.
In this case, you are using a 4x4 tile layout.
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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.
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Notice in this case that Real-World Scale is enabled,
but that the "Real-World" dimensions are set to only 1"x1".
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If each tile is 1'x1', the total layout has a side dimension of 4'x4'.
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By changing the width and height dimensions accordingly,
the display in the viewport now appears far more realistic.
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For the wall strip, you want this texture to be three times smaller.
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Using a different material, load the same bitmap in the Diffuse channel.
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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.
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The wall strip is an editable poly that went through various modifications
prior to its current shape, and has no mapping coordinates.
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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.
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This option should work in tandem with the Use Real-World Scale option
in the assigned material.
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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.
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You can also offset the placement of the tiles using real-world
dimensions to force a starting point.