Using Materials

Creating layered materials in Iray for 3ds Max

Materials in Iray for 3ds Max are integrated directly in the 3ds Max Slate and Compact Material Editors, with a large, high quality library of example materials to give you a reference point to create virtually any material. If you prefer to start from scratch, Iray+ base components give total freedom over building materials.

Material Structure in Iray

Material Structure in Iray

Iray in the Material Editor

Adding Layers & Import/Export of MDL in the material editor

When you use or create a new Iray+ material, you have the ability to add optional Decal, Coating or Surface Layers to the Base and Geometry layers. You add these in the Material Detail panel in any combination or number.

Moving Components within a materials structure

Each component can be moved up, down or deleted using the available Up, Down, Delete buttons.

To use MDL materials from other MDL enabled applications or to export Iray+ materials for use externally, see Importing and Exporting MDL.

In the Slate Material Editor, Iray+ Materials show each layer and its available map locations are shown as input sockets. As you add or remove layers the material node will update.

View more information on using the Slate Material Editors material nodes

Using an existing material

The quickest way to get started with materials in Iray for 3ds Max is by choosing an example from our supplied material library. You can then adapt this to your own requirements. For this example we will take a material from the example Iray+ Material Library.

  1. If the LwIrayPlusMaterials.mat library is not loaded in the 3ds Max Material Editor, click the dropdown arrow at the top of the Material/Map Browser and choose Open Material Library...
  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3dsMax2015\materiallibraries* and choose the LwIrayPlusMaterials.mat file
  2. Inside are several example materials to use and adapt.

Creating Materials

When creating a material from the ground up, you will use one of the Iray+ Material Components.


In this example we will work with an Iray+ Material component to create a complex multi-layered car paint.

An iray+ Material Example
  1. Create a simple studio environment and add a 10m³ object such as a ChamferBox
  2. Apply a UVW map modifier and set Box as the mapping type
  3. Open an ActiveShade window to view the changes to materials as you add layers
  4. In the 3ds Max Material Editor, choose Iray+ Material from the Material/Map Browser from Materials > Iray+ > Iray+ Material and apply this to the object you created. Select the following parameters to create the basis of the material:
    • Base
      • Base Preset: Matte
      • Colour: RGB 0, 35, 4
      • Roughness: 0.05
  5. To add some paint flakes, add a coating layer from Iray+ Material > Coating and apply the following parameters:
    • Coating Preset: Flakes
    • FlakeColour: RGB 124, 251, 0
    • FlakeRoughness: 0.2
    • Weight: 0.15
    • FlakeSize: 0.05
    • FlakeAmount: 0.5
    • FlakeBumpiness: 0.5
  6. For a second coating layer, add some finish to the material. Add a coating layer from Iray+ Material > Coating and apply the following parameters:
    • Coating Preset: ClearCoat (remove the Iray+ Perlin Noise map attached to the Normal parameter)
    • DiffuseColour: RGB 7, 10, 28
    • Roughness: 0.2
    • ReflectedColour: RGB 255, 255, 255
    • Exponent: 4.0
    • NormalReflectivity: 0.2
    • GrazingReflectivity: 1.0
    • UseIOR: Off
    • Weight: 1.0
  7. Now add a Surface layer from Iray+ Material > Surface and apply the RadialScratches2 preset. You should have a material similar to the illustration above.

See Also:

* If you are using 3ds Max 2014, navigate to: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3dsMax2014\materiallibraries or C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3dsMax2016\materiallibraries for 3ds Max 2016

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