Customize The Material Editor in 3DS Max

Let’s make the preview pretty!

I think the default material preview looks really ugly in 3ds max and it doesn’t give you a realistic render to what I would render out. So why not just change it to something that looks a lot nicer. I am using some vray stuff in the file you can download so if you don’t have vray just change the rectangle vray light and the dome light.

How to

Just download the files and place it somewhere on your harddrive. Open up the custom obj file and give the vray dome an hdri image then just save the file.

In the options -> options.. just select the custom background in the “custom background” section. And last but not least, in the Custom sample object place your custom obj file and check the checkbox.

The background PSD includes some different patters such as checker (large and small), stripes (large and small) and diagonal stripes (large and small).

Links & Downloads

Comments 15

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  1. Its seams there is no sample type button in slate material editor so i need to work around and change between state and compact material editor to make HDRI to work. Small inconvenience but still annoying.

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      Yeah I know, that sucks. I haven’t found a way for it to work without switching, don’t think there is a way…

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  2. Hi Johannes,

    Thanks for making the tut, its something i was looking for. im a bit of a noob so im a little confused.
    I managed to get the HDRI working in your scene but im not sure what next. i have a few questions that perhaps you can help me with

    1 is it possible to set it up so that when i get new material etc. brings it into your material slot , when i do it now i lose the lighting set up and it just uses a standard one
    2 can i make this my default material editor and have it that when i open up existing files the materials show up like this.
    3 how do i get the hdri to show up black and white.

    sorry the questions are a bit dumb i know!

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      Let’s see if I can answer these for ya,

      If you have done everything correctly you just need to click on the little icon checker box “background” and set the sample type to custom (? icon). Then toggle the custom background toggle in Options.
      But I don’t think you can set these to be default, unless with scripting.

      If you don’t want the grey and white checkerboard image as a background you can just change that in options were it says “custom background”. Making this black and white I think you would need to take that in to Photoshop or whatever image program and make it greyscale there and save it out.

  3. Great tutorial . Thanks
    I need some help maybe you could give some advise.
    why is my materials in vray preview slots looks like shit. Like splashed 2d images. i spend hours trying to figure it out but with no results.
    ps. This was happening and before your tutorial…


    Thanks in advace

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      And you uploaded everything like was said in the tutorial?
      You also have some weird Reflectance avg max text stuff there. Do you have a plugin that might be messing things up?

  4. First, thank you for the great tutorial! I would love to download your links but it seems those are expired somehow. Would you mind uploading those to DB again? Very much appreciate it-

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