3D Artist

7 texturing tricks in 3ds Max

Tips & Tutorials
Steve Holmes

Learn how to succeed at texturing in 3ds Max with this guide

7 texturing tricks in 3ds Max

Our experts

José Alves da Silva, Marek Denko, Pawel Podwojewski, Reinier Reynhout, Sérgio Mereces, BBB3viz

01 – Align UVs When you are creating a model that needs to have patterns applied, especially in clothes, your UV borders need to be perfectly aligned. In the Unwrap UVW modifier, start by using the Relax Tool to unfold the UVs. Choose the border edges and under Quick Transform pick Align Horizontally/Vertically to make them straight. To make several edge loops aligned and parallel, keep pushing the Align Button and another Align option will appear (Align Horizontally/Vertically in Place). This will align each edge loop individually. Then use the Relax tool again with the Keep Boundaries Points Fixed option enabled. You’ll get straight edges and well-proportioned interior faces. José Alves da Silva

02 – Tweak the UVs When you have UV distortions it doesn’t feel very instinctive to fix them inside the Unwrap UVW modifier. However, in the Graphite tools under Modeling you will find a Tweak button. When the Tweak setting is active you can move the UV’s position locally by painting on the mesh, pushing the texture to the exact place with real-time feedback on the Viewport. José Alves da Silva

03 – Use handy Maxscripts I would recommend an awesome pack called Soulburnscripts written by Neil Blevins (www.neilblevins.com). Among others, I mainly use VRay Material Control by Oliver Radford, Advanced Painter by Herman Saksono, and Relink Bitmaps by Colin Senner. For more specific scripts, check out the website www.scriptspot.com. Marek Denko

04 – Perfect reflections require a good environment If you are looking for a very good glass shader, the answer is pretty simple no matter which rendering engine you are using. The key to such effect is the environment. Glass in 3ds Max will look good only if there are elements that can be reflected. It is a very good practice to reflect objects that cannot be viewed in the actual frame. This way, we are practically extending our scene and make the viewer think there is much more to see. Pawel Podwojewski

05 – Buy a DSLR and look at the real world It opened up a whole new skill set: you can look at light, textures and materials realistically. Also, once you understand your camera you’ll understand your 3D camera better. I never learned more than by buying my DSLR. You can even build up your own texture library and HDRIs in the process. Reinier Reynhout

06 – Texturing large areas For 3D visualisation and to texture large areas, such as terrain and buildings, I often use the Bake To Texture option to add as much detail as I can. This method guarantees the best and most realistic results from the materials. Sérgio Merêces

07 – Use procedural maps In arch-vis, you will often need to cover large areas with the same texture (think gravel, plaster or concrete), but even good, seamless textures will show tiling when repeated. To counter that, make a copy of your bitmap in the Material Editor, offset it in both axes by a random value, and plug these two bitmaps in a Composite or Mix map. Then take a Noise map with fractals on and use the RGB curve to clamp it to just black and white (it will look like a cow hide). Now you can use this Noise map as a mask to mix your two bitmaps, introducing chaos in the tiling – though you’ll need a high value for the scale of the Noise. This will only work for relatively uniform textures, not for those with repetitive patterns, such as bricks, planks or tiles. BBB3viz