How to Add More Materials in 3D Studio Max

Written by larry simmons
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How to Add More Materials in 3D Studio Max
Create realistic 3d images using materials added to 3D Studio Max. (Penguin image by Sergey Tokarev from

3D Studio Max by Autodesk is an advanced 3D modelling and animation toolset that allows you to create complete 3-dimensional worlds with quality rivalling that of game and movie production firms. A large part of the quality attainable using the program is due to 3D Studio Max's material library. The material library allows you to skin any object created in the program with a scan of any material object, from stones to fur. The toolset comes with hundreds of materials included, but gives you the ability to add to them by adding additional libraries.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 3D Studio Max
  • Materials library

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  1. 1

    Obtain a new materials library either by purchasing it on a CD or by downloading it from the Internet. Material libraries can be had free of cost from several online sources, included in the resources section. Place the CD containing the library into your CD-Drive or download the library to an easily opened hard-drive location such as your my Documents folder.

  2. 2

    Move the material library file to the 3D Studio Max library location located in your MAX's installed path. (ie. D:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2009\material libraries).

  3. 3

    Start the 3D Studio Max application.

  4. 4

    Open the Material Editor in 3D Studio Max. From the main menu access the Rendering menu and choose "Material Editor." Click the "Ger Material" button on the horizontal toolbox to access the Material/Map Browser.

  5. 5

    Select the "Mtl Library" option in the section marked Browse From and click the "Open" button to access a file browser window. Navigate to the material library directory and then choose the library from which you wish to add a material. Material libraries all end with the .MAT extension. The chosen library then loads into the Material/Map Browser.

  6. 6

    After adding new materials, you can select them for use like any of the default materials. Select a material to add to your 3D scene by browsing through the new materials available in the Material/Map Browser material. Highlight the material to select it for use.

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