Photoshop and 3ds Max are used simultaneously on a lot of 3D modelling projects. Texturing a model can take repeated importing and exporting of image files. Textures often have several images for different texture layers, including alpha maps, diffuse maps and ambient maps. Photoshop is a natural choice for many artists because most tutorials on creating textures for your 3D models will call for the use of Photoshop. There are other uses for image files in 3D Studio, but all use the same method of importing.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Edit the image in your preferred image editing software. Using the export function to save your file to a different image file format will help reduce both file size and rendering time when it is used in 3ds Max. A JPG file is often used and can be compressed somewhat without losing any image integrity, preserving your image resolution. Working on your image in a program that uses layers can produce a very complicated multilayered image you might want to go back and tweak later. Therefore, it is easiest to save as a PSD file. If saving to a PSD file, be sure your top layer and any showing underlying layers are what you want to work with in 3ds Max.
Open 3ds Max and load the model(s) you are working with. In the case of texture images, open the materials library by clicking the button that looks like a checkered ball in the background, located on the toolbar at the top of the 3ds Max window. When you hover over the button it should indicate that it is the "Materials Editor." Select the square box to the right of the colour rectangle next to "Diffuse" and select Bitmap from the pop-up menu.
Locate your image file where it has been saved. When working on a 3ds Max Project, it is best to use the project's directories so you can copy the project without any missing files. When opening a PSD file you will have two radio buttons. Selecting Collapsed Layers will collapse your layer stack and use the composite image. If you select Individual Layer, you will see thumbnails of your layers along with subsequent layer names. You can select the layer you want to use from these and click "OK" to use that layer from your PSD file.
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