Time for another quicktip that recently surprised me people don’t know about. Today’s quicktip is around applying images to a scene object in the fastest way possible. The following workflow is a procedure I have utilised for many years, and has saved me a ridiculous amount of time over the years.
As with all workflows, the simpler the better, and this tip couldn’t be any simpler….
1. With an object created in your scene. (This shouldn’t have a material applied.)
2. Open Windows Explorer (Windows Icon +E keyboard shortcut) and navigate to a bitmap.
3. Drag the bitmap from the Explorer window directly onto the selected object within the viewport. (The cursor will change to show a ‘+’ icon.)
4. This will now create a ‘Standard’ material with the bitmap as it’s diffuse input, and display within the viewport.
5. We can take this workflow further by applying an ‘Edit Mesh’ modifier or converting to an ‘Editable Mesh’ From here select one of the sub-object faces.
6. Re-perform the drag procedure from step 3, and you will see that a new multi-sub material is created with the various bitmaps as inputs. Impressively, when using the Slate editor, this creates a multi-sub material with the correct number of inputs.
This workflow is exceptional for quickly trying out different diffuse textures without worrying about extra steps introduced through various selection dialogue boxes.
Don’t forget that you can quickly swop a ‘Standard’ material for another material type by selecting the material node, and right-clicking. From here choose ‘Change Material/Map Type’ then reconnect the input sockets for the diffuse.
This really is a 3ds Max hidden gem, and remains one of the main reasons for wanting to share these 100 tips.