View Full Version : Texturing Setting Up 3dsMAX To See Your Textures Properly

2010-06-29, 09:52
Fear not ye avid skinners! Help is at hand in the form of a Viewport Shader :shock:

One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to skinning is trying to look at how your colour changes in Photoshop affect the model in max. There is nothing worse than having to wait a few mins to render your item at some sort of high quality image just so you can see if the screw you've just done is in the wrong place or not. This alternative is not only quicker, but more effective as it uses a DirectX shader, so is more accurate in showing how it will look in game.

Here is Motherdear's model with a simple material under Max's normal settings. I've literally made a change to the wheels of this vehicle, but can only see about as much as a Urugyan Referee during an England vs Germany football match. I.E sweet F.A.


Lets make some changes then. First I want to change max so it displays in its highest display settings possible. To achieve this, right click on the name of the viewport which i located in the top left of said viewport. For example, in the top left of the perspective viewport in gray it says perspective. Give that fella a right click.

Woah whats this!?!? A menu? Scroll that fella down to where it says configure.


We have now gained access to the viewport configuration panel. You need to acess the lighting and shadows tab. You then need to tell max to use the highest settings possible. (Best)


Lets go back to our model. not bad, it has improved. but max's lighting settings are the worst, so we are going to manually place some light in there.

Select omni lights. If your using max 2009 and cannot find them, you need to change from photometric to standard and select it from there. Cheers Autodesk that was a useless addition.


Place three lights down on your scene. Don't bother changing their settings there is not point, default settings are more than enough.


Your image should now be good enough for you to have a good look around at any changes you make. Simples hey?

Getting your model DIRECTX10IFIED

So we can now see our model pretty well now. We are feeling fairly good about things, but what if we want to see how it reacts in a game environment? you know, lights, shadows and shizz. this step is only really required when you have some form of bump map and spec map on the go, and want to see whether they work or not.

To achieve this we need to get a viewport shader.

Go to this URL and download Doylle's viewport shader (max 2009 fixed, not Xolis one!):

3dsMax Viewport Shader - Game Artist Forums (http://www.game-artist.net/forums/support-tech-discussion/5422-3dsmax-viewport-shader.html)

Save that bad boy and extract it into a folder you will remember. Now head back into max.
load up the material editor, and create a new material.

Instead of setting up your diffuse and bump maps, hit the standard button, and then chose DirectX shader.


We then click on the default 3ds max shader, then look around until we find doylles one we downloaded earlier (maxviewport1_1.fx or something). Add this material to your model.

Now before you start typing an angry post about how I've ruined your model and you cant see a thing, just relax. We havent told the shader what maps to use, or where our lighting is. Just breathe.

Firstly we need to tell the shader which three lights we want to use to light our model. To achieve this we select the three lights we placed earlier. We then need to ensure that the shader knows we are using 3 lights so make sure Active lights is set to 3 not 1.


After this, we need to tell it which maps to use. As it's a directx shader it only uses maps that it can read, so Jpeg's, .dds etc etc. Ensure you tick the tick box to activate that map, then click on the none button and find your map. Do this for your spec and Normal (bump) maps too.


Play around with the lights and watch your model go! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Lets Render this badboy!

Your model looks absolutly stunning. Your model is within Rhino's poly limits, the Uv's are perfect and you've got a spec bump and diffuse that could even make Stigger cower to your artistic genius. You press F9 when suddenly, you get this:


DirectX 10 shaders do not like being rendered with max's default settings. What we have to do here is create a standard max shader. go to the material, click on a new material. Add the diffuse, spec and bump, then press render again.


Wow it looks so...... average. Max's rendereing settings are not made for showing off your models, so we need to set up our scene for rendering.

First things first, lets add a Skylight. This bad boy will light up the whole of your model, however it does not affect the specular level or bump level of your model.


Go to your three omni lights now. Go to the modify tab, and lower two of them down to 0.4, and one down to 0.3. If we dont lower the values of these omni's down, we get a funny looking shiny object!


Now we have to get max to get some settings in for a draught render. Download these render presets and place them somewhere you will remember:


Press F10 to go to the rendering option, go down to the bottom and click on load preset. Load the Draught Render preset and it should have all the settings imported in. Presets are a bit like STDS, you can't see them working, but they are definitely making some changes under the hood.


Get your camera into a decent angle, I.e top left, bottom right, and then press render.


Make any changes to the lighting. Move them around, decrease the intensity of the omni's or skylights, change the models position etc etc. When you finally have a good looking view, load up the good render preset, go watch some tv, come back, and profit.

With any luck, you should be able to produce images like these:




2010-06-29, 10:26
Finished the tut asked by a mate on Xfire. any questions just post. All the models I used are heavily WIP, so dont crit on them, or I kill you.

It would really help me if you could place any renders you do in here, so i can see if I need to change the tut anywhere.

You are also more than welcome to re-distribute the render settings or change them how you see fit. have fun!

2010-06-29, 15:05
i can see that you have been using doylles shader. excellent one. although it has been modified later and has been tremendously improve by xoliul, so i would advice that you begin using that one matrox :D
Viewportshader | Laurens Corijn (http://www.laurenscorijn.com/viewportshader)
it is based on the shader written by doylle, but xoliul got permission to develop it further. and quite a few things have improved.

2010-06-29, 20:34
Anyone know where the VP lights and shadows config is in max9?

2010-06-30, 03:51
Guys this is a tutorial topic and any replies to it should be about the tutorial, not the featured vehicles/weapons in the tutorial. Next person to do so will get a infarction.

If you have questions about the vehicles/weapons in this tut I suggest you read this blog post and post them in there: Some WIP's - Project Reality Forums (https://www.realitymod.com/forum/blogs/3504/b211-some-wips.html)

Please keep on topic, thanks.

2010-07-06, 11:37
Anyone know where the VP lights and shadows config is in max9?

Wondering the same here.

2010-08-12, 17:14
And here.

2010-08-12, 17:30
Brrr Might just get max 2008/9 and get Xoliul's shader.

2010-12-20, 23:31
nice tut ty