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Understanding Multi Layer Shader in 3ds Max


Multi layer shader in 3ds max is similar to Anisotropic shader. It has two highlight controls. It is layered and also allow you to create complex highlights. It is good for highly polished materials and special effects.

How to set a material’s Shading type

  1. Under  Shader Basic Parameters rollout, open the shader drop-down list.
  2. Click the name of the shader type to Multilayer  to use for the active material.

Shader Basic parameters


Renders the material in wireframe mode. You can set the size of the wire in Extended Parameters.


Makes the material 2-sided. Applies the material to both sides of selected faces.

Face Map

Applies the material to the faces of the geometry. If the material is a mapped material, it requires no mapping coordinates. The map is automatically applied to each facet of the object.


Renders each face of a surface as if it were flat.


Multilayer  Basic Parameters

  • Ambient – Ambient color is a color in a shadow. The lock button to the right of the Ambient and Diffuse settings, when on (the default), forces them to use the same map.
  • Diffuse – Diffuse is the color in direct light. I.e the color of a material.


Specular Highlights Controls

  • Specular Highlights

 The First Specular Layer and Second Specular Layer groups have identical controls, which can have different settings.

Color – Controls the specular color of the highlight. It determines the highlight color on shiny surface.

Level – Level affects the intensity of specular highlights. If you increase the value ,highlights will get shinier.

Glossiness – It affects the size of the specular highlights. Default value of first layer is 10 and second layer is 25.

Orientation – It affects the orientation of the specular highlights. Default value is 0.

Highlight Graph – These two intersecting curves show the effect of adjusting the values of Level, Glossiness, and Anisotropy. As you decrease Glossiness, the curves grow wider; as you increase Specular Level, the curves grow taller. As you adjust Anisotropy, the white curve changes to show how wide or narrow the highlight is.




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