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Introduction to 3ds max Shaders - Animation Tutorial


3ds Max is one of the exciting package in CG industry today. It is used in Movies , Games , Architecture , Defense Systems and also in medical Science.

What is Shader ?

A Shader is a function that calculates the effects of light on a Map/Material. If you apply polished wood texture to a floor, It should look like a Polished Wood when you add a light in your scene.

Difference between Shader, Material and Maps.               

Shaders – A Shader is a function that calculates the effects of light on a Map/Material.

Materials - A material describes how an object transmits or reflects light.

Maps – The image you assign to material is called maps.

Press M to open Material Editor window.

You will get Shaders in the drop down list under Shader Basic Parameters in a Material editor.


3ds max shaders

Types of  3ds Max Shaders

There are total six shaders in 3ds Max.

1)      Blinn

2)      Metal

3)      Anisiotropic

4)      Strauss

5)      Oren-Nayar-Blinn

6)      Multi – layer

  • Blinn – Blinn is the default for Standard materials. Highlights are circular and adjacent faces are smooth. It includes color swatches for setting Ambient, Diffuse, Specular and Self Illumination colors
  • Metal – As the name suggest it is used to create metal surface. It generates its own specular. It creates rounder specular at the top and there is no soften value.
  • Anisotropic – This is a very useful shader for a variety of real-world objects, such as hair, glass, or brushed metal. Highlights are seen from two perpendicular directions.
  • Strauss – It is another alternative to create metallic surfaces. It allows you to modify specular highlights but does not quite look like metal surface.
  • Oren-Nayar-Blinn – This 3ds max shader  is a more advanced version of the standard Blinn shader. This shader is used to create matte surfaces like Fabric/cloth.
  • Multi-Layer – It is similar to Anisotropic Shader. It has two set of specular highlights.

Shaders in 3ds max have many more options than are listed here, but this introduction should be sufficient to help most casual users and beginners get up and running. I hope this article helped you out. Thanks for reading.

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