Slate Material Editor

The Slate Material Editor is a material editor interface that uses nodes and wiring to graphically display the structure of materials while you design and edit them. It is an alternative to the Compact Material Editor.

In general, the Slate interface is more versatile when you are designing materials, while the Compact interface is more convenient when you just need to apply materials that have already been designed.

The Slate interface is a graphical interface with several elements. Most prominent are the Material/Map Browser, where you can browse for materials, maps, and base material and map types; the currently active View, where you can combine materials and maps; and the Parameter Editor, where you can change material and map settings.

1. Menu bar

2. Toolbar

3. Material/Map Browser

4. Status

5. Active View

6. View navigation

7. Parameter Editor

8. Navigator

The main visual elements of this interface are where you do most of your work.

Floating or Docking Slate Material Editor Windows

You can float Slate Material Editor windows, except for the View.

To float a window such as the Material/Map Browser, Navigator, or Parameter Editor:

To dock a floating window in its default location:

By default, each Preview window opens as a floating window. When you dock a preview window, it docks at the upper left of the Slate Material Editor dialog.

Custom Configuration Files

When you customize the Slate Material Editor interface, changes persist between sessions of 3ds Max. Material/Map Browser interface files have a MPL file name extension; for example, our_mental_ray_layout.mpl. Slate Material Editor layout is saved in the file docking.cfg. These files are saved in the application data folder; for example, \users\<username>\appdata\local\autodesk\3dsmax\2011 - 32bit\enu\sme\.

To reset the appearance of the Material/Map Browser, you also can open the Options menu and choose Additional Options Reset Material/Map Browser.

NoteThe rendering in a Preview window does not remain valid between sessions of 3ds Max, or when you open a new scene.


To view the Slate Material Editor: