Controller Nodes

In addition to materials and maps, the Material/Map Browser panel has entries for controllers, allowing you to animate materials.

Example of a controller node

NoteThe Create Controllers group in the Material/Map Browser doesn’t appear when you open a modal Browser from the Compact Material Editor or the Environment And Effects dialog.

To use a controller node, add it to the active View by dragging it from the Material/Map Browser. Then wire the controller to the material or map parameter that you want to animate. Although by default the Slate Material Editor doesn’t show “additional parameters that can’t be mapped, when you use controllers, you probably want to display these: see Show/Hide Slots.

The Slate Material Editor automatically adds controller nodes when you add certain map types. For example, when you wire a Bitmap to a material, a Bezier Float controller for the map Amount parameter also appears.

Controller node wired to a (nonmappable) scalar parameter

When you wire nodes, and the input socket you choose isn’t appropriate for the output being wired, 3ds Max displays the socket in red, and doesn’t complete the wiring. This can happen with maps as well, but it happens more often for controllers. In the illustration, for example, the controller generates a single scalar value, so you can’t use it to control a three-value setting such as a color.

Attempting to wire a 1-value output to a 3-value input

Animating Controller Values

Controllers provide a number of ways to animate the settings of a material or map. Most of these methods are standard 3ds Max techniques: