Maps provide images, patterns, color adjustments, and other effects you can apply to the visual/optical components of a material. Without maps, material design in 3ds Max Design is limited. Maps give the Material Editor its full flexibility, and can give you dramatic results.
Spheres with various maps applied to them (as well as a reflection map applied to the surface beneath them)
Building with default materials
Node for a single, Standard material
Planks bitmap for the wall texture
A Bitmap node added to the active View
Dragging from the output socket of the Bitmap node creates a wire.
Dropping the wire on the Diffuse Color input socket applies that map to the material’s diffuse color component.
(The Slate Material Editor also adds a Controller node for the map’s Amount value.)
Texture applied to the walls, but not aligned properly
Texture map aligned to fit the geometry
Bitmap for adding bumps to the plank material
(This is simply the same image saved as black-and-white.)
Bump map added to the material tree
Building with both texture and bump mapping applied to the walls
Use the Parameter Editor at the right of the window to increase the Bump amount.
Bump Amount increased to make the walls appear more weathered
The term "material map" is sometimes used to describe a map assigned in the Slate Material Editor. A material map applies a color or pattern to a surface. “Material map” distinguishes this use from maps used for displacement mapping with the , environment mapping for backgrounds, or projection mapping from lights.
The term "texture map" is sometimes used as well. It is interchangeable with "diffuse map"; that is, with a map that applies colors to geometry, as opposed to a map that create reflections, bumps, and so on.
For a , you can assign maps using the Maps rollout. Click the Map button in line with the name of the visual component you want to map. 3ds Max Design opens the . Select the map type (for example, Bitmap) from the list of maps, and then click OK. Double-clicking the map's name in the Browser also assigns the map type.
Many material rollouts have shortcut buttons for assigning a map to some of the material's visual components. These small buttons are equivalent to the buttons in the Maps rollout. Assigning a map to a button in one rollout changes the corresponding button in the other.
Shortcut map button in a material’s Parameters rollout
Each type of map has its own set of parameters and controls. If the map is a Checker map, for example, you can choose the colors of the checkers, and whether a checker color has a map of its own. You can change tiling values to affect the scale of the checkers, adjust noise parameters to make the checkers irregular, and so on.
When you build a material of any complexity, you are building a material/map tree. The root of the tree is the material itself. The branches or “children” are the maps you have assigned to the material's components. Some maps can themselves contain maps (for example, a map applied to one color of a ), so the tree can be more than two levels deep, and can actually be as deep as you need it to be.