Materials describe how an object reflects or transmits light. Within a material, maps can simulate textures, applied designs, reflections, refractions, and other effects. (Maps can also serve as environments and projections from lights.) The Material Editor is the dialog you use to create, alter, and apply the materials in your scene.
Left: Only a neutral, gray material applied to objects
Right: Realistic materials applied to the scene, including transparent glass, scenery, and a snowfall
3ds Max Design gives you a wide variety of options for designing materials. If you’re new to designing and using materials, read these topics for a general idea about working with materials, and what the most important options are.
Materials create greater realism in a scene. A material describes how an object reflects or transmits light. You assign materials to individual objects or selection sets; a single scene can contain many different materials. Different materials have different uses.