Applying Multiple Texture Mappings to a Single Object in 3D Studio Max 2.5
by Jerry Sandefur

Two of the most annoying problems associated with 3D object texture mapping are "stretching" and visible seams. These problems can destroy an objects believability, making them look artificial. Fortunately this has been addressed in 3D Studio Max 2.5 and can now be minimized using the blend material and multiple object texture mappings. Above is an example of two spheres, one using normal spherical mapping and the other using multiple mappings. The stretching problem is clearly visible on the polar region of the sphere on the left, while the sphere on the right although oriented in exactly the same position shows no stretching.

In order to apply multiple maps to a single object, open the Material Editor in 3D Studio Max 2.5 and create a "blend" material (click the "standard" button and choose "blend" from the list). You should see something similar to this:










The blend material allows you to blend two maps together in any ratio desired. Click the button next to "Material 1" in the blend material roll-out and assign a diffuse map to it. In this case I am using a bitmap but you can use any of the material types offered by 3D Studio Max. Do the same for "Material 2" in the blend material roll-out but make one very important change, in the "coordinates" area make sure you change the "Mapping" option from "Explicit UVW 1" to "Explicit UVW 2", this is what will make multiple mappings possible later on. Here is an example of what it should look like:




Return to the blend material roll-out and set the "Mix amount" to 50. This will mix the two maps equally. Close the material editor and select the object you want to apply the maps to, then go to the "modifiers" panel in 3D Studio Max and click the "UVW Map" button. Assign a "planar" map to the object in the "Z" axis, then click the "UVW Map" button again and assign a spherical map to the object and make sure you assign it to "Channel" 2, this is very important. This will assign the "Explicit UVW 2" map you created earlier to your object. That's all there is to it. It should look like this:

I originally read about this on the newsgroup, it was posted by Stefan Jansson who got it from Steve Burk and it helped me so much with this frustrating problem that I thought I would write this tutorial for others that had not heard of this.

Jerry Sandefur
The Boneyard

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