The Material Library

Opening the Library

01. Introduction

The Material Library is a tool that stores materials for artists to use. It can significantly speed up your workflow by providing pre-built materials for use in the final render or as a basis upon which to build your own custom materials.

Material Library Window


02. Installing the Library & Adding It to Your Toolbar

a. Installing the Material Library

To install the library, download these files and unzip the folder somewhere. NOTE: To install the library we recommend at least 1.5 GB of free space.

The Material Library will install to the material libraries folder in your 3DS Max Project Folder, which by default on Windows 10 is located at C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Documents\3dsMax\materiallibraries. You can learn how to change your Project Folder directory here.

To begin the install, launch 3DS Max and drag onto your viewport. The following dialogue will appear – click “Yes”:

Once you click Yes a dialogue will appear informing you that the library is being installed. This may take several minutes so just leave it alone until it completes.

Once the install finishes, you will get a dialogue letting you know the library is good to go:

b. Creating a Shortcut Button

After installing the library, we recommend creating a button on your user interface to allow you to access it more quickly.

To create the button go to Customize -> Customize User Interface:

Then select the Toolbars tab:

Underneath the right side of the screen, click “New” to create a new Toolbar – give it a name like “Wayfair Material Library”.

Once you click OK, a new toolbar will be created. It can be hard to see! It will look like a single black square.

Next, in the Category dropdown menu on the left of the window, choose Wayfair 3D:

Then simply click and drag the “Wayfair Material Library” button into your new toolbar. You can now dock that toolbar anywhere in your interface.

Note too that you do not need to create a new toolbar to add shortcuts – you can add a shortcut to any existing toolbar by simply clicking and dragging the shortcut onto the pre-existing toolbar.

Now you are ready to use thwe Library! Just click on the button whenever you need it.

c. Reinstalling the Material Library

If you need to reinstall the library or update it to the latest version then you can do so by again dragging onto the 3DS Max viewport. If the tool is already installed, you will get this warning:

Follow the path it gives you and delete “wayfairMatLib”. Then try dragging and dropping again.

03. Tool Interface

i. Main Categories

Here are the different material categories for you to choose from.

ii. Subcategories

Once you click on a main category the tool will load all the materials from that category and you will see that they are split up into different subcategories. You may clean up the sub category view by collapsing different subcategories. To do this, click on the subcategory’s name.

iii. Preview Window

Once you click on a material a larger preview of it will show here. Some materials have notes under the preview to give additional information on how to use them.

iv. Material Options

In this area you can click the button below the Preview Window to add the selected material to the Slate Material Editor. However before doing so you must first pick a textures folder using the Pick Folder button. Once you do this you will be able to press the Add to Slate button.

There is a checkbox here that will move your slate view to focus on the newly added material. You can uncheck it if you do not want this to occur.

The Material Library will copy any texture dependencies used by the selected material to the folder you have chosen. This means that you will need to create a project folder for the product you are working on. We request that you use the following folder structure for your projects:

04. Using the Library in a Workflow

a. Adding the Material

Select a main category and choose a material from a subcategory. In the example below we have chosen the Powdercoated Metal from the Worn Materials subcategory inside the Metal main category.

b. Choosing the Asset Folder

Select “Pick Folder” and choose the resources folder inside your SKU/Part’s project folder. If you have not already created these folders you can create them using the “Make New Folder” button in the “Browse For Folder” Dialogue. Note that you have to do this every time you close and then open the Material Library.

c. Adding the Material to the Slate Material Editor

Once you have chosen the folder, press the Add to Slate button.

d. Using the Material in Slate

The material will automatically be sent to the Slate Material Editor. If you don’t see it at first, try zooming out and navigating around the View – it can be off screen. Make sure to check the Navigator window as well.

e. Replacing Broken Links

As a final note, if for some reason your textures come in black (the material is there but the textures are lost), you can find them by going to your material library folder (default is: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Documents\3dsMax\materiallibraries ) and following the folder path listed in the material name (shown right).

If the material name is too long, you can extend the material’s box by clicking and dragging on its bottom right corner.