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Material Editor Reminders…

Blinn Basic Parameters

Diffuse is your “main” color. Click on the color to pull up the Color Selector window and customize your color.

Ambient is your “shadow” color. If your shadows don’t look rich enough, unlock Diffuse and Ambient and change your Ambient color to a dark value.

Specular is your “highlight” color. Click on the color to pull up the Color Selector window to customize your color.

Specular Level lets you make you choose how much highlight shows up in your material.

Glossiness determines how focused your highlight is.

Soften affects the edge of the highlight.

Self-illumination will make it seem as though the light is coming from within the material.

Opacity determines how transparent or opaque the material is.

Get Materials

Click the Get Material button or click Get Material from the Material drop-down menu to open the Material/Map Browser.

Double click on a desired material to add it to your Materials Editor.

Material Libraries

When in the Material/Map Browser, you can open a Material Library by selecting “Mtl Library” under the “Browse From” section.

Under File, click Open…

Browse to the location where the Material Libraries are saved (ask Instructor). Material Libraries .mat files.

Select the desired library and click Open.


Note: The sphere indicates a ready-to-use Material. The rhombus shape indicates a Map that can be used in creating or customizing your own materials.


If you want to add an image or texture to your material, then you need to use Maps. In the Material Editor, find the Maps section. Click a Map button (these buttons say “None” in the example below) to add a map to any of the available slots.


This will open the Material/Map browser and you can select a Map to apply to your material.

Depending on the type of Map you apply, you will have further options to customize, including Coordinates and Parameters.



Some materials used for the Still Life objects have Multi/Sub-Object materials. This means a single material is composed of multiple different types of materials. You can customize each sub-material within the Multi/Sub-Object material.


The material shown here is used for the clock. A different Sub-Material is used for each of the face, wood, handle, and gold trim.

UVW Map Modifier

You may find it necessary to further control the way a map material is mapped to an object in your scene. You can use the UVW Map Modifier for this.

Select the object you wish to modify, and use the Modify tab to select UVW Mapping from the Modifier List.

Here you have a list of Parameters that allow you to choose how the map is applied to your form. For example, you may choose Spherical if your form is a sphere, etc.

*Tiling can be done when customizing the material, or when applying the UVW map. Tiling may be necessary to make your materials fit your object or environment (bricks, carpet, etc.).


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