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Problem w/ Mat Lib and Bitmap Path Editor


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I hope I'm doing something wrong, otherwise this tool is a bit misleading.


On one computer, I've put together a material library with materials that include bitmaps. I've saved that material library to a .mat file. I then switch to a different computer and open that material library in the material browser.


Up until now, everything is fine. I know I need to change the paths for the bitmaps, so I pop open the Bitmap/Photoblahblah Editor. I check "Include Material Library". Click "Edit Resources", Dialogue pops up with... absolutely nothing in the path selection box. Is this not how it's meant to be used? I'd think this was one of the things it was specifically meant for, but maybe not.


What's makes it seem even more like aberrant behaviour is that if I "Copy To > Temporary Library" a few materials from the loaded matlib, those will show in the Bitmap Path Editor. Is this normal, and if so... WHY?!


Using Max 2012, but have tried it on 2010 and 2013 for good measure. Thanks in advance!

Edited by MightyMayan
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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply.


A material library .mat file is just a database of information that points to materials and textures on your computer. They don't actually contain the materials. Are these other computers all hooked up to the same network? If so, you should save all your bitmaps in one central location where all computers have access to them and then create your material library again.

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A material library .mat file is just a database of information that points to materials and textures on your computer. They don't actually contain the materials. .
I've seen this statement in several places before, phrased almost identically. I find it to be a terribly generic response, and to be misleading and/or misguided. Part of it is likely the inconsistency in terminology. "Materials", particularly in the 3DS Max realm, are the sets of parameters.


3DS .mat files contain the sets of parameters for ever material in the library; the .mat contains the materials, not just points to them. Textures are more universally used to refer to bitmaps, and those do hold true to the statement; the .mat just holds path names of them.

Clarity is very important, especially with so many alternative uses of words. A few extra indicators as to what's truly meant never hurts.



Ok, in that spirit, I may have not presented my own situation with proper clarity. I didn't mention that I had copied the necessary bitmaps to an appropriate location on the target computer. I left this out simply because it had no true effect on the situation in whole.


The actual problem revolves around the "Bitmap Path Editor" (which I understand exists for the very purpose of providing an easy method of updating the locations of bitmaps that are being used by materials in a material library) not seeming to want to work with an imported material library.


After doing even more searching between the last post and this one, I finally found instances where other people were running into the same problem, so my question of "is it normal?" seems answered. None of the gurus could give a satisfactory reason for it though, so I'm just going to write it off as yet another kink/quark.


It's not a devastating problem, as it's easy enough to work around; just added some unnecessary steps.

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Sorry dude, I was not trying to mislead you. I do however have a bad habit of using the terms "textures/bitmaps" and "materials" interchangeably, even though I am well aware of the differences. Sorry for wasting your time with my reply. It appears that you already have a handle on this issue. ;)

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