View Full Version : metal material reference

07 July 2002, 12:19 AM
hi , im new to this forum
i thought maybe you can help me
i need to create a metal material in max
i want it not to be glossy, but more grainy and diffused
while still having some reflection
i was wondering if you know where i can find
tutorials or refernce that focus on matel materials
and reflections , i played a little with the multi-layer
shader, but i dont feel like i know what im doing,
and would appreciate some insight


07 July 2002, 07:19 AM
Well, I always think the best way of starting off any texture/material is to have photographic reference.
So, if I were doing a metal object - say, for instance a stainless steel fork - I just look through Google Image Search for stainless steel forks.
Then I save all the images (obviously :p) and make my texture so that it looks like that.
You have said you "want it not to be glossy, but more grainy and diffused while still having some reflection" - well then, if you know what you want, then make it!
Take down the gloss, take up the diffuse (although metal has quite a low diffusion, especially if it has some reflection) and adjust the reflection until it looks right.

Another thing - you really can learn a lot by experimenting yourself :) Next time you are stuck, try experimenting for the look you want before asking for help - I think that figuring things out for yourself is a good way to learn ;)
Of course, there will be times when you get hopelessly stuck, in which case you obviously have no choice but to ask for help.... But I think in terms of metallic textures, it's actually something that's pretty easy to figure out :p

Oh, a quick reference place for pics is
3D Cafe ( - go to the Free Stuff section and go to Textures. You will find quite a few pictures there!

07 July 2002, 07:42 AM
i was kind of hopeing that you could refer me to some site
that discuss the charecteristics of metals, and presents techniques to achieving different effects, surely there must be something like that ?
obviously experimenting by yourself is important, but unfortunately im kind of on an intensely tight schedule, i did experiment a little last night, but wasnt pleased with the results, it was too clean not mat enough, its tricky,because the moment you start bringing the gloss and reflection down you loose the
metal effect- what im trying to say is that im sure its not that complicated, ive just never been interested in photorealistic texturing, and i feel like im shooting in the dark, waisting time

07 July 2002, 07:47 AM
the truth is i dont really trust my sensibilities in that area, i change things and im never really sure if its an improvement or not.

07 July 2002, 07:53 AM
this is part of the project
but the right color and texture are not showing well
in the picture

07 July 2002, 08:28 AM
:p I sure know what mean about tight schedules.... hehehe

Ok, your metal texture isn't looking too bad - possibly just a little too silvery though, as opposed to matte metal.
As far as gloss goes - metal generally has no gloss, unless it's been coated (or you want it to look wet) So you should take your gloss setting to 0.
Also, with regards to it's colour - well, metal tends to get a lot of its colour from it's surroundings, because it is reflective.

Here is a tutorial - Metal Texturing Tutorial (
This explains the basics!
It is for Lightwave, but the settings can really be applied to any surface editor :)

07 July 2002, 10:58 PM

Metal reflects almost no light diffusely, so to have accurate light, you'll have to set up the reflections correctly. If you have a fast raytracer it's not too hard - just remember that the key to good raytraced metal is the environment is can reflect - metal without something to reflect and make highlights doesn't look very metallic.


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