Here's a question regarding 3ds max's particle system and what can be instanced.
I've written a traffic animation tool for Maya and am considering converting it to 3ds max so that it can be used as an architectural visualisation addition (example Maya tutorials here: http://www.youtube.com/user/T1ckL35).
I was wondering with 3ds max whether you could instance materials or shaders and not just geometry?
I have used Virtools in the past which allows geometry as well as material instancing and this is extremely handy in generating a single vehicle that can have different custom colours and materials attached. While working in Maya I found that this is not the case and only geometry could be instanced - which results in having to create and add multiple coloured versions of the same car which in turn makes the polycount on highres vehicles stupidly high.
Any help/info/pointers would be greatly appreciated :)