Anyone know how to unhide the blackbody shader in 3DS Max 2010?


Yes, there’s no need to unhide that shader anymore. In fact, if you open the file base_max.mi you’ll find this:

# Kelvin Temperature To Color Map based on mib_blackbody shader

Basically it’s the same shader just unlocked and with a different name.


I’ve been playing around with studio setups using photometric lighting and was wondering if the option “light shape visible in rendering” (tick box on photometric target rectangle) gives the same result as the mib_blackbody shader does?

I’ve been attempting to get a similar look to some Vray visuals a new member of our team has been producing (to avoid any need to learn another program) and one of the standout elements of his renders are the lights reflecting off objects in the scene (especially good on clear materials). Should this check box allow me to get similar reflections in my MR scenes?


Yes & no. They both will be visible in your scene but a problem you’re going to run into with Vray vs. mental ray light sources is that the VRay lights emit evenly from the area whereas the 3ds Max / mental ray lights will emit from the center point of the area light. Therefore the vray light will be more evenly distributed than the 3ds max/mental ray light.

That’s one of the fundamental reasons for unhiding/using the blackbody shader. You can assign it to a portal light because while the portal lights also exhibit this center point distribution it’s not as strong or visible as it is with photometric area lights.

Anything visible including light sources will be reflected in objects that have reflective materials applied to them, so yes I guess? Or I’ve misunderstood the question.

There’s a studio light thread here that might be helpful as well:


Thanks Jeff, very helpful. I will have a play with the Portal lights, is it ok to use these with other Photometric lights or will I see better results by using just 1 type in the scene?


Sure, you can mix-n-match lights. When mixing light sources you can run into intensity differences though. Of course you can always adjust multiplier values to the desired level.


You can create material and map groups in the newest version of max which is what I use a lot of the time. It does save a lot of scrolling and looking.


Hi guys;

I did them all, but I can’t use it again. I have a rollout in the name of mib_blackbody.mat in my material editor but it doesn’t open! (Take a look at my pic)
I reinstalled my 3ds Max but it didn’t work.
Where’s the problem?

I use 3ds Max 2011 64bit and win7 and I installed Vray too.

Thanks Jeff for your precious tips and tutorials. :thumbsup:


Why are you trying to unhide something that’s available by default in 3ds Max 2011?

You don’t need to unhide the blackbody shader in 2k11 because it’s already available in the material editor, only the name has changed to “Kelvin Temperature Color”.


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