Multiple Materials


Ok, I have a few questions actually: (im using foundations xsi 4.0 and coming from max 6)

First, how do you assign multiple materials to one obejct? For some reason its not working when I select faces and try to apply a new material.

Can I uv map my objects without starting with a base uv ie: planar xy, etc… and just select faces and start applying planar projections. I tried using unique uvs to start, but it didnt work …didnt have any uvs in my tex editor. Any help would be appreciated. Thx.


You first need to create a cluster and then assign the material to the cluster. Kind of like max’s material id’s

And no you need to apply a base UV first and then apply the sub projections from there. It works better than max’s system by far.


Hey thanks for the info. Just a little hard to get used to coming from max. The uvs/material editor seem to work much different than the ones in max. Going to take some getting used to making clusters for different materials among other things.

In the texture editor under UVs it shows the different uv projections which is like material ids from my understanding. Now how would you make a new channel for lightmaps for example?

What to you makes XSI’s uv/mat system so much better in your opinion?


Although some will disagree with me, I’m firmly against the use of clusters for materials.

You should try to use small black and white maps instead, with the white area for each part you wish to reveal, then connect these maps in a Mix_8colors’s weight inputs. Connect the materials themselves in the color inputs.



ur hrr that a new one 4 me … care 2 explain in detail atyss? thnx


Oh I have another question. How do you change the grid settings in XSI? I cant seem to find any settings for it anywhere. Thx again.


Let say you want to put 3 materials on your object.
Create a projection. On that projection, separate the elements you want to have different materials. So basically you would have 3 islands of UVs.
Stamp these UVs to a file.

Create 3 textures, very small, something like 64x64.
On the first one, the area inside and surrounding the first uv island should be white. The rest black.
To this for the other textures, but with the white are applied to a different island of uvs.

Then apply a material to the object.
In the Render Tree, create a Mix_8colors, and plug that in the surface shader (Phong).
Put white as base_color.
Plug each texture in 3 weight inputs of the mix shader.
Then change the color of each layer of the mix shader. You should see them next to each other.

After that you can replace each color by a surface shader, and plug the mix node straigth into the material node’s surface input.



I use Max too, and one thing I love from xsi`s render tree is the fact that it is easier to manipulate complex materials. In max if you have a complex material, lets say for example you use a falloff for transparency and in each color of the falloff you use a noise or any othe procedural, and for each color of the procedural you use any other texture, and you keep adding textures on and on, after you have a lot of connections (just to use any name) you will get some sort of maze and to change one of the last materials or textures of all your mix and remembering wich one you need to change ( even though you named them all) is kind of tedious, since you have to go “inside” each slot and dig into your material. But in xsi you see the whole tree at once, you see all the connections without having to go into each slot and travelling from there into your “maze” At least for me it makes my life easier, and makes much more sense. But it is tough and even unfair to compare two pieces of software since they all have pros and cons.


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