Need help with a simple procedural texture issue


I am working on building a material library with standard materials for the projects I typically work on, and am running into a problem with a procedural texture for a brushed aluminum effect. In the procedural map, I have reduced to tiling of the X and Y coordinates to create the streaked brush effect, and it works fine on the side view of an object. The top portion shows a non-uniform scale (like it’s stretching to fit the physical dimensions), and I can’t seem to fix it.

I’ve tried switching between real-world map size, UV Map (box with equal X, Y, and Z dimensions), and even UV Unwrapping, but nothing seems to change the pattern on the top surface. I have made sure that there is only one material on the object and that all polys are set to material ID 1. I’ve even taken the top poly, selected it, added a planar UV Map, and tried every combination I can think of within the UV Map settings, but get no change.

Within the map itself, I have tried switching between Object XYZ, World XYZ, Explicit Map Channel, and even Vertex Color Channel. While I can get a little variation (between Object and Explicit Map), it’s still nowhere near close to what I need. I took the procedural map and cranked it up for better visibility of the problem… it’s driving me nuts, any ideas on how to resolve this?


Try the following :

in the UVW Map
Parameters > Mapping > check on BOX
then start adjusting the value of LENGTH - WIDTH - HEIGHT.

good luck.


Here is a finished render for reference. The result is that the top surface is blotchy, while the side edge look correct;


That should be noise map, wright?
Tile X same as Z, that way you’ll get same pattern on 4 sides (box)
Other 2 sides will have “cut” patern

You probably have similar pattern with tilling only Z but on “left” and “right” side of your box, take a look.


Yes, it’s basically a noise map (well, a few of them composited together, though I’m adjusting the settings for each equally as I go). You are correct; when I tile X same as Z, then the Y axis is off. I’m essentially trying to figure out how to get Max to treat the UVW map as a UV (like a simple planar texture map that can be projected in any direction). I can get any 2 of 3 axes correct, but it always throws off the 3rd, regardless of the mapping modifier I apply or how I apply it. I need a solution that will allow me to apply the material in any orientation so that it appears correctly.


You’re mixing some things, you’re not applying material in any orientation, 2d maps needs planar version of mesh (UVs), degrading 3d map to 2d won’t be any help.
You have option “render map” for that - right click on map in mat. editor and chose resolution


Thanks for the suggestion, but I want to keep the map procedural (and not render out a bitmap) so I can make adjustments if I need to. I’m not understanding how I’m “not applying material in any orientation,” when I’ve been using UV mapping (including UV unwrap in order to get the UVs laid out per polygon). Can you clarify what you mean? If it helps; the orientation of the UV mapping appears to be correct in the viewport, but the render always comes out with the top poly mapped differently.


Procedural maps are true 3d maps, they don’t usually need uvw mapping, so when the map is set to Object XYZ or World XYZ, it doesn’t even look at the uvw mapping you are using. In cases like yours when you don’t want a true 3d map, change the map coordinates to Explicit Map, and then you can use uvw map/unwrap uvw.

Another way is to just use different material for different faces, which for a simple case like this might be faster, of course you’ll get seams with both ways. Oh, and always ignore the viewport when working with procedural maps, it’s broken.


Unless you are using Explicit maps.


I appreciate the input, and agree that changing to Explicit Map should fix the problem, however whether I use a simple UV Map or UV Unwrap the object, I can’t seem to get a different result.

The texture here includes 3 noise maps, all with comparable settings, and all set to Explicit Map channel for the coordinates. The front object is a box with a simple UV Map, set as a box with cubic dimensions. The second box was converted into an editable poly and had the faces manually laid out in the same orientation. The box in the back has no UV map, but has real world coordinates checked in the objects base settings.

Reference File - Max 2019 ZIP file.