Procedual plasticene Tutorial


Procedual plasticene

Okay a tonne of ppl have asked me how I made the clay texture earlier on this year.
I dont have time to show you guys a “recipie” as such but what Ill try to do is give you a bit of an insight into how I created it.

IM going to asume that you have a good understanding of Max. For those of you who are using another package Im sure some of this will apply…and youll be able to do it at twice the speed:) (Sorry, had a bad day with max today)Oh ANd this will need to be customised alot for differnt models etc.


Okay Im mainly going to focus on the diffise(Colour) channel as thats what gives it the funky flecks of colour. Then into the Bump channels for those extra details.

okay first to get the colour Ive used a gradient ramp. Ive giving it the main colour at eiher end and then added in the colours of the flecks I want, further tweaked by clamping own those flecks by adding extra tags to either side of the flecks.

So now I want to break it up a bit. I do this by adding noise like so…

But to get the really funky swrils Ive found that if you change the “Gradient type” to Mapped you can add in greyscale maps to get some nice swirly maps.

Now the next trick is to make these flecks come and go, So what Ive done is put the gradient ramp into a mix material. I want this gradient to fade in and out to the base colour so Ive put the base colour in the swatch below and added another procedual texture to determine where I want it to fade in and out.

I used Dinoskin from blur but any will do fine.


And the tree so far.

OKay that should do for the main colouring.


OKay pretty easy this is. Basicly we want some dents where the flecks are and also some noise around to break up the model.
So First copy the diffuse channel into the Bump slot. NOw we dont need all that colour info so for the best control go into the gradient ramp and desaturate all the colours in the ramp like so…

As we dont want any change where its white, and the darker areas will rise up a little.
Dont forget to change to colour of the swatch in the Mix Material to white as well:)

next to add a bit more dent type detail to the clay. this only needs to be a little as this isnt “true Bump” so well throw in a Noise and mix it with the bump channel to date.


Now Im not sure why but with all the messing around in this material (output tweaking I guess) the bump is really extreme in the gradient ramp hence the mix of 95%
And heres the tree to see how its all stacking up so far.

Final Tree:

Okay now your blob of clay should be starting to look how we want. Ill leave you here on this now as I have a Flu and dont have too much more energy to carry this on. But keep tweaking on this and dont forget displacement too. Ive included a couple of Max files for you to look through and see what im on about.


A thing I tried in max was wiring all the colours to a central swatch so you could easily change the colours…but max became really unstable. It did work but was too hard for me:( I Imn agine it would be realtivly easy to do in Maxscript though.

Final Image with disp:

Final Tree…again:

Oh dont forget that this is procedual so to stop the texture from buggering off when you animate the object then youll need to assign a “UVWMap” with “Xyz to Uvw” checked and assign it a map channel of 99 or something. I usually choose something high that wont get in the way of regualr ones. I dont know why there isnt a setting for this somewhere in the Materials themselves. ANyway I dont do this till the end as Max doesnt give you an accurate view of whats happening in the material editor.

OKay Im going Home you guys feel free to add all you want, ask questions etc.
Im pretty open:)

Finished Max File
Finished Max File With Displacement
Material Lib (plasticene only)
Displacement Material (required for

[I]Edit I have replaced the displacement file with a .jpg at half res, due to download size limitations. The max file will promt you for the original TGA but just replace it with this .JPG Also their may (I doubt it) be problems with the resizing. Tis all just here to give you an idea anyway :wink: [/]

Plugins required (Although you should be able to get this to work fine with the base package of max, you’ll need these to get my files to work right):
Solid Colour (Blur)
Dyno Skin (Blur)
Do Nothing (Blur)
BlurLib (Blur)
You can get these from Blurbeta but I think the site is down. You should be able to get them from most plugin sites anyway.


Well have fun…I hope this helps someone…Its not exactly easy to read sorry:hmm:

Id fix it but I think Ive just had to learn more about posting tuts on forums with this Html maddness and Admin rules (like only a couple of images per post and only posting every 30 secs…thank god I wrote all this before I posted) than any of you could learn from my Plasticene tut:surprised




Thanks a lot for this Chico, I’m sure this one will come in handy for loads of people!! Thanks for going to this effort :thumbsup:


Excellent tutorial Chico! :thumbsup:

Haven’t had an opportunity to try it out yet, but I will shortly. Thanks for going through all the trouble!! :beer:


yeah! thanks! really funny use several mixed colors in the plasticines! hehe! :thumbsup:


a great tut man!
hope there will be more, stuff like this should be tagged for more ppl to see.


Oh yes!

Chico is da man!

I’ve learned something new today - wahoo!

If we have stuff to share, should we post it on this thread or is there somewhere else it needs to go?

:buttrock: :airguitar :beer:


can anyone think of which procedural in Maya that can get that swirly action happening? Ive seen it but cant think of it at the moment. Maybe the 3d noise with the wave style?
If you get the swirl you can use the colour remap and some offset sliders to come up with the same result. Ill try it out sometime, very interesting


Wao guys thanks.

This thread apeared from nowhere, I worte this months ago and no one saw LOL. I just glad people have seen and finding it usful :thumbsup:

@–> CactusJack, If enough of us produce tuts maybe Leigh will post a Tread (thats sticky) that contains links to these sort of tutorial threads. Be kinda cool if Leigh were to pop in here 5 part texting tuts, and any other ones that arrive as well.
If you have something just start a new thread and call its something like Cactus Juice made easy in Max by CactusJack

That way if anyone has any questions they can easily post them, and if anyone is looking for specific tuts they can see from the titles etc.

Later guys.


Hey I just saw it. Although I’m too late but I got benefitted by it :slight_smile:
Thanks. :slight_smile:


ho …damm were the picture?


lol I would certainly ask the same question sir …

where are they ? I would gladdly save them for next time . :wink:

Cheers .


this thread is so old… he prolly removed them


Whoa this is an old thread… :slight_smile:
Glad its still being used.

We’ve just changed our web hosts so if you give me a few days Ill put the images back up for you all.


thank you man!!