In 3ds max, animating maps or textures over timeline seems quite easy at first but it’s not that easy. Most of the beginners try to apply multiple materials on the objects with the auto key on, but that action is not keyable. This detailed tutorial will show you how to do the same thing using a very simple and effective technique. You can use this technique for digital clock, computer, mobile screen and even for you character face if you need.
We have a stop watch model in the scene and it doesn’t have needles. Instead of using 3d geometry of the needles, we will use 2d maps/textures as the clock dial.
I have made some images to be used as stopwatch’s dial texture.
Let’s create the material first for our stop watch. Press M to open Material Editor, select a material slot and click on Standard button. Choose Multi/Sub-Object material from the list.
Now, under Multi/Sub-Object Basic Parameters rollout, click on the Set Number button and set the number of Sub materials according to your need. In my case, I am using 9 sub materials, one for the body and rest for the dial.
Click on the first sub-material button to access the material parameters. Under Blinn Basic Parameters rollout, click on the Diffuse button and select Bitmap from the list. Now, choose the desire map from the Select Bitmap Image File dialog. Click on Show Standard Map in Viewport button when you are done.
Select the Stopwatch geometry and assign the Sub-Object material to it. As we can see that there is some problem with the mapping. Let’s fix this in the next step.
With the stopwatch geometry selected, just go to Modify Panel and apply UVW Map modifier to it from the Modifier List. Under Parameters rollout, choose the mapping type to Planar. Now, select the Gizmo and transform (Move, Rotate, Scale) it in order to adjust the map placement. Don’t worry about the body, we will fix it later.
Now, load all the dial maps to the rest of the sub-materials using the same method.
We are done with dial but we have still we have one sub-material (Material #9) left and we will use it for the body of the stopwatch. Click on the sub-material (Material #9) button to access the material parameters. Now, under Blinn Basic Parameters, click on the Diffuse colorbox and choose grey color from the color picker. Adjust the Specular Level of the material to get some basic metallic look.
Now, select the stopwatch and apply Material modifier to it. Through material modifier, we can change the material ids of the object using Material ID spinner so whenever we change the material id of our object, the material which is assigned to that id will get applied to the object.
Note: But while changing the material id, the material assigned to that id is getting applied to the whole geometry. Let’s fix this in the next step.
Select the Stopwatch and Apply the Edit Poly modifier to it. Now, go to polygon sub-object level and select the body of the Stopwatch. Under Polygon: Material IDs rollout, set the material id of the selected polygons to 9.
Now, all things are fixed and our stopwatch is ready to animate.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know your suggestions and problems through your emails and comments. Good luck!