18 Oct 2011

How to Create a Central Material Library for 3ds Max

When you have a Material that you wish to reuse and share with your colleagues, you can save the Material to a Central Library for all users to access. See the steps below to achieve this:
  • Select the material in the Material Editor and pick Get Material.

  • In the Material/Map Browser, select the down arrow and choose New Material Library.
  • Browse to a network location and create a folder called 3DSMax Material Library.
  • The new Library will appear in the Material/Map Browser.

  • Select Put to Library in the Material Editor.

  • Select your custom Material Library and Confirm the Material Name.
  • The Material will now appear in the Library.

  • Libraries are saved when you exit 3ds Max. Don’t forget to Save the changes when you exit the application.
  • On the other workstations, select Get Material from the Material Editor, as Step 1.
  • In the Material/Map Browser, select the down arrow and choose Open Material Library.
  • Browse to the .mat file created in the 3DSMax Material Library folder on the central network location, as created in Step 3.
  • The Materials are available to select and import into your current model by double clicking.

  • If you have maps specified in the Materials, you will need to locate the images centrally also. Add a User Path to the External Files TAB in Configure User Paths, found in Customize Menu > Configure User Paths.


  1. Glad the article was useful, it is one we get asked quite a bit. Hopefully bring you more in the future.

  2. just about to do this for my team - always better to have a quick look before breaking everything ;) Thanks for sharing!