Maxwell Render 1.1 Review (3) [en]

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2. Explanation of Maxwell Material

This chapter explains the materials and the light in Maxwell Render.

There is an important concept that I would like you to understand before going any

further.There is no "Light" in Maxwell Render as you know it

from other 3D applications.

Normally, in 3D applications, "Light" and "Material" are treated as different things.

In Maxwell Render the light source is a part of the material and functions

as "Emitter".

For example add the "Glass" material to the Emitter layer and it

becomes a shiny transparent glass, in other words the "Glass" material

works as a kind of bulb.

Then, let's actually set the scene.

Please download scene file here (.max)

(Click to enlarge the image)

The rendering was done with the same settings as in the introduction chapter.

First, let's set the material for this simple room.

Maxwell material library

Maxwell Material has some sample materials.

For example, translucent materials like glass, metals (gold, silver, etc),

cloth, thin coating material like a car surface painting, bulb treated as light source, etc...

(Click to enlarge image)

Select Browse library -> arroway -> concrete-22.mxm


If you could not find a texture or a Not found error message popped up, you

have to download texture files from Next Limit ,Inc.

MXM Gallery

Please download two files "ArrowTexture Vol.1" and "ArrowTexture Vol.2"

Unpack the files into this folder:

C:\Program Files\Next Limit\Maxwell\materials database\mxm files\arroway

A little bright color material appeared.

Explanation of parameters.

Reflectance 0;

Diffuse color


Please don't adjust this value to a high value like RGB255(White).

This will cause noise in the rendered image.

Reflectance 90;

Reflection color


Black is opaque, and white is transparent.


Setting the refractive index.

This value is very important for the Maxwell material.

Please refer to the tutorial for details (Page 28-29).


It is rough on the material surface.

The higher the value the blurrier the specular reflection becomes.

These parameters are set on one layer.

It possible to make a more complex material by adjusting each layer weight.

I recommend to refer to the tutorial for details.

Adapt this [wall] material to floor wall.

(Click to enlarge image)

Now select your desired materials from the material library.

However, please do not set the material to the bulb yet.

This is the result of the rendering with the materials I used.

(Click to enlarge image)

Object name Material name
Floor Default
Room Arroway->concrete-22.mxm
Room Floor Arroway->boards-02.mxm
Shade jewels->Aluminium_ok.mxm
Teapot jewels->Gold_ok.mxm
Cylinder generic frosties vol.i -> Turqouise Frost.mxm

Spent rendering time -> 30min

Last sampling level -> 11

Download this scene (.max file)

● Lighting

Next, add a light to this scene.

There is no source of light in the scene at all.

A black image will be output because there is no light source in the scene

when "None" is checked.

Select "lamp_presets->mercury vapour700w.mxm" to an empty material

and adapt it to the bulb object in your scene.

Rendered image:

(Click to enlarge image)

The room is slightly lit from the ceiling.

Spent time to rendering -> 30min

Last sampling level -> 10.5

Explanation of light source materials:

The check box named "Emitter" turns on when the material parameter of the

light is unchecked.

The material will only become a light source by checking "Emitter".


Decide how you want to specify the luminance (e.g. watt, candela)


Specify the strength of the light.

(Click to enlarge image)

The cylinder material has "Emitter" turned on.

However, the light was too strong and outshines the colour of the original material.

Download this scene file (.max)


The materials of Maxwell Render can realistically recreate real world materials.

In the next chapter I will explain the "Multilight" function.

» Next Explanation of the new "Multilight" function