Material Assistants

Different materials created in seconds with the Material Assistants

Traditionally, materials were the hardest topic to master for CG users. Material Assistant is a new, easy-to-use material editor which builds the basic material characteristics for you - greatly simplifying the material creation process and saving you lots of time.

From Studio, you can create new material assistants from the right-click menu from the Materials panel or you can turn any existing material from the Global Properties item in the material tree structure and choose the assistant from the Type dropdown menu:

Choosing the Opaque assistant from the right-click menu in the Materials panel
Choosing the Opaque assistant from the Global Properties > Type menu of a material


Choose first a category such as Glass, Metal, Translucent, Opaque and the material assistant will help you create perfectly optimized materials for your scene in just seconds. 

Some Material Assistants to ease the creation of the most usual materials. Here are the assistants for Opaque, Transparent, Translucent and Hair materials


The assistants, under the hood, make use of the same Maxwell material shader, but only show a few parameters to make things easier for you. If you want to check how these materials are actually made, you can always click the button to "Convert to Advanced" and you will see how they translate to layers and BSDFs. The available types are the following:


Material Assistant types

  • AGS: (from Architectural Glass Solution): it generates a glass without refractions (so you only have reflections) that renders very fast; it's good for glasses in a frame. It is actually built as a mirror with its opacity lowered down, so it is basically a reflections layer and is very cheap in terms of calculations. For free-standing glasses, it won’t look good (as it doesn’t produce refractions and it will look faded out) but for framed glass, it will look great.

  • Opaque: simple opaque material that allows controlling the color and shininess of the material with very few parameters. It can be useful to create, paint, plastics, wood, stone (rough or polished),…

  • Transparent: you can generate transparent materials like glass, frosted glass, water, ice, diamond, emerald,...

  • Metal: useful for any kind of metal and mirror. It has some preset for shiny or rough aluminium, 24K jewelry gold, mirror,...

  • Translucent: materials with subsurface scattering (SSS) can be tricky to set up; this assistant tries to make it easier; you have some presets like red wax, silicone gel, milk, honey,...

  • Car Paint: an easy way to create a good looking car paint with flakes, topcoat, etc (it can be expensive in terms of render time).

  • Hair: this material is meant to work with our hair primitive which is used with tools like Hair and Fur, etc.

  • Substance Painter: this material allows to easily select the textures generated in Substance Painter to create a Maxwell material.

  • Substance Designer: this material lets you load a .sbsar material from Substance and tune some of its options

  • TableBrdf: this is a connexion to use MERL Materials database (TableBRDF)

  • XRite AxF Material: this is a connection to use X-Rite AxF Materials

First steps with the Material Assistants