Referenced Materials

Referencing materials is really helpful to build up a material library that you can quickly re-use on other projects to save time while also ensuring that your materials have a consistent look between different scenes, since the same material reference will be used in all scenes it's used in. A referenced material can still be edited at any time using MXED.

Working with referenced materials

Allows you to maintain independence between your materials and the scenes that contain them, which is extremely useful in a collaborative production environment. Using them instead of regular embedded materials allows you to: 

  • Use the exact same material in different scenes (as the same material file is invoked at render time from the same MXM file) and keep them synchronized with the latest updates
  • Perform changes in the referenced material that will be automatically updated on all the scenes that use it (without needed to change the parent scene) 

Using referenced materials in Maxwell Studio vs plug-ins


In most of the plug-ins, you have the option to create either an embedded material, or a referenced one.

  • Embedded: the material will be embedded in the scene. This is the normal behavior. 
  • Referenced: you can point to a MXM file on disk, and the material will be taken from that location at render time. 

The disk location can be a network drive, to avoid having copies of the same material library on all computers that you plan using Maxwell Render on.

Maxwell Studio

When creating a material (by right-clicking in the Material List panel) you can either choose New Material or New MXM Reference.If you choose New MXM Reference Studio will open a dialog allowing you to choose the MXM file.

If you drag & drop a material from the local material library, or the online MXM gallery using the Resources Browser Panel, you will get a pop-up asking you if you want to embed the material in the scene, or keep it as a referenced material.