In this quick tutorial I want to show you how to easily make some basic adjustments to your textures directly in 3ds max, without going back to photoshop and making a new image file.
First, you have the Color Correction map. The name implies that it is the best tool for doing these adjustments. I find it a bit non-intuitive and clumsy for brightness/contrast adjustments, but it is great for shifting the hue or adjusting the saturation as well as desaturating your image completely. See the video to learn how it works!
Another great tool you can use is the Output map. It has a bunch of settings, but most of it’s power comes from the Color Map section. It works very similar to the curves in photoshop, but i think the way you can place the points and adjust curves is even better and more flexible.
Another quick and simple way to adjust a texture is by blending it with a color. You can either use a Mix map for a straightforward numerical blend, or Composite map to get access to different blending modes, masks and so on.
Using this sort of color correction in max, allows you to create whole shaders with color variations from a single bitmap. The great thing is – you get instant feedback on the material preview, so there’s no switching back and forth to photoshop, saving images, reloading textures and so on.
Here’s a quick example to give you some ideas (click to enlarge)!