This article explains how to troubleshoot and fix an issue with black swatches in the 3ds Max Material Editor.
Sometimes, when opening the 3ds Max Material Editor, the material swatches may rendered black in the Material/Map Browser; or the Sample slots may be rendered with a flat color. See the examples below.
There are several potential causes of the issue. Some of them and their solutions are explained in detail in this article.
Rendering the swatches in the Material Editor, just like rendering an image, requires a license. Ensure that:
- The Chaos License Server is installed;
- The Chaos License Server is running;
- You have available V-Ray for 3ds Max licenses.
For more information on setting up your licenses, see this article.
V-Ray is not set as the Material Editor’s Renderer
By default, V-Ray is set as the render engine for the Material Editor. In some cases, however, another renderer might be selected, which will cause the V-Ray material swatches to render black.
Assign the renderer to V-Ray manually from Render Setup > Common > Assign Renderer > Material Editor.
Force a Re-render of the Swatches
Sometimes a re-render of the Material Editor swatches may be the simpler solution.
There are a couple of ways to do that:
- Set the render engine for the Material Editor to another render engine and then switch back to V-Ray (check above)
- Use the Material/Map Browser options > Additional Options > Clear Preview Thumbnail Cache command
- Change the size of the material swatches in the Slate Material Editor by right-clicking on the material group > Display Group(and Subgroup) As: Small / Medium / Large Icons
- Change the size of the material swatches in the Compact Material Editor by right-clicking on any material swatch > 3x2 / 5x3 / 6x4 Sample Windows
Rendering in the Material Editor is Disabled
The swatches will not render if rendering for the Material Editor is disabled.
Make sure that rendering is enabled by toggling the teapot () button in the lower-left corner of the window.
Manual Update is Turned On
The Sample Slots in the Compact Material Editor will not update automatically if the Manual Update option is turned ON.
Turn it off from the Options dropdown > Options.. > Manual Update.