Example squares image uses.
HippoMat makes it easy to assign materials to high poly objects without using MatIDs.

What the: It's often useful to bake diffuse maps from high poly objects, to kickstart the texturing phase. I prefer pure RGB masks, though I will use colored ones during assignation, switching to RGB when it's time to bake. However, this can be time consuming, especially when different subobjects on the same high poly need different materials. Moreover, doing this uses MatIDs, which makes it impossible to bake using matching MatIDs! hippoMat solves this by automatically UVing high poly meshes (or parts of high poly meshes), so that they are placed in the middle of a 4x4 grid on a texture. Using this texture allows for user customization, and bypasses MatIDs. Since it's a normal material, you can use whatever shaders suit your fancy!

Usage: There are a couple ways to do this. To assign a material to an entire object, deselect all objects. Click a material button, and then pick the object to assign the material to. hippoMat will automatically find the appropriate place to create (or use an existing) Unwrap_UVW modifier, and will then UV the model. You will need to apply the material to the model manually. You can also select some faces -- either in an poly/mesh mode or in an Unwrap UVW modifier -- and click a button. This will apply the materials to just those faces.

The Squares Image: The squares image is the file you'll want to use as a base for your materials. The colors are completely arbitrary, and can be whatever you want. You can even put helpful notes about what each material is on the image, so long as you don't cover the middle 4 pixels in any given square. Each square is 128x128 pixels. I like to create companion specular, gloss, and emissive textures to go with this, so that my glowy bits actually glow, and my metallic bits reflect.

Installation: Simply drag-and-drop onto the Max viewport. The script is found under the "PatJS" category. The squares image can be placed wherever you want, or created from scratch. If you wanna be a mega-pro, rename the buttons in the .mcr to match your project's material types.

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