Set of realistic looking 3dsmax materials for Sketchfab

Hi guys, this is a post/question about various metal, glass and plastic materials which I need to use for my encased cellphone 3d models.

There is nowhere to be found an instruction sheet/tutorial/anything on how to adjust materials in 3dsmax to appear at least similar in Sketchfab viewer. I am talking about NON-BAKED materials such as various metals, glass and plastics.

It appears also that Sketchfab materials are not gITF compliant, but maybe I’m wrong on this one, I still didn’t test everything…

What I need is WYSIWYG software which shows at least somewhat close results to what you get after exporting to Sketchfab. When I export from max, I’m blindly trying to guess how to set up the material to get it to look accurate in Sketchfab.

I mean, look at these:


Now if I try to make 20 cars, I’ll have to make a material library so that I won’t need to set up the materials each time over and over again.

Bottom line is - if I download any of those downloadable models for example, I can’t access their material properties, and I can’t re-upload them back again to look similar to what they did look like before I downloaded them.

Any advice is welcome, thank you.

For guides on how to tweak materials in sketchfab, I assure, you a detailed set of guides is already on the way.

Meanwhile have a look at the art showcase on the sketchfab blog, some of the featured artists provide screenshots of their lighting and material setups eg: Sketchfab Community Blog - » Art Spotlight: Cartoon Car Kobra

As to the second part of your question, a material library is not supported right now.
Here’s a work around I use when I don’t want to redo materials.
I use two features to achieve this:

  1. duplicate scene.
  2. replace/reupload.

Basically after I upload my first scene/model with properly named materials. I take my time setting up each material’s properties in sketchfab to achieve the result I need.

In my next file I use the same names for the materials. But instead of doing a fresh upload… I duplicate the previous upload, and rename it. Then do a file replace … this send my new model up, but uses the materials already setup in sketchfab. Then I just have to tweak some of the newer materials that this model has.

Obviously it won’t work all the time, but it may save you some time.

Also I hope you tried the sketchfab add-on for your software? It usually is more accurate at recreating your materials in sketchfab.

when exporting non-baked materials from 3dsmax the best way to get a consistent look between max and sketchfab is using textures. When exporting an fbx or obj for instance, very little information from the materials will survive that export except for the textures.

Sketchfab has a process called “Automatic PBR remapping” where it looks at the filename of the texture and tries to put it in the most appropriate channel. That’s your ticket to consistency. You can read about it here:

This enables you to use physical materials in 3dsmax which match pretty closely with the PBR shader in sketchfab.

Hi chaitanyak,

your workaround will be of a much help, thank you! Basically, in 3ds max I only need to set up the naming right, and after that I must produce for each material it’s properties in Sketchfab’s material editor. It’ll work, I just need to spend a day or two making the materials. I hoped to see it already done somewhere, and just use it on my scene.

Thanks for your assistance, looking forward to see the mentioned set of guides too.

All the best,

PS. yes, I use Sketchfab exporter for max, thank you!

Hi Klaas,
glad to hear from you, already saw your tutorial for the exporter plugin, very nice! :slight_smile:

I absorbed every word you wrote to me regarding this material problematic. If you could share just a tiny bit of your knowledge with me, it would save me a lot of time going back and forth, testing every setting and possibility. This is what I’d like to know:

  1. in 3ds max we have Standard materials and Physical materials (actually SHADERS), all of them carry various textures inside themselves. If I understood right, you suggested that I should use Physical material shader, but is it only because of the NAMING that it uses which appears similar to what Sketchfab understands, OR is it maybe because of any of the advanced properties that Sketchfab recognizes?

  2. when I use a texture for eg. glosiness, what does that texture do? Does it give me an intensity value where black pixel is 0 and white pixel is 100?

  3. does max’s “Amount slider” for each map work? It’s the one next to the each map in the Maps section where all the maps are.

Thank you for your immense help Klass, looking forward to hear from you anytime you find convenient.


Hi, the physical material in 3dsmax comes closest to the PBR shader in Sketchfab. If your goal is to match the looks between max and Sketchfab then you should use the physical material.
However, none (or hardly none) of the material settings survive the export. So if you use a roughness value of 0.25 that’s completely ignored in the export. But if you use a roughness texture with 25% grey and give it a name such as “sneaker_roughness.png” then Sketchfab will be able to place that texture in the right place. It’s exactly like you describe in your second point.
I would avoid the amount slider in 3dsMax until you have a good grasp on using the base textures at 100%.


Thanks Klaas,

now I’m going to perfect the suggested method. :wink:


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