When creating a material in 3ds MAX you can use any combination of material maps depending on the material type. The options for each individual map can often be anything from a color to a texture map (including procedural maps) to a variety of special maps for tasks such as raytracing. Many material maps can only be used in black and white; you can specify a color texture map but it will be converted into black and white (bright colours to brighter shades of grey.

Material maps- properties of your 3ds MAX Material

Ambient Color Map- the color of your material when not directly lit (Color)

Diffuse Color Map- the basic color of your material (Color)

Specular Color Map- the color of the 'shine' (specular highlight) of your material (Color)

Specular Level Map- the amount of 'shine' (specularity) of your material (B&W)

Glossiness Map- the intensity of your specular highlight (B&W)

Self-Illumination Map- the map used here will glow in the dark (color)

Opacity Map- How see through your material is. lighter shades will be more opaque darker shades will be more translucent (B&W)

Filter Color Map This acts in a similar way to your opacity map however it is more accurate and will allow for the virtual light in your scene to actually pass through the material (similar to a piece of coloured glass). It is more accurate but slower than the opacity map

Bump Map- This defines the surface of your material. If the material you are trying to reproduce has small pits on the surface or has cracks this map will recreate them. Lighter colors are raised, darker colors are carved in to your material (B&W)

Reflection Map- When you peer into your material, this map stares back at you- it defines what reflections are in your material. To save time when rendering you can use texture map of some sort or you can use one of the special maps for this purpose. Flat Mirror Map is mapped to each face of your object and is a reflection of its surroundings. As the name suggests they are best used on flat surfaces such as mirrors. A Raytrace Map uses ray tracing to accurately reflect the 3D Geometry immediately surrounding your object but can take some time. It can do a good job on curved surfaces. A Reflect/Refract Map is a less accurate but faster rendering version of the Raytrace Map. (Color or Reflection type maps)

Refraction Map: uses a Raytrace Map or other coloured texture maps to show what is visible through your object. The Raytrace Map is best used here- it will render accurate views of what is behind your objects and can convincingly simulate refraction. A Reflect/Refract Map can also be used, though it is not as accurate.

Displacement Map This map acts like a bump map, except that the geometry of your object is actually changed (basically it is more accurate but slower than using a bump map). The displaced part will cast shadows and block light, etc.