OMNITILES – Reference Guide

This guide serves as documentation and help for the OMNITILES plugin.


OMNITILES is a 3DS MAX® shader that creates any types of patterns based on editable shapes. Walls & Tiles and other plugins usually only allow square shaped patterns like standard brick walls or tiled floors. OMNITILES surpasses that limitation and offers complete freedom in the way patterns can be created and edited in materials.

What are the differences between Omnitiles, Walls & Tiles, Mosaic and Crossmap ?

Please view the separate feature comparison chart for more details on what unique to each product.


OMNITILES 1.0.0 – User Interface and general parameters

The full product Omnitiles consists of three main parts, the Omnitiles – SHADER, the Omnitiles – PATTERN EDITOR and the Omnitiles – LIBRARY which includes pattern files and map + material presets that can be loaded with Material Manager. The three parts are documented in detail below. If you are having problems using Omnitiles and the documentation won´t help, please submit a support ticket or use the user forum.


VP Omnitiles header

The header includes the version number, an about screen, a link to the activation dialog / License Viewer and a link to the online documentation (this page).

The about button opens a window with information about the version number, the developers, and a weblink to the CHANGELOG.

Activate / Show License
The ACTIVATE button / SHOW LICENSE button (if activated) enables the activation screen or License Viewer. Further information about Licensing and Activation .

Online Help
This button links to the documentation page (this page) directly.

Demo expiration / Buy License
If Omnitiles is used as a Demo, the demo expiration will be shown here (14 days in total). Buy License is a weblink to the online shop where Omnitiles can be purchased. Both the demo notification and the buy license button will disappear when Omnitiles is activated.

Omnitiles Presets and Material Manager

VP Omnitiles Load Save Open

VP Omnitiles Material Manager Library

Load Preset
Load Preset will open the Material Manager in Omnitiles MAP MODE. This means, only Omnitiles map presets will be shown. Double click or LOAD on the bottom right corner will load the preset and it´s pattern.

Save Preset
Save Preset will save a Omnitiles map preset into the Material Manager. The included pattern and associated maps are also saved, as well as a map thumbnail (600 x 600 pixel) that will be rendered during this process. After saving the files and rendering the thumbnail, Material Manager will open, so you can define attributes for the preset.

Open Manager
Open Manager will open Material Manager in general mode that shows ALL available presets stored in Material Manager and its database. This way you can also replace an Omnitiles map or material with a different material or assign other materials directly to your objects from within Material Manager.

Further information about Material Manager can be found in the Material Manager Documentation:

Material Manager Documentation

Omnitiles Pattern Editor

VP Omnitiles Pattern Editor

Omnitiles Pattern Editor

The Omnitiles Pattern Editor could be considered the heart of Omnitiles. A lot of effort went into the editor to make pattern creation as easy and straightforward as possible. Creating patterns is as simple as drawing lines from point to point, guided by a grid or with complete freedom. You can load background images, snap to grid, create free shapes, edit vertices, rotate and scale shapes, mirror and duplicate shapes. You can even modify UV Maps independently from the shape and define which overlapping shapes are on top or below each other.


Omnitiles Main Parameters

Load and Edit Patterns

VP Omnitiles Main Parameters

Load Pattern
This button will open up a standard max file dialog to open a pattern description file for Omnitiles. The pattern has the extension .vumd and is stored as XML file. The pattern library includes over 60 patterns for different use. Using this LOAD PATTERN function will ONLY replace the pattern description, while the above button LOAD PRESET will load and replace the entire map, including it´s sub-maps.

So if you plan to try out different patterns while keeping your sub-maps, use this LOAD PATTERN button.

Pattern Editor
This button opens the Pattern Editor which is used to create new and edit existing patterns. For a description of the Pattern Editor please see the PATTERN EDITOR section below.

Add maps for shapes and background

VP Omnitiles Main Parameters - Maps

Main Shape
This map slot is used for all SHAPES of a pattern. It can handle any 3ds Max map, including a bitmap, procedural maps and third party maps. The real power of Omnitiles lies in the combination with Crossmap though. Using Crossmap will randomize bitmaps across all shapes in a pattern, even if the pattern is repeated multiple times (with the #rows and #columns).

So why is this important ? Creating pattern that don’t repeat their appearance is the KEY for natural looking materials / textures. Crossmap in Omnitiles has this flexibility and not only offers randomization of multiple bitmaps but also random color variation.

The background is the COLOR or MAP behind all shapes. So any area that is not covered by a Shape in the editor will render this color or map. This is mainly intended, but not limited, to creating mortar, gaps, or areas between shapes / stones / tiles.

Using one bitmap

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Bitmap

Simple bitmaps can be used for the shapes. Using one bitmap though will result in repeating shapes, which might not be intended in most cases.

Using Crossmap

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Crossmap

Using Crossmap with Omnitiles mode selected, bitmaps will be randomly (or in a linear sequence) distributed among the shapes of a pattern.

Using a Gradient Ramp map

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Gradient Ramp

A Gradient Ramp map with MAP CHANNEL SET to 95 the gradient will be rendered along the borders of the shapes. This can be used for mortar, gaps, edges in the diffuse channel, displacement and bump or any other material channel.

Using Color Extract

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Color Extract

Using Color Extract will use all colors for the shapes, which is useful to colorize bitmaps or randomize displacements, reflection or other material channels.

Adjust tiling and size

VP Omnitiles Main Parameters - Tiling

The tiling parameters for #rows and #columns are used to increase the size of a pattern in general. Usually these parameters should be adjusted together to keep the aspect ratio of a pattern. In some cases it may be required to use a different value for the #rows than for the #columns, for example if the aspect ratio of the shapes in a patterns should be different than how they are in the pattern editor itself.


Let´s say you want like to create a wall pattern with bricks that have an aspect ratio of 3:1 (which is approximately the ratio of standard bricks in most European countries / 21 cm x 7 cm). Using a pattern with 3 shapes in it where their aspect ratio is 3:1 is easy. But what if you have a pattern with shapes that have an aspect ratio of 4:1 ? Then you need to calculate the correct number of rows and columns to fit your desired 3:1 ratio for the bricks: You simply need to squeeze 4 into 3 which means your #rows should always be 75% of the #columns -> 8 rows x 12 columns or 12 rows x 16 columns or 24 rows x 32 columns and so on.

Base Pattern

VP Omnitiles Tiling - Base Pattern

The Base Pattern has four perfect square shapes.

Tiling 6 x 6 (Ratio 1:1)

VP Omnitiles Tiling - Tiling 6 x 6 (Ratio 1:1)

Ratio 1:1 with #rows and #colums using the same value (6) will keep the aspect ratio of the resulting pattern at perfect squares, no matter how many rows and columns you set.

Tiling 6 x 12 (Ratio 1:2)

VP Omnitiles Tiling - Tiling 6 x 12 (Ratio 1:2)

Ratio 1:2 where #rows (6) is half the number of #colums (12) will result in tiles being half width as height.

Tiling 18 x 6 (Ratio 3:1)

VP Omnitiles Tiling - Tiling 18 x 6 (Ratio 3:1)

Ratio 1:3 where #rows (18) is three times the number of #colums (6) will result in tiles being triple the width of the height.

Transform UV sizes, places and rotations GLOBALLY

VP Omnitiles Main Parameters - Global transform

Scale will either increase (values > 100%) or decrease (values < 100%) the size of ALL MAPs inside the shapes together. This could be used to remove (crop) the edges of bricks for example. Rotate
Rotate will rotate the UV maps (not the shapes themselves) of all shapes globally, for example if you want to fit your maps to the shapes ratio.

Shift U
Shift U will move all shape UV maps together horizontally left or right.

Shift V
Shift V will move all shape UV maps together vertically up or down.

Global UV default

VP Omnitiles Global UV - default

The Global UV Settings are unchanges, so the cobblestones bitmaps are visible with their border.

Global Scale 130%

VP Omnitiles Global UV - Scale

The Global Scale has been set to 130%, so the UV maps are bigger than their originals, resulting in a cropping of the bitmaps inside.

Global Rotation 45%

VP Omnitiles Global UV - Rotate

The Global Rotation has been set to 45%, so the UV maps / bitmaps are rotated by 45° clockwise.

Global Shift

VP Omnitiles Global UV - Shift

The Global Shift has been set to -10% for U and 15 for W, so the UV maps / bitmaps are shifted to the right and down.

Transform UV sizes, places and rotations RANDOMLY

VP Omnitiles Main Parameters - Random transforms

While the global UV transforms will change all shape uv maps together, the Random UV transforms will change each uv map individually and randomly at the given range.

Scale will RANDOMLY scale the size of the MAPs inside the shapes individually.

Rotate will RANDOMLY rotate the UV maps (not the shapes themselves) of all shapes individually.

Shift U
Shift U will RANDOMLY move the shape UV maps horizontally left and right individually.

Shift V
Shift V will RANDOMLY move the shape UV maps vertically up and down individually.

Shape Maps List

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps

The Shape Maps rollout and list can be used override the main shape map with other maps. While the top Main Shape map will be used for all Shapes, you can add and replace specific shapes with other maps, for example if you want to create a chess checker pattern.

It is not necessary to use the individual shape maps, as the main shape map will work for all shapes in general. But it can be useful to define individual maps for specific shapes when more flexibility is needed.

Original – 1 main Crossmap

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - default

Only the main Shape has a Crossmap with multiple mosaic bitmaps loaded, so no additional maps are used for specific shapes. This way, all bitmaps are randomized across all shapes.

2 different Crossmaps

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Checker example

This example Checker uses one Crossmap as main Shape map with white bitmaps and another one that was instanced in two slots of a square pattern with just black bitmaps.

3 different Crossmaps

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Illusion example

The example uses three different Crossmaps, each with different bitmaps loaded for bright, dark and colored shapes.

3 different Crossmaps

VP Omnitiles Shape Maps - Kitchen Tiles example

The example also uses different bitmaps in three different Crossmap maps, for bright large shapes, smaller brick shapes (red) and dark mid-sized shapes (black).


  • Autodesk 3Ds Max 2016 (64 bit)
  • Autodesk 3Ds Max 2015 (64 bit)
  • Autodesk 3Ds Max 2014 (64 bit)
  • Autodesk 3Ds Max 2013 (64 bit)
  • Autodesk 3Ds Max 2012 (64 bit)
  • Chaosgroup VRay renderer
  • Scanline renderer
  • Corona Renderer

Installation and Activation

Detailed information on Licensing and Activation

Installation is easy, just start the installer “Omnitiles installer.exe” and select the install location and plugins you want to install. The installer automatically installs all plugins, demo files, preview images and Material Manager with library.

Go to the material editor and within a material add a new map and select the “VP Omnitiles” map from the list.