One Shader, Multiple Objects
Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Apply One Shader to Multiple Objects in Maya
Once you create a shader for one object, the shader can be applied to several other objects in the scene. For instance, let's say you had a five board fence, all with the same shader, you could change the color of one board and the rest would update.
Add a polygon cube to the workspace by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Cube.
Select the cube and choose Edit > Duplicate (Cmd/d (PC - Ctrl/d)). With the Move tool (w key) drag the second cube to the right of the first cube.
Select the second cube, then right-click the cube and choose Assign New Material > Blinn.
In the Attribute Editor, blinn tab, click the Color rectangle to change the cube's color to green. Press the 5 key to see the object in Smooth Shade mode.
Select the second cube and choose Edit > Duplicate (Cmd/d (PC - Ctrl/d). With the Move tool (w key) drag the new cube to the right of the second cube. Notice that the Blinn shader was also transferred to the third cube.
Select the first cube, then right-click the cube and choose Assign Existing Material > Blinn1.
In the Attribute Editor, blinn tab, click the Color rectangle to change the Blinn color to blue. All three cubes are now blue.
Saving Shader Presets
Another way to reuse shader settings is to use the Presets feature. Once you have your shader values dialed in, click the Presets button in the upper right corner of the Blinn panel. Choose Save Preset and give your preset a name. Your new preset can be now accessed with the Presets button so you can apply the preset to another shader.
Unfortunately, the presets don't include texture nodes that were added to the shader. To include the external textures (i.e., Bulge) you would need to use Substance Textures. For more information, see topic, Adding a Substance Texture.