I've been doing work with Maya where I start with a small model of a surface and copy and past the group of atoms to propogate the surface to make it larger. The problem is that when I go to my hypershader, there are like literally 20-30 copies of each color. I know that I can right click and say "highlight selected" and then assign to one instance of the color, but when I try to select several "reds" and apply it to the main "red" it doesn't do them all.
There must be an easier way to collapse objects with several materials into 1 material.
Also, is there a way to make Maya name copies something logical instead of just "pasted"? If I copy and paste the same thing a bunch I end up getting pasted_pasted_pasted_pasted_object and its just out of control.
I had to read your post a few times to really grasp what you meant, but I think this is your answer:
Regarding the pasted_pasted_pasted things: don't use cut and paste unless you really have to. Use duplicate (ctrl+D). It'll copy the name of the object and just adds a number to it (clean-ish Outliner). On top of that, it will use the same material, without duplicating that as well. Result: clean hypershader, both problems fixed.