Finite element formulations are commonly used to predict stress, strain and temperature fields in metal forming. As these models have now gained robustness, an increasing attention is placed on the metallurgical evolutions associated with the thermal and mechanical fields. A finite element can be associated to a microstructure, and the microstructure description allows the modeling of a constitutive behavior, using conventional homogenization theories. These theories can be further refined with the help of finite element calculations describing the material structure at multiple scales. The paper concentrates on numerical strategies than can be developed to couple finite element formulations to metallurgical models of two kinds: those predicting crystallographic textures and mechanical anisotropy, and those dealing with phase changes controlled by diffusion. Multiscale finite element models describing key features of metallic structures are also discussed, within a digital material framework. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.