Materials and Shaders

Each material of a car must be assigned to one shader. Shaders have different purposes and therefore need different setups.

Creating Materials

First, open the material browser in ZModeler 3. The material browser allows you to view all materials, copy or modify existing materials or create new ones.


For GTA V, all materials contain multiple textures. They have the following purposes:

  • Diffuse/Detail (Diff): The basic detail texture.
  • Specular (Spec): Affects the shine and reflectiveness of materials.
  • Normal Map (Bump): Allows adapting normals of a model for small details without the need to modify the model itself.
  • Environment Map (Env): Used to immitate rendered reflections, will not be visible in-game.
  • Dirt Map (Mask): Applies dirt effects when the car gets dirty in-game.
  • Burnt Map (Mask): Applies a burnt effect after a car exploded in-game.
  • Snow (Mask): Applies a snow overlay for cars with snow shader variants. Used for North Yankton cars in the default game.

By default, materials will be named after the first texture assigned. While working on a model it can be easier to differentiate between materials with the same default name by temporarily changing the name. When exporting the model, all names will automatically be reset to the correct default name.

Selecting Shaders

In the material browser, you can select shaders from a predefined list. For vehicles, select shaders from the Vehicle paint and the Vehicle generic categories.

After a shader has been selected, ZModeler will automatically add all necessary channels with default settings and default textures. Usually, it will only be necessary to select the textures you want to use.


For more information regarding the selection of shaders, see the table below.

Paint

To use in-game colors, the material name must end with [PAINT:X] , X being a number to select which color set to use. The color sets are set for each car in the carvariations file.

Assigning Materials

Materials need to be assigned to the corresponding model parts. Every polygon must be assigned to one material. By default, models will be assigned to the Default Material. It does not contain any textures and can't be used for GTA V.


To assign materials, select an object while in object mode or specific polygons in polygon mode. In the properties tab under Mesh > Polygons > Materials, you can select a material.

Commonly Used Shaders

Shader Name
Purpose Required Textures
vehicle_mesh Opaque materials such as metal or plastic. Used only for exterior parts in the default game, however also commonly used for interior parts.
Diffuse*, Normal, Dirt (UV 2), Specular, Environment**
vehicle_vehglass Transparent materials, used for any type of glass. For windows, two layers of glass visible to one direction each are necessary, this shader is used only for glass pointing to the exterior. Supports transparency.
Diffuse, Dirt (UV 2), Specular, Environment
vehicle_vehglass_inner See vehicle_vehglass, however only used for glass pointing to the interior.
Diffuse, Dirt (UV 2), Specular, Environment
vehicle_lightsemissive Transparent or opaque material used for emissive parts such as head or tail lights.
Diffuse, Dirt (UV 2), Specular, Environment
vehicle_tire Opaque material used for wheels. The complete wheel mesh must be assigned to materials using the vehicle_tire shader.
Diffuse, Normal, Dirt, Specular, Environment
vehicle_licenseplate Opaque material used for license plates, supports to switch between different textures and text in-game. The diffuse texture is always the default plate01 texture, the normal map plate01_n. Diffuse, Normal, Dirt, Environment
vehicle_badges Transparent or opaque material used for badges. Can be used as overlay on top of materials that don't support normal maps, such as vehglass.
Diffuse, Normal, Burnt, Specular, Environment
vehicle_interior Opaque material used for interior parts by the default game, however many modders prefer using vehicle_mesh for interiors.
Diffuse, Normal, Burnt, Specular
vehicle_interior2 Opaque material used for interior parts by the default game, however many modders prefer using vehicle_mesh for interiors. Diffuse, Burnt, Specular
vehicle_paint1 *** Opaque material used for vehicle paint, allows the use of colors set by the game. Diffuse maps with a transparent backgrounds can be used to apply an overlaying texture.
Diffuse, Dirt (UV 2), Specular, Environment
vehicle_paint3 ***
Opaque material used for vehicle paint, allows the use of colors set by the game. Diffuse maps with a transparent backgrounds can be used to apply overlaying textures. The first diffuse texture is always the default, completely white vehicle_generic_smallspecmap texture, the second the actual diffuse texture. Allows multiple liveries that will spawn randomly in-game, the diffuse map's name must end with sign_1, further textures can be added in the vehicle's texture archive, their name must end with sign_2, sign_3 and so on up to 25. Diffuse 1, Diffuse 2 (UV 2), Dirt, Specular, Environment
vehicle_shuts ***
Opaque material used for vehicle paint on top of an opaque texture for interior body parts.
Diffuse, Normal, Burnt, Specular


* If not stated otherwise, textures use the channel UV 1.

** Environment Maps are always assigned to "Auto Sphere Environment" and don't use a specific UV map.

*** Should always be used with paint.


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