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3Delight Car Paint Material

This material is a specialized shader to easily create rendering of cars. Most cars are painted with a metallic paint that has specular flakes in a coat over a base surface.  Note that the same look can also be achieved using the 3Delight Principled shader alongside the Flake 3D Texture but this Material frees the artist from cumbersome shading network manipulations.


Coating is an important part of a car paint as it affects the overall look in three main aspects:

  1. It provides a richer specular response to light as it adds a specular highlight on top of the base surface's highlight.
  2. It can colour light as it passes through the coating.
  3. It contains metallic particles (a.k.a flakes) suspended inside the coat. 


The thickness of the coating layer. The thicker the layer the more it absorbs light and the less of the base layer is visible. A thickness of 0 disables the coating.


The colouring produced by this coating layer. Colouring will be more prominent in thicker layers.


Roughness of the coating layer.

Specular Level

How "shiny" is the coating. A value of 1 means a very shiny coating.


Flakes are little metallic particles floating inside the coating. They give the sparkly look to most car paints. This section controls the characteristics of these flakes.


The colour of each flake.


The roughness of each flake.



The scale of each flake. Note that smaller scales will necessitate higher Shading Samples.


Sets the fraction of the surface on which flakes are visible. A density of 0.5 means that a flakes cover half of the surface. 


How is random is the orientation of flakes. A value of 0 means that all flakes are oriented as the surface normal. A value of 1 means totally random directions.

Base Layer


The colour of the base layer.


Mainly controls the colour of the reflections. Reflection from metals has the colour of the light whilst non-metals reflect the colour of the surface.

Specular Level

Controls the strength of specular reflections on the base layer.


The roughness of the base layer.

Normal Map / Bump

This section concerns both normal maps and standard bump map. It allows control of the feature on both the coating layer and the base layer.


Specifies the type of mapping desired – Bump Map, Normal Map or Displacement Map. In the case of a Normal Map, a color is expected in as a value, it can be encoded in the style or DirectX or OpenGL.  In case of Bump Map or Displacement Map the shader will only consider the R value. Displacement maps can be interpreted as having their center value (the one that produces no effect) at 0.0 or 0.5.


A colour input specifying bump direction (Normal Map) or intensity (Bump Map / Displacement Map). 


Specifies how intense is the the bump mapping effect. A value of 0 means that normals will stay unchanged whereas a value of one will affect normals with full range.

Layers Affected

Select to apply bump to the coating, base layer or both layers (default). Has no effect when Type is set to Displacement Map

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