game-res 3D vehicle WIP material/texture critique


I would like feedback on the texture and materials for a game-res VW Jetta model for my personal portfolio, to represent my professional capabilities. I am aiming for this to be a fairly detailed vehicle like something for a racing game (yes I realize Jetta is not a racing car–this is a challenge to myself to make something ordinary look good, as opposed to making a model that looks appealing because the design is flashy even if the model/texture isn’t great).

This is a WIP–I am pretty happy with the model and mostly I am looking for feedback on the blueviolet paint material/texture (but if you see other areas to critique I am open to it). I am trying to realistically emulate car paint–a smooth surface with a slight sparkle from the sort of grainy variation in the paint under the final coat of gloss/finish. I think (at least I hope) that I have almost but not quite hit that look, but I’ve been looking at this too long to see it without bias. I know there’s no mud/wear-and-tear/etc–that is not what I’m looking for feedback on here. Also, the tail lights and license plate are stand-in textures currently–I know they need to be improved.

The screencaps are from Unity engine. I’m using Bruno Rime’s free hard surface shader for the paint material (located at I don’t have dedicated UV space for each part of the car–I unwrapped them to be at the same scale and am using tileable 1024x1024 maps. I am using diffuse, greyscale specular map (I think Unity free does not support color spec maps), gloss map, normal map, reflectivity map, cube map. I modeled a simple interior so the viewer can see through the windows, and simple engine and parts under the hood so there would be something visible in a damaged state if the hood dents/breaks off. 27K tris total, 22K tris excluding interior.

Thanks everyone and please let me know if you want more information in order to make a more informed critique.


Its hard to see the body because the shader is too dark and there is no lightfall to define the shape. I see wheels then the rest of the model falls into a black hole a bit. From what I can seel the body looks soft and not very tight.


Thank you for the feedback, Kanga! Sorry for the delayed reply. I got busy with other projects and am now back to this. I will post updated images soon when ready.


I found a set of car paint shaders for Unity (by Red Dot Games) and they seem to do the trick far better than the previous Hard Surface Shaders I was using. I’m still messing with the settings but these were designed for this purpose, so it should be easier to hone in on a realistic look. Feedback welcome.


The new material looks better, but your mesh is letting it down.

Your shader is doing an excellent job of showing problem areas in the model. Just as in a real car-wavy panels really stand out in reflections.


Do you have a wireframe we can see?
The mesh looks to have some issues judging by the shader details


Wow I didn’t notice the responses until now. I’ve been quite busy and may not be able to work on this model a while. Thank you LJDK and Wintermute for the critiques, and sorry for responding 3 months late.


A lot of the geometry is too soft. For instance the front wing to door edges are rounded where they shouldn’t be. Nice shaders won’t hide geometry issues like that, they make them more obvious instead. Front wheel arches look wrong too and the wheels are to my eyes too small and set too far in the arches. The tyre threads look a bit wonky too.


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