Material Files

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Originally written by Fingernail & greebo on

What the Heck is a Material File?

The material files (extension .mtr) contain lists of 'material definitions' that tell the engine where to find the source files for the specified textures and what features it should have. All material files should be located in the darkmod/materials folder.

Material definitions apply to a single 'texture', though it may be made up of multiple texture files blended together. A simple material definition looks like this:

         qer_editorimage  textures/darkmod/custom/wall1_ed.tga     
         diffusemap       textures/darkmod/custom/wall1_d.tga      
         normalmap        textures/darkmod/custom/wall1_local.tga  
         specularmap      textures/darkmod/custom/wall1_s.tga      

If you're using the called textures/darkmod/custom/wall1 in your map, Doom looks up the name in the material definition and loads the according files.

A single material file contains lots of material definitions. This is useful as textures that logically belong to each other (e.g. several wall textures) can be summarized in one material file (e.g. materials/

The .mtr files are read upon launching Doom 3 - changing your material file therefore requires restarting Doom.

Create a new Texture Definition

Provided you already saved your texture source file (the .tga or .dds) in the appropriate folder, you can go on and create your texture definition. You cannot use your textures without this step.

Open up or create your personal material file with a text editor. There are existing guidelines for where texture definitions should go, for the sake of organization, but the engine doesn't care what the filename is as long as it's in the materials folder and has a .mtr extension.

First, specify the name of your new material. If it is not a model texture, then the name should include the path to the texture files used. Example:


Then, open up a squiggly bracket ({), and start to fill in the texture paths as below, changing the paths and names for your texture.

        qer_editorimage  textures/darkmod/stone/brick/redbrick_wall1_ed.tga     //editor image
        diffusemap       textures/darkmod/stone/brick/redbrick_d.tga           //diffuse map
        normalmap        textures/darkmod/stone/brick/redbrick_local.tga       //normal map
        specularmap      textures/darkmod/stone/brick/redbrick_s.tga           //specular map

Close the definition with a close squiggly bracket (}).

Save the file. Now you can load your new texture in DoomEdit or DarkRadiant provided you did it all correctly.

Alternatively you can also have a look a the existing material files and learn from them.

See also