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Image Format

Images were previously able to be in DDS, TGA, and JPG formats on previous Call of Duty titles; however, Black Ops 3 only supports one image format: TIFF.

Photoshop and Gimp both have this format included in their base products, and don't require plugins to export to this format.


Images are now setup as an actual file in APE (Asset Property Editor). This means when you create a material file, you will also have to create multiple image files containing the directory

to the images those image files represent. This can be easily done through the material though, as it will contain an image button that will auto name and create the file for you.

Image Types

Image TypeDescription

Diffuse Color

(Albedo Map)

This map contains all the color data for the image as well as an Alpha channel if required for blend textures and alpha textures.

This does not include any lighting information for the material.

NormalThis map applys detail to the image allowing certain errors to react to light to simulate holes, cracks, grooves and other deformities of the material.
Detail NormalUsually used to give finer details on the material such as small scratches and other geometry details.


(Ambient Occlusion)

This texture is used only in specific cases where the user wants to show the shadows of deformities to the material more clearly.

It will affect the amount of ambient light and amount of reflection probe will be visible on the surface.



This map will determine which areas of the material are metallic and which are non-metallic.

Non-metal areas are represented by black and metal ares are represented by white. White areas will use the Specular Tint color picker.


(Inverted Roughness)

This map will determine the roughness of the material. White areas of the map represent the shiny parts of the material

while the Black areas of the map represent the flat parts of the material.

RevealThis map is used to adjust the blending of decals with the underlying surface. It also behaves as a height map where the white pars are the highest.
MixThis map controls which set of tiling textures are used for specific parts of the material.

This map represents how much light will bleed through the material - usually used for foliage or cloth materials. White areas represent having no light

pass through the material, while black areas represent having light pass through.


Materials follow a similar format to what they were in previous Call of Duty titles; however, they include a lot more flexibility.

Material Settings

Material Category

Sets the material up for its use as well as how advanced the settings for the material are.

Most common textures will use Geometry; however, advanced materials will use Geometry Advanced or Geometry Plus

Material Type

This is more of a subcategory of the Material Category and will further define the settings of the material.

Most common materials will use Lit, but there are other variations for specific scenarios. Material Types now include the Frame Buffer Operations, such as blend and

alpha settings, so depending on what you want, you would choose your settings with the Material Type that has a suffix of that settings.

Surface Type

Applies which impact fx and sound used on the material when hit by a bullet or projectile.

Similar to previous Call of Duty titles, this setting cannot be left as <error>. If the material does not get shot at or impacted by a weapon then set this to <none>.

Gloss Range

Applies the gloss surface type to the material which will set how dull or how much reflection the gloss map has on the material. This is similar to the

environment map from previous Call of Duty titles, but is categorized by materials. Custom can be chosen from the list, which will allow for the Gloss Range

to be manually inputted down under the Specular and Gloss tab.

UsageWhich category in Radiant Black that the texture will be represented under. Should be left as <not in editor> if doing materials not planned to be used in Radiant.
Asset TagsThis are check boxes used for Developers who will inspect the images later. It is not needed to be edited for modding.

These are the settings used for the image files explained above. Create an image for the respective image types by clicking the image button on the right. Each image

has different settings regarding tiling (if the texture is repeated) as well as the filter mode.

In some cases they also include a tint feature or scale to further adjust the texture's colors or intensity.

FrameBuffer OperationsThese settings are now controlled by the Material Type and include the blend and alpha transparency of the material.
Special Properties

These settings are check boxes that allow the material to have a special property in game. These include the type of clipping the material has, special cases like no fall

damage, if the material can be mantled on, or not impacted; as well as radiant settings like Non colliding, Structural and Portal.

Select which ever apply to the material you are creating.


Special Material Types

Note: Images in parenthesis represent image types only used by certain material types

Almost Everything 

Description: Almost every material should use Lit or one of its variants.

Material Types: Lit or Lit Detail

Supported Images: Diffuse Color, Normal, Heat

Grime, Dust, Dirt

Description: For accumulated dust, dirt, and grime.

Material Types: Lit Decal, Lit Decal Advanced, Lit Decal Diffuse, Lit Decal Diffuse Normal, Lit Decal Normal, Lit Decal Reveal, Lit Decal Reveal Advanced, Lit Detail Decal, Lit Detail Decal Advanced

Supported Images: Diffuse, Normal, (Occlusion), (Gloss), (Detail Normal), (Specular), (Reveal), (Tint)

Micro Tiled

Description: Used for more flexibility for higher pixel densities.

Material Types: Lit Micro Tiled Macro Color and Lit Micro Tiled Macro Color Advanced

Supported Images: Detail Color, Detail Normal, Detail Gloss, Detail Specular, Base Gloss, Base Specular


Description: For all foliage materials, includes sub-surface scattering.

Material Types: Vegetation and Vegetation Grime

Supported Images: Thickness, Diffuse, Normal

Clear Glass

Description: Glass materials

Material Types: Glass

Supported Images: Diffuse, Normal, Specular

Mirrored Glass

Description: Glass tinted with metals

Material Types: Lit Advanced

Supported Images: Diffuse, Normal, Occlusion, Specular, Gloss


Description: Beyond Glass and Foliage, only used in rare occurrences.

Material Types: Lit Alphatest, Lit Alphatest Advanced, Lit Alphatest Nocull, Lit Alphatest Nocull Advanced, Lit Detail Alphatest, Lit Detail Alphatest Advanced

Supported Images: Diffuse, Normal, (Occlusion), (Gloss), (Specular)

Base Metals

Description: Metal materials

Material Types: Lit Advanced and Lit Detail Advanced

Supported Images: Diffuse, Normal, Detail Normal, Occlusion, Specular, Gloss

Specular Color: This setting will allow to choose the type of metal the material is, it contains predefined metals as well as an option to choose a custom one.

Multiple Metals

Description: Used to create materials with more than one type of metal (such as brass and silver)

Material Types: Lit Advanced Fullspec and Lit Detail Advanced Fullspec

Supported Images: Diffuse, Normal, Detail Normal, Specular, Gloss