Roblox's materials are unlike materials on other platforms, in that their visual appearance and their physical properties reflect those of materials in the real world. For example, concrete is heavier than plastic and sinks faster in water. When you set the material of a part or terrain, Roblox simulates its physical material properties to make this behavior just work.
The Roblox engine offers a range of base materials suitable to build many experiences, including various categories of metal, rock, and organic materials. The Material Manager in Studio helps you visualize materials and apply them to parts.
You can also create your own custom materials and apply them to parts or terrain. Custom materials have an additional adaptive materials behavior that lets you adapt any model to use your art style and custom materials, even if someone else created the model.
The easiest way to interact with materials is through Studio's Material Manager, a streamlined tool for working with materials.
The material manager window consists of four main sections:
The Toolbar displays key commands and a material search field.
The Browser displays available materials, either all at once or by category.
The Palette displays the materials in the currently selected category.
The Inspector displays information about the selected material.
You can change the window's layout within Studio, just like other windows, and you can toggle between grid or list view using the view options button in the top-right corner.
In the 3D viewport or Explorer, select one or more parts.
In the Material Manager palette, hover your mouse over the desired material (you don't need to select it) and click the Apply to Selected Parts button.
You can also use a material as a painting tool that applies to parts:
In the Material Manager, select the material you want to apply.
In the top-left corner, click the Paint Parts With Selected Material button to enable the material as a painting tool.
In the 3D viewport, hover over and click the parts that you want to apply the material to.
When you're done painting, click the button again to disable the tool.
The Material Manager provides a user interface to interact with various aspects of MaterialService, including creating new custom materials and applying them to parts and terrain. Custom materials are represented by MaterialVariant instances within MaterialService.
You can apply custom materials per-part or globally to both parts and terrain, and you can fine-tune how custom materials apply to faces of terrain with TerrainDetail instances.
Note that the appearance of custom materials is based on Physically Based Rendering (PBR) textures that you make with other tools, such as Adobe Substance 3D Designer and Substance 3D Painter. For more information, see Adobe's documentation.
Note that if you rename a custom material after applying it to parts, those parts will not automatically use the custom material with the new name. This behavior allows for Adaptive Materials. If you want parts to continue using a custom material after you rename it, you'll need to re-apply the custom material.
To create a custom material in the Material Manager:
Click the base material from which your custom material will inherit physical properties. If you skip this step, the base material will be Plastic, but you can change it later.
In the top-left corner, click Create Material Variant.
A new variant appears in the palette with an icon in the bottom-right corner, indicating it's a custom material.
In the inspector, rename your custom material to describe its purpose. You can change the name later, but if you do so after applying the material to parts, you'll need to re-apply it to those parts.
For each texture map option such as Color or Normal, paste an asset ID or import a new texture from your computer. Square textures work best. If you don't specify an asset for a texture map, that texture remains blank.
If desired, adjust the Studs Per Tile and Pattern values to change how the material looks.
The Material Generator is designed to create material variants from text entries. Using it, you can type any phrase and hit Generate to see results within a few seconds. Once you find a satisfying result, you can instantly save it as a new custom material.
Open the Material Generator tool from the Home tab.
In the text box at the top of the window, enter keywords and then click the Generate button. Generating satisfying results can be an iterative process requiring a long list of descriptors to help focus in on the material you want. Here are some tips:
- For close-up patterns, try using terms like "close up," "top down," and "texture."
- For simpler repeating patterns, try using terms like "simple," "pattern," "symmetrical," and "flat."
- For more control, add stylistic terms like "photorealistic," "cartoon," or "hand-drawn."
- For the ability to change colors, try including terms like "grayscale" which will allow you to tint the material afterwards.
As follows are some example keyword combos and the approximate results. Note that every click of Generate yields different results, even with the exact same keywords.
Click a generated image tile to view more options, as well as apply the material in "preview" mode to all selected parts.
Adjust the Studs Per Tile slider to interactively preview how the material's texture will appear on the selected parts. Additionally, test out the Organic toggle which makes materials appear less "repetitive" by randomizing the output.
You can also apply the new material to a part by setting its MaterialVariant property in the Properties window. In this case, Studio automatically sets its Material property to the base material you chose when creating the material.
Unlike on parts, you cannot directly apply custom materials to terrain, although you can set a custom material as a material override to an existing base material for all terrain using that base material.
See Material Overrides for instructions on using a custom material as a global per-place override for any base material.
You can set a custom material as a material override to make its base material serve as a reference to the custom material. When you do so, Studio will use the custom material for both the textures and physical properties of any part or terrain that uses the custom material.
To set a custom material as a material override in the Material Manager:
Click the custom material that you want to set as an override.
In the inspector, scroll down to Overrides and enable Set as Override.
The new override appears as a property of MaterialService in the Properties window.
By default, applying a custom material to parts or as an override applies that custom material as tiles across each face. For terrain, you can optionally configure TerrainDetail instances to customize the top, side, and bottom of terrain voxels using that custom material.
To customize the faces of terrain using a custom material:
In the palette of the Material Manager, click the custom material.
In the inspector, confirm that its Set as Override toggle is enabled.
In the Terrain Details section, click Create for each face you want to customize.
For each face you enable, expand the arrow to access and edit details such as its name, texture maps, studs per tile, and pattern.
You can disable an entire material override and all base materials that it's currently overriding, or you can disable the override for a specific base material.
In the palette of the Material Manager, click a custom material that's being used as an override.
In the inspector, scroll down to Overrides and disable Set as Override.
You can delete a custom material from the Material Manager by selecting it and clicking the Delete button below its preview globe. Alternatively, you can delete its associated MaterialVariant instance within MaterialService of the Explorer.
All materials have built-in physical properties such as density, elasticity, and friction. Through the application of custom materials with unique physical properties, you can affect global material behavior for all parts and terrain which use the custom material, such as creating an extremely slippery variant of the Ice material.
When factoring physical properties, the engine prioritizes more granular per-part settings over material behaviors to determine the effective physical properties of a surface:
Custom physical properties of the specific part.
Custom physical properties of the part's custom material.
Custom physical properties of the material override of the part's material.
The default physical properties of the part's material.
In the palette of the Material Manager, click the custom material.
In the inspector, scroll down to the Physics section and set custom physical properties as detailed in the PhysicalProperties reference.
For any part that uses the custom material and does not have part-specific overrides, the CurrentPhysicalProperties branch in the Properties window reveals that its default physical properties are overridden by the custom material's properties.
If you need to override a part's custom material properties and set physical properties for that specific part, you can use its CustomPhysicalProperties toggle.
With the part selected, enable CustomPhysicalProperties in the Properties window.
Set custom physical properties as detailed in the PhysicalProperties reference.
When you apply a custom material to a part, the part's Part.MaterialVariant property becomes the name of its MaterialVariant rather than its specific instance. This means that when you reuse the part in the same or a different place, as in a model or package, it's easier for you to adapt different custom materials to adjust the part's look. The adaptive behavior of custom materials has the following effects:
- If you create collections of custom materials with the same name but different textures, then you can quickly change the style of a place by changing which collection is a child of MaterialService.
When you reuse custom materials in models and packages, each MaterialVariant instance must be in MaterialService for it to work.
The Creator Marketplace has a category called Materials for "material packs", models that contain only MaterialVariant, TerrainDetail, Folder, and Model instances. The Materials category is a way to promote and discover custom materials by other creators.
Shaders generate the look and feel of materials. The base material shaders work differently than the shader which MaterialVariant instances use, so you can't create custom materials that look exactly like base materials, but you can still create custom materials that use their textures. The following tables list the asset IDs for base materials.
|2022 Material||RGB Value||Color|
|Asphalt||80, 84, 84|
|Basalt||75, 74, 74|
|Brick||138, 97, 73|
|Cobblestone||134, 134, 118|
|Concrete||152, 152, 152|
|CorrodedMetal||104, 140, 173|
|CrackedLava||255, 24, 67|
|DiamondPlate||168, 175, 176|
|Fabric||194, 193, 168|
|Foil||168, 175, 176|
|Glacier||221, 228, 229|
|Glass||138, 167, 168|
|Granite||149, 146, 139|
|Grass||111, 126, 62|
|Ground||140, 130, 104|
|Ice||204, 210, 223|
|LeafyGrass||106, 134, 64|
|Limestone||255, 243, 192|
|Marble||122, 122, 122|
|Metal||168, 175, 176|
|Mud||121, 112, 98|
|Pavement||143, 144, 135|
|Rock||99, 100, 102|
|Salt||255, 255, 254|
|Sand||207, 203, 167|
|Sandstone||148, 124, 95|
|Slate||88, 89, 86|
|Snow||235, 253, 255|
|Wood||172, 148, 108|
|WoodPlanks||172, 148, 108|
The following table lists the default physical properties for each material as detailed in the PhysicalProperties reference. The 2022 materials and pre-2022 materials have the same values. For information on setting custom physical properties, see Physical Properties.