Table of Contents

This page provides information on the Car Paint Flakes Material.


VRayFlakesMtl is a material that simulates the metallic flakes found in car paints. It is a complex material generated by the mixing of several textures and can be used in blend materials to add metallic flakes to other shaders. V-Ray also provides the VRayStochasticFlakesMtl material, which may be better suited for this task.



© Den Brooks



Flake Layer Parameters

Flake color – Specifies the color or map of the metal flakes. 

Flake glossiness – Specifies the glossiness value or map of the metal flakes. It is not recommended to set this above 0.9, as it may produce artifacts.

Flake orientation – Specifies the orientation value or map of the metal flakes. The orientation of the flakes is relative to the surface normal. When this value is 0.0, all flakes are perfectly aligned with the surface. When set to 1.0, the flakes are rotated completely randomly with respect to the normal. Values above 0.5 are not recommended as they can produce artifacts. 

Flake density – Specifies the density (number of flakes) for a certain area. Lower values produce less flakes, and higher values produce more flakes. When set to 0.0, this produces a material without flakes.

Flake scale – Scales the entire flake structure.

Flake size – Specifies the size of the flakes relative to the distance between them. Higher values produce bigger flakes, and lower values produce smaller flakes.

Flake seed – Specifies the random seed for the flakes. Changing this produces different flake patterns.

Flake filtering – Determines the way the flakes are filtered. Filtering is extremely important to reduce the work required to produce a clean image.

Simple – This method is faster and uses less RAM but is less accurate. It averages the orientation of the flakes together, which may alter the appearance of the material when viewed from a distance.
Directional – This method is slightly slower and uses more RAM but is more accurate. It groups the flakes based on their orientation before performing the filtering, so that the material appearance is preserved.

Flake map size – Internally the material creates several bitmaps to store the generated flakes. This parameter determines the size of the bitmaps. Lower values reduce RAM usage, but may produce noticeable tiling in the flake structure. Higher values require more RAM, but tiling is reduced. Be careful when using the Directional filtering method, as it may quickly take up gigabytes of RAM for larger map sizes.

Flake mapping type – Specifies the method for mapping the flakes.

Explicit UVW channel – The flakes are mapped using the specified channel.
Triplanar from Object XYZ – The material automatically computes mapping coordinates in object space based on the surface normals.

Flake map channel – Specifies the mapping channel for the flakes when the Flake mapping type is set to Explicit UVW channel.




Trace reflections – When disabled, reflections from the different layers are not traced (they only produce specular highlights).

Max reflection depth – Allows you to control the maximum number of times a ray is going to be reflected by the material.

Double sided – When enabled, the material is double-sided.

Cutoff threshold – Specifies the cutoff threshold for the reflections of the different layers. This parameter is not available when the renderer is set to GPU.

Environment priority – Specifies the environment priority for the environment override texture for this material. See the VRayMtl material for more information on this parameter.



This rollout provides additional control to the different texture maps for the various parameters of the material. Also, an environment override map can be set here.

Environment override  Specifies a map for environment override. 



Common Uses

VRayFlakes can be used, along with VRayBlendMtl, to create highly custom materials such as car paints. In this case, a bowling ball is created when the VRayFlakes is used as a coat layer to a glossy plastic material using the VRayBlendMtl.




Blend material nodal setup. A glossy plastic is in the base, the VRayFlake node is assigned to Coat 1,
and a clear coat (clear glass VRayMtl) is assigned to Coat 2. 



Base Coat only

Base Coat with VRayFlakes added

Base Coat, VRayFlakes, and clear coat applied



  • The VRayFlakesMtl material needs to precalculate several textures related to the flakes. Depending on the Flake map size parameter, this may take a few seconds. When working in the material editor, this may lead to slight delays between changing a parameter and the update of the material swatch. The VRayStochasticFlakesMtl material doesn't have this drawback.