How to create Blend Materials for Source 2

This is How to create your own Blend Material for source 2 for map development in hammer. The method is different from the Gmod days since Hammer 1 is out-dated now. I made a video tutorial going into more detail at the bottom of this post. The only info I found on this was an article from 2018… Hopefully it will provide people with better detail in your map designs :slight_smile:

I will be using the SteamVR Dev Tools, If you are using the HL:Alyx Dev tools then feel free to use the simple shader at step 3

Step 1 - Download Some Textures
Get some free textures off the web, Make sure they contain a colors file and a Normals File.


Step 2 - Open Source 2 Dev tools / Material Editor
Open Material editor, go to File New, Then click File Save as, Save your blank Material File.

Step 3 - for SteamVR: Select the VR Standard Shader | For HL:Alyx Dev tools use any Shader with layer options
Make sure VR Standard Shader is selected, Simple shaders are used for things like 2d Textures, complex shaders can be used for more advanced laying/animating. The standard shader will take a Colors file and a Normals File. Hopefully you downloaded these already in step 1.

Step 4 - Select your 1st texture files.
Under the colors section click the folder icon and navigate to the color file of your texture, If you cant see the file make sure the All Images option is selected and you’re looking in the correct folder. Repeat this step for the Normal section as well.

Step 5 - Go to the blend section
Scroll down to the Blend section and make sure 2-Layer is selected, This will give you an extra 2 layers for your material file. We will only be using 1 extra layer in this example. Also make sure the Blend Normals box is selected. In my case I am going to be blending dirt with sand so it makes sense that the Normals are blended. Think of the Normals layer as how bumpy your texture is, It would make sense for Dirt and Sand to blend in this example.

Step 6 - Go into Layer 1 which is our new extra layer, Now we add our 2nd Texture
You are now going to load in your 2nd texture that you want to blend together. My 2nd Texture is sand, Under Layer 1 repeat the process of importing your 2nd textures color and normals file. Once you can see 2 textures formed together go to File>Save as and you’re done! Your first custom Blend Material that you can use in the Source 2 Engine.

Now you can load up the Hammer Editor and start painting! If you don’t know where to place your new Blended Material file ( which is the .Vmat File you just saved) Watch the video or simply put it in your Projects Addons folder. This location differs depending on where your dev tools came from, In my case I’m using SteamVR Dev tools so it goes into my SteamVR Addons folder (shown in the video).


Video Tutorial with more Details and solutions▼
How to make Blend Materials for source 2


Cheers for the guide mate, super useful :clinking_glasses:
Would also be super handy if you could copy this over to the wiki so that more people can see it <3

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Good guide but why not use Vr Simple 2way Blend Shader?

You could use simple, But since I am using SteamVR development tools because I don’t have access to HL:alyx Dev tools, My shaders are slightly different, If you have HL:Alyx dev tools then the Material editor you have will allow you to use the simple shader. In my case I Have to use the standard shader because my simple shader for SteamVR doesn’t come with a normals layer.