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Physically based rendering shader. Source code is available at: https://github.com/thexa4/source-pbr


  • $basetexture - The albedo texture
  • $normaltexture - The normal map
  • $mraotexture - A texture with the metalness on the red channel, roughness on the green channel and ambient occlusion on the blue channel.
  • $envmap - Must be set to "env_cubemap"
  • $pbrlookup - Must be set to "dev/pbr_lookup"
  • $surfaceprop - One of the following: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/$surfaceprop
  • $model - Should have a value of "1" if the texture is used on a prop.
  • $translucent - Setting this to "1" enables alpha blending.
  •  %keywords - A list of keywords separated by commas, should contain 'empires' as first element. Examples of keywords are: architectural,brown,gray,grime,hanger,industrial,metal,modern,shed,urban,wall,floor
  • $basetexturetransform - Looks like this: "center 0.5 0.5 scale 0.1025 0.1025 rotate 0 translate 0 0" for a 2m by 2m texture.


 "$basetexture"   "mymod/newtexture_albedo"
 "$normaltexture" "mymod/newtexture_normal"
 "$mraotexture"   "mymod/newtexture_mrao"
 "$envmap"        "env_cubemap"
 "$pbrlookup"     "dev/pbr_lookup"
 "$surfaceprop"   "metal"

Integrating in your mod

The shader is built on top of the Base SDK github code. If you continued working on top of that and still use git, you can merge in this change: https://help.github.com/articles/syncing-a-fork/


  • You have to start hammer with a -game <yourmod> startup parameter. You can add this by editing 'bin/Hammer.bat'
  • Make sure cubemaps are on on 128x128 or higher (default in Empires)
  • The shader works with the Unreal Engine format of https://gametextures.com

Getting help

If you need help or have suggestions, please contact @Thexa4 on the Empires Discord or the Source Modding Community.