How to make things seem corroded


Hey all,

I’m building a cyberpunk/apocalyptic style map and I can’t seem to find a good way to make small assets seem corroded without using the ugly corroded metal material.

The corroded metal material in itself isn’t bad, it just doesn’t flow well enough with other metal materials (Metal and Diamond Plate) to make a whole asset out of.

Here’s an example:

I’ve done this type of thing in the past and just made certain parts of the asset seem corroded, but you can tell it doesn’t quite look right because the regular Metal material is too “perfect” so-to-speak and contrasts way too hard with the corroded metal.

The two things I’ve tried:

  • Making the whole asset corroded metal looks really bad unless the entire area around it is some other “rough-looking” material (such as grass, slate, sand, etc.)
  • Making the whole asset out of regular Metal looks too “clean” for a corroded feel

For now I’ve resigned to making the entire asset Metal and making really small whole pieces of it corroded metal (not like in the image), but that seems to be the closest I can get to a corroded look without it looking strange.


Nice model! I think the contrast is so extreme because the corrosion is too contained. Corrosion is random and is really messy, so get the model messy:

(Not pictured would be the rust around the model itself where there would have rust leaking onto the surrounding surfaces)

Here’s a quick example I whipped up:

(I’d 100% use a texture if I were making a serious asset, but you get the idea)

Basically make it look like it’s been rained on for a decade, and the metal has oxidized and rubbed off with the rain. Provide lots of slight colour variations and grime as needed.

Let us know what you come out with, I’d be interested what you decide to change! :slight_smile:


Darn I was hoping to avoid textures because it takes so much extra time to find a good number of free textures that flow together (let alone the time required if I wanted to make my own textures). ):

Though you did give me the idea of using negations to counteract the “containment” of the corrosion. Thanks!


The corroded metal material has been an ugly mess for quite some time, and I don’t know of many situations where it actually looks passable with other materials. It’s just too strong and saturated with the rust to be of any real “rust” look.

Textures are surprisingly easy to make, and you should consider playing around with them to make something. Especially as your alternative is using unions which - while convenient - are not really great for performance.

Let me know if you need any additional help or have more questions :slight_smile:


If I was working on a rustic style I’d use textures.

I just threw this together real quick to show you what I mean. Textures add that charm you where explaining about, and if you make them or find some you could really make a great rustic / apocalyptic theme with that.

You could seriously make some cool designs using them.


As you said previously, you wanted to avoid textures, in the last case scenario and you do use it, go to for free textures which are very varied in categories.

You can use negate to put random indents. But you’d need to go quite extreme if you’re not using textures if you want to convey that really nice corroded structure


The best thing to do would to use a texture! Good luck on your model it looks great!


A friend of mine showed me this trick.

First, you want to have the part with the material of corroded metal set to a transparency of 0.5

Then duplicate the part, set the transparency to 0, and change the material to metal.

And now, you get a corroded metal that doesn’t seem to contrast the other colors.