LFS Editor/Modeller

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Vehicle Mods
Vehicle Mods at LFS.net
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The Modeller is a part of the LFS Editor. It is used to edit the 3D model, which includes editing the mesh and applying textures.

For user guides and walkthroughs for various modeller features, see Modeller Guides.

LFS Editor entry screen
Modeller start screen - standalone mode
Modeller with a car loaded through Vehicle Editor


To be able to use the modeller, you must have an S3 license. To get the S3 license, you can visit the LFS shop page.

Starting the modeller

First, follow the instructions how to download and install the LFS Editor.

Once you have the editor installed and run the LFS Editor application, you will be presented with the entry screen. Click the Modeller button to enter the Modeller.

The modeller can also be entered from the Vehicle Editor by pressing E or clicking the E - Edit Model button on the right hand side of the vehicle editor.

General modeller tips

  • The list of colours at the bottom left in 'tri' mode is a different view of the list of mappings in 'map' mode.
  • When you select a triangle, its colour is selected in the bottom left list. If the list is long, click cols : X to bring the selected colour onto screen.
  • In 'subob' mode you can select a subobject with Ctrl + click while pointing at one of its surfaces.
  • In 'tri' mode, Ctrl + click adds or removes triangles from the selection. Alt + click starts a new selection (one triangle).
  • In the special view modes (like groups or mappings) the group select feature (Ctrl + ⇧ Shift + click) does a flood select within the group.
  • Press ⇧ Shift + F to temporarily hide the editor buttons.
  • To reduce clutter, use hide selected to temporarily hide points and triangles, then unhide all to show the again.

User interface

When you open the Modeller, the user interface looks as follows:

LFS Editor modeller user interface.jpg

The interface consists of the following parts:

  1. 3D model view
  2. editing mode selector
  3. editing mode specific controls
  4. load / save object
  5. view modes & view options
  6. common editor view controls

Vehicle model structure

Modeller uses 3D meshes to represent the vehicle model in 3D space. All meshes are built from three basic structures - points, edges and triangles.

LFS editor mesh parts.jpg


The most elementary part of a 3D model is the point (also referred to as a vertex) which is a single point in 3D space. Points are represented in the 3D viewport in point mode as small square buttons.


An edge always connects two points by a straight line. They are used to construct triangles. Edges are represented in 3D viewport in tri and point modes as thin lines.


Triangles (often abbreviated to tris) are used to build the actual surface of the object. They are what you see when you render the mesh. If this area does not contain a face, it will simply be transparent or nonexistent in the actual model.

A triangle is defined as the area between three points, with an edge on every side.

Object types

The vehicle model consists of a main object and optionally one or more subobjects.

Main object

This is usually the vehicle body, excluding small independent parts or special objects like the steering wheel, wipers etc.


Subobjects are standalone 3D models belonging to the vehicle model. They can be loaded or saved independently of the main object.

There are several types of subobjects that can be created, such as steering wheel, internal mirror, brakes, mudguards, wings and other attachments.

See subob editing mode for more information about working with subobjects.

Load / save object

At the bottom left of the screen, there is a set of buttons used to load or save an object in the Modeller.

Modeller load and save objects.jpg

If you have an subobject selected, another row of buttons appears, allowing you to load or save the current subobject.

Load / save object buttons
subobject Indicates that a subobject is currently selected
load Load a new subobject, replacing the selected subobject
save Save the current subobject as an object in data\3dob
main object The name of the main object
LOAD Load a new object from data\3dob
SAVE Load the main object to data\3dob
skinXFG_DEFAULT Click the skin name (e.g. XFG_DEFAULT) to select a JPG image in data\skins to use as a skin in the editor
OBJ Load an OBJ file from data\obj

View modes

In the bottom right part of the screen, you can choose different view modes of the model:

Modeller view modes



Each colour represents triangles assigned to a particular layer. You can toggle layers on/off by clicking the layer buttons in the top left part of the screen.



Shows the edges as a wireframe. The edges can have different colours:

  • grey - two triangles share the edge. This is the normal condition for most edges in an object.
  • red - an unshared edge - only one triangle uses this edge.
  • cyan - three triangles share the edge.
  • orange - four triangles share the edge.

When you see an edge that is not grey, it may be intentional or it may draw your attention to a bug in the model. There are reasons to have unshared edges or multiple shared edges in some cases. But if it is not intentional, it may indicate a modelling error such as:

  • A double built triangle - this would appear as a cyan triangle where you expect grey triangles.
  • A triangle connected to the wrong vertex - could cause unshared edges.

It's good to click wire mode occasionally and if you see edges that are not grey, make sure that you know the reason for them and that they are as intended.



Each colour represents a different mapping.



Flat shading of the triangles without being smoothed.


Smoothing groups

Smoothing groups. The boundaries between different smoothing groups usually have a sharp edge. All triangles within one smoothing group have artificial smoothing applied.

When you switch to the groups view mode and select tri mode, an additional set of buttons will be shown in the top right corner of the screen.

Groups mode in combination with tri mode

Each smoothing group is represented by a number and a distinct colour.

Smoothing group buttons

If needed, you can create new groups by clicking the new group (N) button, where N is the number of the group to be created.

You can create up to 23 groups for the model.

When you select a group which is not assigned to any triangles, a delete button appears at the top, allowing you to delete unused groups:

Delete group button

When you press and hold Ctrl, the labels of the group buttons will say all. If you click one of them, all triangles assigned to that group will be selected.

Select all buttons



The default rendering of the model with gouraud shading applied. This is how the car should appear in game.


Normal contribution levels

Normal contribution levels. Each triangle meeting at a vertex, within the same smoothing group, contributes to the normal of that surface at that vertex. In fact, large triangles have a larger contribution. So for example you could make a simple "hardback book" shaped object and most of the apparent curvature would be on the spine of that book. But the spine would still be contributing to the normals, so the front and back faces of the "book" would still be a little curved. If, however, you set the normal contribution level" of the spine to zero, then the spine would not contribute to the normals at all. Then the front and back face of the book would look totally flat.


Left/right swap

Driver swap modes. The triangles can have different colours:

  • grey - applied to mirrored triangles, which do not have any swapping
  • blue (static) - do not change sides when driver side is swapped
  • red (swap) - change sides when driver side is swapped

In this mode, you can set driver swap modes to triangles by going to the tri mode, selecing one or more triangles and clicking one of the swap mode buttons in the top right corner.

Editing modes

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Subobject mode


Triangle mode







View options

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Show main

Show subobs

Show wheels

Show hidden


Test L.R.swap

Wire overlay