Creating custom liveries in Assetto Corsa Competizione

Much like with older games, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Kunos’ 2018 successor to the original AC features the functionality to create custom skins for its race cars as well. Unlike other games even, it comes with quite a powerful ingame editor that allows the user to create simple, yet good looking liveries within a few clicks, while still packing the option to create fully custom skin as well. It doesn’t stop there either, because as it turns out, those two ways of painting your dream car can be combined as well!

Using the ingame editor

The simplest way, obviously – loading up the game, you already got all the tools you’ll need if you want to go down this route. Just enter the car/team selection option within the game’s single player mode. Once in, click the tiny “Add” button next to the “Customize” text at the far left of the screen. Somewhat obviously, this will also be your place to go if you want to edit your custom design later on:

Next up, you’ll have to choose the car you want to paint. Almost every car in ACC can be customised with the in-game editor, with the notable exceptions the newer Emil Frey machine, the Lexus. For this guide, we will be using the 2019 Porsche 911II GT3 R.

Having chosen the car, we can now set up our design – having entered a racing number, all options are pretty self-explanatory, with the base design alongside numberbox and sponsorship (for banner and wings) options coming first before heading into the colourful world of actually painting the design chosen. Both the body and the wheels can be set to feature distinct colours, and you can set up varying material shaders as well, i.e. make the paint metallic, matte or various other visual styles.

Eventually, you might end up with something like this, having also set up auxiliary lights to get the full set going:

…and that’s about it for the most basic setup – hit the save button, and enjoy your new machine:

At this point, you can head back to the car selection – once there, you’ll be able to customise your drivers in a similar way, as well!

Enough with the painting now though, it’s time to take that beast out to the track!

Fully custom liveries

If you find the ingame editor’s abilities lacking and you want to go for a fully customised car, fear not – that’s possible as well! We’ll kick things off where we left them, basing our work off of that custom Porsche of ours! In order to do so, we’ll need to head into ACC’s documents folder, specifically the one containing Custom designs, located at C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Assetto Corsa Competizione\Customs\Cars.

In there, you’ll find one or more Json files, depending on how many cars you’ve already painted or otherwise added to the collection – we will now need to identify the one to work on. If you’ve only just created a one, that’s easy enough: Sort by change date, and you’re done. Let’s open that file within a text editor. In there, locate the line

“customSkinName”: “”,

This needs to be changed to feature a name of your choosing instead of the empty value, but make sure not to double-book it across multiple cars. Let’s go with realishporsche, and save the file. Maybe rename the Json itself file as well for better organisation.

Next, load up the game and livery – nothing changes quite yet, but this step will create a new directory at C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Assetto Corsa Competizione\Customs\Liveries\realishporsche, and add two more Json files in there. Let’s ignore them for now – instead, it’s time to go painting!

Grab the template for your car of choice, and once you’ve recovered from the shock of looking at the template, get a basic design going. For this guide, something simple will suffice, and it shall be saved as decals.png in that newly-created folder.

Apart from this design, we should also create a set of sponsors, using the template again, and saving the result as sponsors.png with a transparent background – for this guide, we will just be adding a Realish Racing logo to the wing:

Having done all that, let’s see what it does to our car, shall we? The game will now overlay the sponsors file onto the decal file and compile it into a paintjob:

At this point, you might want to reconsider your choices – if you are happy however, it might be time to repaint the rims and lights to fit the new design, before taking a look at the final cusomisation option: You do remember those extra Json files, don’t you?

In there, we can specify the paint coat’s materials for various properties, with valid values ranging from -1.0 to 1.0, whilst 0 essentially means “off”:

“baseRoughness”: 0,
“clearCoat”: 1,
“clearCoatRoughness”: 0,
“metallic”: 0

This is one to play around with a bit – try a few values and see what you come up with – while you are limited to 2 layers when creating a fully custom livery, you can create finer coat styles using these files.

The best of both worlds?

If you found the templates to be too complicated (and understandably so!), or your graphic abilities lacking, there’s a third option out there, combining the two ways outlined above – if you wanted to use a base design from the ingame editor, but still run your own logos, sponsors etc., you can do that by simply not supplying a decals.png file at all! The game will ignore the decals.json file and the original editor livery will be used instead:

…and that concludes our guide – happy painting!