Pick up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people, people he cares about, are counting on him.

Post tutorial Report content RSS feed How to compile a model

In this tutorial, you will learn how to export a model to a source mdl with CannonFodder's StudioCompiler.

Posted by exetheanimator on Apr 7th, 2008
Intermediate Starting a mod.

So, first, most important thing you will need is StudioCompiler, which is a software that give StudioMDL and Vtex a GUI.You can download it here : Chaosincarnate.net

Once you downloaded it, you have to extract the files in :

C:/Program Files/Steam/steamapps/username/sourcesdk/bin/ep1/bin.If you have any bug, go to

C:/Program Files/Steam/steamapps/username/sourcesdk/launcher/GameInfo.txt, open it, and change ToolsAppid from 211 to -211, this should work(I hope).

So, once you done all these steps, create a shorcut of Studiocompiler on your desktop, and open it, you should have this :

The StudioCOmpiler application

This screenshot shows the model compile tab.This is the graphical interface for studioMDL.

For this tutorial I will use a table i made.(or you own model).After having exported the 3 SMD's (table_ref, table_phys, table_idle), you have to type table.mdl in the Compiled Model File. and drag the table_ref in Reference SMD.Set the Model Type to prop_static, in Sequences, check "Use reference SMD", and in collisions, drag the table_phys SMD.

you should have this :

StudioCompiler ready to compile !

Then, click compile!

You model is now ready for source, you can click view model in StudioCompiler to open HLMV(Half-Life Model Viewer) and see...that there are no any textures !!

So let's texture !^^

Go into the material compile tab in StudioCompiler.In shader choose the shader VertexLitGeneric if you want a model texture or LightMappedGeneric for a map texture.Same thing in Compiled Material Directory , choose materials/models for models and materials/ for map textures.

in our case we will choose VertexLitGeneric, choose material/models, and type table under Compiled material directory.Then drag your TGA textures in Materials.

You should have :

The Material tab ready to create the texture (VTF)

Then Click Compile.If it works, you should have this :

Finished texture compiling dialog

(Sorry for mistake)After having compiled your textures, go back to the Model Compile tab, and click again compile.Click on View Model, click File -> Load model..., and type table.mdl and there you should have your beautiful model !

Post comment Comments
c4Menace Apr 10 2008 says:

this is a good tut but it dosnt explain what most of us are having trouble with -- getting MAX to SMD properly, especially with animations. That is the tricky part.

+2 votes     reply to comment
FriskyNoodle Nov 5 2010 replied:

Dude here is where you can export from max into an smd


+1 vote     reply to comment
Gongong Apr 10 2008 says:

This tut is marked as not related to any game, even tho it's HL2-related, is that fixable?

Nice tut, might try modeling again some time, just don't have the inspiration. Anyway, if I do, this might come in handy... :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Goldendeed Apr 13 2008 says:

ummm, this is what happens when i click on the desktop shortcut, this is what i see for a spilt second, please help me!
link to what i see: I31.tinypic.com

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sebby123 Mar 1 2009 replied:

For studiomdl you need to run it through command.

How to:
Start > Run > cmd.exe
Open the folder with studiomdl in and then drag studiomdl.exe into cmd.exe then press space.
Go into your folder with the .QC file and then drag it into cmd.exe.
Press enter and you should see it compile the model.

Before someone comments; I don't care if the post was almost a year old, this could help others.

+2 votes     reply to comment
exetheanimator Author
exetheanimator Apr 14 2008 says:

Goldendeed, you made a mistake. In my tutorial I said to create a shorcut of StudioCompiler, not StudioMDL ^^ !
Hope you can get a good object ! If you have any bug, see the beginning of my tutorial !

+2 votes   reply to comment
exetheanimator Author
exetheanimator Apr 14 2008 says:

I know C4menace it seems that exporting a model for HL2 from 3DS Max is hard but I haven't got it, I use XSI Mod Tool, it's free, easy, and works great for exporting/modelling.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Goldendeed Apr 14 2008 says:

Ok, lol im so dumb, but "C:/Program Files/Steam/steamapps/username/sourcesdk/launcher/GameInfo.txt, open it, and change ToolsAppid from 211 to -211, this should work(I hope)." what if it dosent work? I31.tinypic.com

+2 votes     reply to comment
exetheanimator Author
exetheanimator Apr 16 2008 says:

well, first, do you have sourcesdk (downloaded)?And I found this : "http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Talk:Source_SDK_Bugs#.22Extra_App_ID_set_to_211.2C_but_no_SteamAppID.22_Error" good luck

+2 votes   reply to comment
ThaWall Apr 18 2008 says:

When i try to run StudioCompiler i get a error message that says that the program cannot start because vstdlib.dll is not found. Are there a way to fix this?

+2 votes     reply to comment
v4zcent Sep 21 2008 replied:

For the guy that said the vstdlib.dll was not found (well that was long ago, just for whoever has the problem) make sure that the directory it installs to is correct. Mine had valve/steam/etc etc in it, but my steam folder is not inside of a Valve folder, so I had to delete the valve part. Also, make sure to put your username instead of username.

+2 votes     reply to comment
exetheanimator Author
exetheanimator Apr 18 2008 says:

Yes, since the orange box exists, the "bin" folder of sourcesdk changed.now, the real "bin" folder is in Sourcesdk folder/bin/ep1/bin <-you have to extract Studiocompiler here. Lots of people have bugs with this software but once it's installed, it's fantastic ! Good luck !^^

+2 votes   reply to comment
RobinTM Apr 18 2008 says:

i downloaded and done everything right, but get an error when running it says Warning: falling back to auto detection of vproject directory. and the program just crashes. I'm also using windows vista.

+2 votes     reply to comment
exetheanimator Author
exetheanimator May 1 2008 says:

Sorry, I looked everywere, i didn't found any answer

+2 votes   reply to comment
exetheanimator Author
exetheanimator Jul 6 2008 says:

Oh everybody I found : before launching go into the directory of the game you set in source SDK and edit gameinfo.txt : add // befare ToolsAppId

+3 votes   reply to comment
Av7xrocker97 Sep 30 2009 replied:

dude!, ur the MAN!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
v3n0m23 Aug 19 2008 says:

that should work for cs:s too right?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Av7xrocker97 Sep 30 2009 says:

when i open hlmv it says "unable to load manifest file scripts Game_sounds_manifest. how can this be fixed?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Oblivion*man Dec 12 2009 says:

I need a tutorial to teach me how to make models npcs.etc or a program.
Plz I want to learn to make these things.

+2 votes     reply to comment
SteveZombie May 22 2011 says:

I'd sure like to know why StudioCompiler 0.4a doesn't work. At all.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Miroki_Wolf Jul 1 2011 says:

Can I use this to compile a HALF- LIFE 1 Model? Please answer !

+1 vote     reply to comment
razzy1 Jan 19 2012 says:

I dont see the (table_ref, table_phys, table_idle),anywhere and I'm a big noob. Help

+1 vote     reply to comment
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