Solitude (Working Title) is a PSP and PC game using a heavily modified Quake engine, expanding upon the story of Halo: Combat Evolved. Expect a great, brand new single player story and all of the most popular multiplayer modes from Halo: CE! Our team is working hard to bring the game to you as fast as possible so be sure to stay tuned for any new updates. More information can be found on our site at Note: We are NOT ripping anything from any of Halos! All our models and textures are our own, made by using the original Halo art only as reference.

Report article RSS Feed Importing models in to Quake

One method of getting you model converted in to Quakes .mdl format.

Posted by Ark_ on Jul 28th, 2009
Intermediate Weapons Modelling.

Importing models in to Quake Tutorial.
By Faparith.


In this tutorial I will hope to show you how to get a model from your 3d app into quake fully uv maped and animated. While there are quite a few methods to this I found this one to work best (for me anyway). Later I would like to add to this tutorial some of those other methods as well.
But enough yapping out of me, so let’s get down to the Tutorial.

First off the thing’s you will need to complete this tutorial are:
1. Quake (who would have guessed that one) The share ware one will do.
2. The 3d modelling app of your choice. Some popular ones are 3ds max, XSI mod tool, Milk shape 3d, Blender and many more. Most will work just fine for this.
3. A model uved and animated.
4. QME.
5. quick3D. The 30 day trial will work.
6. Time and patience. Its a virtue you know.

Exporting you model from your modelling app:

Load up your Model and export the first base frame of the
models animation to one of the following formats (.3ds,.dxf,.lwo,.hrc,.cad) name it "1". Then export each frame as an indivual model and name them 2,3,4,5 and so on.Once you have all frames of the model exported and named appropriately(1.3ds ,2.3ds so on) you are ready to convert it in to a quake

Converting to .mdl:
Install Quake(shareware) and Quick3D as well as QME and the 3.1 patch.
Open up Quick 3d then go to File>Open and select the first model you exported (e.g. 1.3ds) and open it.

Tutorial pictures

You should now see the model displayed in the window but it
missing something most likely. The texture.
To get the texture on the model go to Mesh> Texture Map.
Then in he new pop up window browser to the location of the models texture and select it. There that’s better now. Next go to file> save and select .mdl and save. If your using the unregistered version you will get a message saying that the model has been saved as shareware_output.mdl. Don’t worry you can just rename the file. Also note it can take a while for quick 3d to save the mdl so just give it time if it looks like it crashed. Now you have the model converted in to .mdl with a correct
uv map. Congrats. But its still lacking something, Yep the animations, next I will show you how to get the animations in to the .mdl.

Getting the animations in:
Ok almost finished.
Open you the .mdl we made in the last step into QME.
Tutorial pictures
Then go to File > Import frames and browser to the folder where you exported all of the models frames, select them all except the first one (it all ready loaded) and click ok.
Now you should have the model and its animations loaded.
Just a bit of tidying up left to do.Open the frame browser as shown in the pic above.
You will notice that there two groups of frames called "Mesh" and one with no name. the Mesh one i just the first frame we used to create the .mdl.
Right click on the unnamed one and select the option "Append scene to previous scene" this combines the two sets of animations.
Next right click and go to renumber scene.
If the model has more than just a shoot animation e.g. reloading or walking if it a charter you might want to split those animations in to separate groups.

To do this right click on the last frame in the reload animation for example and select split scene at frame.
Then just rename them as approporiate.
When you are finish just go to file > save and you have you uv maped and animated model ready for use in game.

Quick testing (optional) :
Make a back up of the id1 folder in you quake install. Justin case.
Rename the model to "v_shot.mdl" and place it the .pak file in the id1 folder in the location where you installed Quake. Confirm the file overwrite. We are replacing Quake normal shot gun with our model. Load up Quake and you should see you model in place of quakes shot gun.

Congratulations on completing the tutorial (unless you skiped ahead to this part).

Now that the tutorial is complete here is a few tips that may be useful.
1. Qme can export models from .mdl this can be useful for exporting a current model and using it to position and correctly scale a model for in game use.

2. Most modern modified quake engine support loading of external textures for models. This means that you can have higher quality
images on models. Just rename the .tga texture "v_shot.mdl_0.tga". And the engine should load it instead of the one in the .mdl.

I hope this tutorial was useful. Feel free to ask questions if parts of it where unclear or just if you have a question.

Post comment Comments
Sarge127 Oct 16 2009 says:

Yeah, i got the first part but how do you fix the gun? i used the Blender .MDL exporter all i got was a little box.well i modeled the box into a R700 or m40? well i have to animate do i? well back to work.. sorry faparith,

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Oct 21 2009 replied:

For this method you don't need that blender script (It didn't work for me).
For this method just export each frame of your animation as a separate model then load them up as i described in the tut.
Hey no problem fell free to ask questions.

+1 vote   reply to comment
joealtair Nov 7 2009 replied:

the blender exporter didnt work for me either but i wonder when the 40 day trial runs out can u still export to mdl cos im havin a little trouble with it

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Nov 7 2009 replied:

The only limits I think is that it saves it as a shareware.3ds file that you just have to rename.

+1 vote   reply to comment
joealtair Jan 14 2010 replied:

nope thats wrong
it doesnt let u export to mdl once the trial ends
im gonna learn how to use blender instead

+1 vote     reply to comment
ceriux Nov 22 2009 replied:

for the quake.mdl format there can only be 1 grouping of the models if you have seperate groups be sure to regroup them into 1. (which also means all mdl parts uv has to fit on 1 texture)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Nov 29 2009 replied:

I am aware of that but thanks for pointing it out. The problem I had with the blender script was that the model wouldn't stay in the same spot that i had positioned it (I used quakes guns as a ref). I was probably makeing a simple mistake but I couldn't figure it out.

Also nice work on the hands for CB :) .

+1 vote   reply to comment
Mobster103 Oct 22 2009 says:

me likey

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Oct 22 2009 replied:

Thanks. Its just as well i backed it up here because it got wiped from the forums :(

I like your method too but that script doesn't work for me.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Shadow-Marine Dec 22 2009 says:

I need help
Ive imported everything perfectly
and everything is to scale perfectly
but when i run the game the model is off to the left and facing in another direction

but even when i move the model around and rotate it and save it it still stays in that position no matter what

+1 vote     reply to comment
Shadow-Marine Dec 22 2009 says:

sorry stupid mistake i forgot to actually put the model into the PAK

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Dec 23 2009 replied:

No worries.
Just to let you know you can have the model and other content in folders instead of the pak, it makes it easier when testing.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Mobster103 Dec 23 2009 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Dec 23 2009 replied:

Nothing exactly funny about that.

+1 vote   reply to comment
ceriux May 26 2010 says:

also to anyone who looks in here if you cant get this method to work i have one at which you can view on the forums in the "tutorial help section" i "may" put it here when i feel i have the time.

+1 vote     reply to comment
R3DR0CKET Oct 23 2010 says:

with 3d studio max you can set the render output as a video and file type bitmap or JPEG and get that done faster than doing one by one

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ark_ Author
Ark_ Dec 26 2010 replied:

Huh, That would be a render, this tut is to show one way to get the model into Quakes .mdl format.

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Aug 27 2011 says:

Hints from my conversion work:
I use a very similar method - md3 and other advanced formats can have more than one skin - this screws conversion to .mdl. And you can forget about shaders. Something like misfit modeler ( ) and GIMP will have to be used. The process of converting down to a single skin is not trivial. Once you have a single skin from an md2 or md3 (or other format) save a .tga - use the naming convention noted above, as many engines will use the .tga as an override. Quake 1 palette has serious color limits.
Anywhere from .md2 above (you CAN convert half-life one models!) have vertex mapping on skins that DO NOT translate to mdl. Such translations might crash qme, and / or the chosen quake engine. In this case, no .mdl. If you can use darkplaces; ( - ) and code your own quake-c ( ) darkplaces can load: md3, md2, quake 3 maps and half-life maps!
Code the quake-c correctly to detect darkplaces and you can use note: darkplaces only handles 1 shader level - no fancy effects.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Aug 27 2011 says:

Another hint: if qme is giving you exception faults with a converted model, but the quake engine you use loads the .mdl, try turning the skinned view off in qme - use wireframe or flat shaded. Some models that cause problems can be loaded and worked with this way.

+1 vote     reply to comment
thommoboy Nov 3 2011 says:

how do you make custom health models?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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