Tutorial: Create your own models

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Home > Tutorial: Create your own models

Note Note: This tutorial isn't complete yet and can contain errors. Use at your own risk!

Programms / files you'll need

1. You need at least one textured model in the SMD format. Valve developer tutorial - How to export models

2. Your textures with a power of 2 saved as VTF.

3. A QC file, can be created with any texteditor like notepad.

4. studiomdl.exe , install source SDK to get this file.

How to create your own models for Empires


Set up a folder to place your projectfiles and materials. I used VTFEdit and converted the .VTF 's to TGA 's, because your model editor may don't know the VTF format. Make sure you used the same filenames (except the ending, like .TGA ). To compile the model you'll need the VTF's !

Create your model

You can use any modeleditors like

but you need to convert your model to a smd file at the end.

Texture your model and save it as smd-file.

Valve developer tutorial - Modelcreation

Valve developer tutorial - How to export models

Prepare for compiling

Find studiomdl.exe, by using filesearch or have a look at <path to steam>\Steam\steamapps\<your steamname>\sourcesdk\bin\ep1\bin.
Note Note: <your steamname> ist your Steam loginname. (ex: bob123 , \Steam\steamapps\bob123\sourcesdk\bin\ep1\bin)
Note Note: <path to steam> is the path to your Steamfolder (ex: C:\Program Files (x86)\ )
Create a shortcut to studiomdl.exe.

Rightclick your newly created shortcut and select Properties

Append this to the path in the Target-field:
-game <path to steam>\Steam\steamapps\SourceMods\Empires
click OK.

Now copy your smd file (my is named nf_radar.smd ) to this folder \Steam\steamapps\SourceMods ,right next to the Empires-directory.
The next step explains how to create a new file in the same folder named Empires.qc.
The Empires.qc file tells studiomdl how to handle your model. Use for example notepad to create this file. Open notepad and Copy&paste the example below, modify it, select Save As... *.* and save it as Empires.qc (make sure its not Empires.qc.txt !)

example content of Empires.qc

$modelname nf\buildings\radar\nf_radar.mdl
$cdmaterials nf\buildings
$scale 10.0
$body studio "nf_radar.smd"
$sequence idle "nf_radar.smd" fps 30
$collisionmodel "nf_radar.smd" {
$Mass 20

explanation of Empires.qc

$modelname is the path and name of your model as mdl. The model nf_radar.mdl will be placed in \Steam\steamapps\SourceMods\Empires\nf\buildings\radar\nf_radar.mdl after compiling.

$cdmaterials is the path to your materials (VTF 's). Here it's \Steam\steamapps\SourceMods\Empires\nf\buildings.

$scale Scales your model by this factor.

$body main-smd

$sequence smd with animation

$collisionmodel smd file with a collisionmodel

List of all QC-Commands

Compile your model

Execute your created shortcut to studiomdl. studiomdl will read the Empires.qc and compile your smdfile to mdl format and place it in the specified folder. To see the output of studiomdl.exe open the commandshell and drag&drop the shotcut to it.

Sometimes studiomdl will generate dummy files (filesize 1KB), that are invisible because they have no faces. I noticed that XSI SMD export isn't working correct. XSI forgets to save the used textures, maybe its the demoversion i'm using.