Hey. So you want to start modelling for gmod and make your own models? Well then you are in right thread. Many people basically everyday make a thread with title " How do I start making models? What program do I need to use? How mcuh will that cost? Is that hard? " and offcourse many more titles. In every thread people get same answer.
Also many people seem not to be able to find any tutorials. Which is acually very easy.
If you compare mapping requests to modelling requests, and mapping release and model releases here are the stats:
Releases: 5,089 (taken at 10:16 PM 5/16/2010 )
Requests: 20,732 (taken at 10:16 PM 5/16/2010 )
Releases: 3,976 (taken at 10:16 PM 5/16/2010 )
Requests: 2,584 (taken at 10:16 PM 5/16/2010 )
So that's kinda sad. While maps releases overgo the requests, at the mean time requests of models are overtaking releases by 4 times. Personally I would say it's because modelling might be confusing sometimes, and it's not always the making of them than the compiling itself. In maps well yeah big deal build wall, add few entities press " Run " and done.
So this thread has all information you need to start learning to model. But remember! This thread wont make you total professional, achieving level of professional is only by practice.
Basic Model Description
If you are thinking of learning modelling. Well then remember making a model you have to follow some of these points:
[LIST][*]Try to keep polygon level as low as you can. (If it's high you will regret later in game)[*]Try to make a model as perfect as you can before releasing it.[*]Try to keep size of materials as low as you can. (Since materials are bigger than model)[*]Test your model in game does it actually works or not. Sometimes what appears as perfect in model viewer , may appear crap in game.[*]What looks nice in 3D modelling program, may not be what it looks in game so be ready to be dissapointed sometimes.[*]Always keep track of your polygon count in 3D program.[*]Always save your work in 3D modelling program.[/LIST]Programs For Modelling
[LIST][*]Autodesk 3D Studio Max (a.k.a 3DS Max)_____Around $3,495__Or Get Trial Version[*]Autodesk Maya________________________Around $4,090__Or Get Trial Version[*]Autodesk Softimage XSI_________________ Around $3,790__Or Get Trial Version
[*]Milkshape 3D_________________________ Around $32____Or Get Trial Version[*]Blender______________________________Totally Free____Get It Here[*]Google SketchUp_______$495 for Pro Verison, Otherwise Free_Get Free Version Here[*]Cinema 4D____________________________Around $945___Or Get Demo Version[*]Softimage Mod Tool____________________Totally Free____Get It Here[*]Wings 3D____________________________Totally Free___ Get It Here
[*]DAZ Studio 3D________________________Register Free___Get It Here[/LIST]Some of Sculpting Programs
These are the programs that can help you make high quality models. They are useful because they are able to work with really high polygon amounts. And then you can reduce poly count and use it in game.
[LIST][*]Autodesk Mudbox____________________About $250____Or Get Trial Version[*]Zbrush_____________________________About $595____Or Get Trial Version[/LIST]
Prices may be different for different countries because of currency, and depending on package you are buying.
Personally I use 3DS Max 2010, I like it so far. If you are just starting I would suggest you get Blender since it's absolutely free and that's what people start with usually. Google SketchUp - not sure never really used it, but I heard that people make nice things with it so you might also wanna check that since it's free as well.
Getting 3D modelling program isn't the all deal yet, you have to get .SMD export plugin for program. Each of programs listed above have different SMD export plugin offcourse but don't worry check the list below for SMD plugins.
SMD Plugin Source
[LIST][*]3DS Max SMD Plugins:_________ SMD Export Plugin -------SMD Import Plugin[*]Maya SMD Plugins:___________ SMD Export Plugin[*]XSI Mod Tool SMD Plugins:____ SMD Export And Import Plugin[*]Milkshape 3D SMD Plugins:_____ Has Built In SMD Export/Import[*]Blender SMD Plugins: __________SMD Export Plugin ------- SMD Import Plugin[*]SketchUp SMD Plugins: ________ See Below For More Info[*]Cinema 4D SMD Plugins: _______ SMD Export Plugin[/LIST]SMD plugins doesn't work for XSI Softimage, they Do work only for XSI Mod Tool.
SMD Plugin Installation
[LIST][*]3DS Max SMD Plugins:[*]For 32-bit, copy the SMDExport.dle into your 3DS Max plugins folder.[*]For 64-bit, copy the SMDExportx64.dle into your 3DS Max plugins folder.[*]In Plugins Archive README file.[/LIST]
[LIST][*]Maya SMD Plugins:[*]Wiki[*]Plugin Website[/LIST]
[LIST][*]Softimage SMD Plugins:[*]Wiki[/LIST]
[LIST][*]Milkshape 3D SMD Plugins:[*]No Need For Installation[*]File --> Export --> Half-Life SMD[/LIST]
[LIST][*]Blender SMD Plugins:[*]Wiki[/LIST]
[LIST][*]SketchUp SMD Plugins:[*]Wiki[*]SketchUp to Hammer - Wiki[/LIST]
[LIST][*]Cinema 4D SMD Plugins:[*]In archive README document.[/LIST]Materials/Textures
You will also need to learn some texturing and texture making.
Format for textures in source is .VTF and each texture also has a file .VMT.
.VTF - It's the main texture file which will appear on your model. There might be few of them for different maps ( such as bump maps)
.VMT - It's the main setting file for your texture which tells engine all about your texture. Information such as bump map of it, how shiny it is, how dark it is, how much glowing is it and so on.
You can use basically any program for texture making.
Nice and Easy VMT Creator By diwako - Download Here
List Of Programs:
Photoshop - Around $699 - Get Trial for 30 Days
Gimp - Totally Free - Download Here
Paint.NET - Totally Free - Download Here
CrazyBump - Starting From $49 - Or Get 30 Day Trial
PixPlant 2 - Around $175 - Or Get Demo Version
Photoshop - Good, easy to use and understand. Has a lot of free downloadable resources such as Brushes. Has .VTF plugin made by Nemesis which allowes you to make textures in photoshop and export them directly into .VTF format. Also supports plugin by Nvidia which lets you create bumpmaps directly in photoshop itself. Overall good program except the point that it costs some money. But you can get trial version for 30 days.
Gimp - Good, but a bit harder to use, something really similar to photoshop but has less resources for it available. Also has normalmap/bumpmap creation plugin. One of the drawbacks is it doesn't support .VTF plugin. So you will have to save texture as .TGA and then use VTFedit to convert it into .VTF. But offcourse big difference for this is that it's totally free.
Paint.NET - It's ok program if you are just learning how to make textures. Can be a bit hard to figure out stuff in it such as alpha map creation. Does support VTF plugin but unfortunetly doesn't support bumpmap plugin. Also big advantage of it is it's free.
CrazyBump - It's good and powerful program for different map making such as bump maps, specular maps, normal maps. Really easy with a function to view bump map with lighting. Except the drawback that it costs some money.
PixPlant 2 - I use it a lot! It's a really good and powerful program. It's able to create ANY texture tiled. It will reformat it that way , so it looks like texture you want but will be perfect for tiling. Very good for making tiles, wallpapers for your maps and models. Also has build in bumpmap generator with same possibilities as CrazyBump. Again drawback is it costs a bit. But it's worth it for that price.
When you make your model, if it's just prop you should end up with 2 .SMD files
1 for body of model - like main model.
1 for collision model - like determines physics of your model and what shape it has.
And offcourse you will have to write .QC file.
$modelname - Tells compiler where to compile new model. Path starts from model folder so you don't need to specify full path from desktop but just like for example if I want my model to be in steamapps/[user]/hl2ep2/ep2/models/als
$body "Body" body_smd.smd
$sequence idle "body_smd" fps 30 ACT_IDLE 1
$cdmaterials "path/texture folder/"
I would write $modelname als/newmodel.mdl
( I suggest you don't use spaces in name of new model)
$scale - Specifies by how much times increase/decrease size of your model. 1 means same as in 3D modelling program.
$body "Body" models_smd.smd - Tells compiler which SMD is main body of model. Just write there your SMD model.
$sequence idle "body_smd" fps 30 ACT_IDLE 1 - Basically any model in source has to have some sequence, if it's animated sequence you specify it here. But for props you just write in your main body SMD file.
$surfaceprop "metal" - Tells compiler what material model will be. There is whole range of materials here.
$cdmaterials "path/texture folder/" - tells compiler and source engine where materials for model is. Path starts from materials folder. If I wanted to have materials in steamapps/[user]/hl2ep2/ep2/materials/als/ I would write
( I suggest you don't use spaces in name of textures)
$collisionmodel "collision_smd.smd" - There you specify where is your SMD collision model file.
Last 2 comands are optional.
$mass - says how heavy your model will be.
$concave - needed if your prop will have concave collision. Model such as rock may not need $concave. But something like jar will need $concave read more here
Software For Compiling Models
Personally I prefer to use GUIStudioMDL
But there are also StudioCompiler
Tutorials and Useful Links
Can't find V1 of thread.
The Facepunch "Model/Skin" Pimpage/WIP Thread V2
The Facepunch "Model/Skin" Pimpage/WIP Thread V3
The Facepunch "Model/Skin" Pimpage/WIP Thread V4
SourceSDK Documentation Valve Wiki
SourceSDK Modelling Documentation Valve Wiki
Info on Compiling A Model
Tutorial on UWV mapping (texturing)
Nice Tutorial on QC file making from Interlopers.net
Some Website with 3DS MAX Tutorials
Very Nice Website with 3DS max, Cinema, Blender, Maya Tutorials
Program For Making Human Model
Beginner Modeling Methods and Techniques for 3DS Max
Skin groups or Texture groups
Taggart's Headhacking Tutorial
Generating Normal Maps
Local Tutorials by Users
Some Basic Modelling in 3DS Max
Model for Source In Blender
Nice tutorial on rigging by Mario (a lot of links seem to be missing but still some are good)
Everything About Blender
Video Showing How To Make Collision Model
Collision Model Making Info Wiki
Big List of Tutorials
Xoliul's Viewport Shader for 3DS Max
ALso I suggest you check in
If anyone has anymore links to tutorials please post a reply and I will add it to the tutorial list.
So I think I am done, took me 4 hours to get this finished. I hope this will help someone learning how to make models.
Little Extras By Users
Nice and Easy VMT Creator By diwako - Download Here