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Tf2 model viewer guide

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Quick guide on how to load the TF2 models in the Source SDK model viewer

How to use the model viewer to view TF2 models and weapons.

* * *

Loading a TF2 Model:

Step 1:

- Go to your Team Fortress 2 `bin` folder.
- Then in that folder select `hlmv.exe`
(Screenshot 1)

Step 2:

- Load a model using the top menu option File> Load Model (Steam): a window full of folders will open.
- Scroll down until you find the folder named "player", open it.
- Pick any one of the .mdl, depending on which class you want to see (don't pick the ones with "animations" in the name)

Note: if you want to view a weapon, you might want to choose the one class whom the weapon belongs, preferably.
(Screenshot 2)

Step 3:If the model looks weird, check the box named "Normal Mapping" on the menu at the bottom.
(Screenshot 3)

* * *

Basic workings of the Model Viewer:

- To rotate around the model, left-click on it and move while keeping the button pressed.
- To move the model in the space, hold SHIFT down, left-click on it and move while keeping the button pressed.
- To zoom on the model, right-click on it and move while keeping the button pressed.
- To move the lighting on the model, hold CTRL down, left-click on it and move while keeping the button pressed.

To change pose, refer to the Step 3 of "Loading a Weapon".
To change skin, refer to the fourth note, in the same step as above.

* * *

Loading a Weapon:

To load a weapon on standalone, simply use File > Load Model(Steam) just like with a character model- then follow the step 2 in "Giving a weapon to the character model:" underneath.

Note: According to Illuminatee., you can also do it by using File> Load Weapon (without a model loaded) but this as proven not working properly for me. Feel free to try both ways.

Giving a weapon to the character model:
Step 1:
Once you got the character, load a weapon model using File> Load Weapon in the top options.

Step 2:
Again on the big ROOT window, locate the folder named "Weapons", open it. Go in one of those sub-folders: c_model, v_model, w_model, and pick the one you wish to see.
(screenshot 4)

Note: w\_model are "world" models and therefore those you see in third person and either v\_ are the ones you see in first person view...but I'm not sure, so... play around and see what looks best. c\_models are both combined.
Note 2: The unlockables are not in every folder, so look around.

Step 3:
You'll notice the weapon floats ankwardly beside the character, who is in a standard idle pose. To change the pose to make him hold the weapon, change the tab in the menu at the bottom to "Sequence".

Note 3: Other tabs include "Render", "Model", "Flex", "Physics"... I suggest you only play with Render, Sequence and Model for simple viewing purposes.

To change the pose, use of of the numerous drop-down menus marked "ref" inside: you'll see a list of poses and animations. I suggest you try them out to see what they do, but the name is a good indication "Walking/swimming/standing/reloading" will tell you what the character does, and "PRIMARY/SECONDARY/MELEE" which weapon the character is holding.
Therefore, if you chose the Heavy's shotgun, pick up a pose/animation marked "SECONDARY" for him to properly hold it.
(screenshot 5)

Note 4: Under the "Model" tab is a drop-down menu (the one under the class name) with "Skin 1" written inside. You can select Skin 1 to 4 in that menu: it'll change to model Team color from RED to BLU and from both shades of √úbercharge skins depending on your pick.

* * *

There, that is pretty much all I can think of now. You can unload the weapon using the top "File" menu, go back to previous models, etc. Mostly, play around to learn, like I did, to see what does what.
I hope this could help, and if I forgot something or made a terrible error, feel free to tell me!

Your friendly neighbourhood Battlemedic, Celebren


  • 1
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  • 1y
    I'm trying to view the Powerjack model, but it isn't working. In v_models and w_models, I can only find stock models and the Sandman baseball, but in c_models where there is a folder for it, it says that the folder doesn't exist when I try to open it. halp

    Cat Hugger
  • 5y
    DeadKnight150 avatar
    Member Joined 5y
    741 points Ranked 5955th
    woah thanks dude you are so awesome
  • 5y
    Py-bun avatar
    Py-bun Offline
    Member Joined 5y
    5,298 points Ranked 846th
    15 medals 1 legendary 1 rare
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    I just started using the program and I'm testing out an item for practice, but when I load it in the Model Viewer, the texture doesn't show heres a screenshot
  • 5y
    Sound of the Lyre avatar
    Member Joined 6y
    1,141 points Ranked 3993rd
    The only engine TF2 is available under is "Source Engine MP" and it stays stuck on Half-Life 2. HELP D:
    I'm a secret agent man! avatar
    I'm a secret agent man!
  • 5y
    Superbros15 avatar
    Member Joined 5y
    155 points Ranked 20446th
    Is there any way I can get the Green, Blue, and Red lines out of the model view?
    Up All Night To Get Lucky~ avatar
    Up All Night To Get Lucky~
  • 6y
    alpha00zero avatar
    Member Joined 7y
    Thanks for the tutorial, mate!

    But I'm having trouble with the Soldier and Spy model...

    They won't budge. They stay on "ref" even if I select another move or taunt. I hear the sounds but no movement.

    Think you can help me?
  • 7y
    Darthrong avatar
    Darthrong Offline
    Member Joined 7y
    Thanks for your tutorial. I had to find out myself on how to have them wear hats. But thanks.

    I use a third-party program to take the screenshots as the the "Make Screenshot" seems to hang the program.
  • 7y
    CelebrenIthil avatar
    Member Joined 8y
    507 points Ranked 8298th
    Posted by Anonymous

    "Make Screenshot" don't work and the quality is very bad.
    Any solution ?

    Well, I have been taking screenshots of the modelviewer by simply using the PrintScreen button on my keyboard and pasting the resulting capture of my screen in something like MS Paint or Photoshop or Gimp (it's free, unlike Photoshop).
    It should take a perfect snapshot of what appears on your screen and you can save it without any loss of image quality if you pick a decent format (.jpg especially if you save with MS Paint will kill the quality of your image but .bmp in that case will do (it's heavier tough). I don't remember if Paint can save in this format but if you have Gimp or or a similar program I suggest saving in .png)

    Hope this can help you and sorry if I'm confusing you with that talk about image formats!
    Your friendly neighbourhood Ba avatar
    Your friendly neighbourhood Ba
  • 7y
    "Make Screenshot" don't work and the quality is very bad.
    Any solution ?
  • 8y
    CelebrenIthil avatar
    Member Joined 8y
    507 points Ranked 8298th
    Posted by Illuminatee.
    Yeah thats one major flaw with the model viewer. Its extremely hard to get the camera in the position you want it

    Hahah, I noticed. XD
    I tried again, and found out that using "Load Weapon" never worked for me on standalone : the weapon model appeared but it was always appearing badly on screen (like having the camera half inside the gun or being super ultra-zoomed on the bonesaw handle) and there was no way to make it rotate or unzoom.
    BUT, by simply using "Load Model" like for the characters, I was able to load a weapon on standalone and rotate/zoom/translate all around at leasure. :)

    I edited my tutorial according to this new discovery. :)
    Your friendly neighbourhood Ba avatar
    Your friendly neighbourhood Ba
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Loading weapons


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