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Get Rid of Those Black and Purple Checkerboard Blues in MvM (or other TF2 based) Maps
By Pte Jack
So, you've found the MvM Maps and you're ready to start your grand film of the teams coming together to smash out the evil bots. Lights, Cameras, Action..... Cut, Cut, Cut!!!! What are all these black and purple "Things" that are ruining the scene???

This Video Tutorial will take you through what you have to do to get rid of them.

(Note: This tutorial does not address HDR related problems)
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Where did my Steam\Steamapps\{username}\TF2 Folders GO???
OMG, The GCFs are gone Too!!!

What has happened...

(This is a simplified view of the way things work, it is not meant to be a technical journal and may contain errors. If you want a more in-depth view, search the Steam Developer website or the TF2 Community page and view the Announcements section)

Prior to the end of April, 2013 Team Fortress 2 was delivered by Steam in a GCF (Game Cache File) Format. These game cache files resided on your hard drive in your Steam\Steamapps\ folder and were identified by a .gcf file extension. The actual game files used to play the game lived in your Steam\Steamapps\{%username%}\Team Fortress 2 folders.
Anytime there was an update to Team Fortress 2, Steam would release an update to the GCF file. Running the game after an update would refresh files in your \username\Team Fortress 2 folder.

Recently, Steam/Valve have been investigating a new content delivery and packing system and have been converting games to the new system. Hence the Steam Pipeline Beta program, the Valve PacKage (.vpk) cache file and the Steamapps\Common folder were introduced. First games to be converted to the new delivery and cache file system were L4D, L4D2, Portal2 and Dota2. (and maybe some others I'm not aware of.)

No one (I mean me) really noticed the change, other than a friendly message when you tried to play a converted game, "The content for this game needs to be converted to a more effective and efficient format, this may take a few minutes" or words to that effect.

Now on 30th of April Steam converted TF2 and Team Fortress 2 Beta to the new format, what this did was remove the Steam\Steamapps\{Username}\Team Fortress 2 folders and the Team Fortress 2 Game Cache Files from the Steam\Steamapps folder, then the conversion created new Team Fortress 2 and Team Fortress 2 Beta folders in the Steam\Steamapps\Common folder. Inside these folders, in the TF Folder, you will find that the GCF files have been converted to the VPK format files.

So, anyone who had linked SFM into the particle systems under the old TF2 folders immediately lost their particles systems because the folders containing the particle systems and their associated material no longer existed and the Black and Purple Checkboards started to appear. This is most likely why you are seeing them in your MvM Maps again.

Anyway, the tutorial I am presenting here is a fix to get rid of those ugly checkerboards (not only in the MvM maps, but any TF2 Map used in SFM (as long as it has HDR enabled of course)) and change your scenes from looking like this


to looking like this


No, the Sniper is not glitching out in this scene, both he and the Spy are decloaking on return from a mission against the deadly Bots... (It was a test of the cloaking script on a MvM Map.)
Link to the Video Tutorial that will show how to get your textures back
http://youtu.be/__e0hZV0dp4 Purple and Black Squares - BEGONE!!
For Those of Us Who Just Can't Stand to Watch Another YouTube Tutorial and Getting the Maps - (not covered in the Videos)
Yup, I completely understand, so here is the hand written version of the of what is covered in the video...

First off, You are going to need Nem's Tool called
GCFScape
.
If you already have this tool, open it and click Help, then select About. If the Version is less than 1.8.4 you need to upgrade GCFScape.
Ver 1.8.3 is buggy and may (but most likely will not) work.

If the version you have is 1.8.4 (the most current version at the time of this writing) or greater your already on your way. This version has been fixed to work with the new .vpk file format.

If you don't have GCFScape or need to upgrade to the newest version open your favourite Internet browser and point it to http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?p=26.

Download the installer (unless you know how to set up the contents of the zip file and want to download that) and save it to your Desktop. The file downloaded should be gcfscape184.exe.
Now install it!!!

Now for the process...

If you are having a hard time seeing the detail in the pictures, double click on them to blow them up.

Process Notes Picture
Open GCFScape There are 4 VPK files we are going to access, you can open 4 instances of GCFScape and work on all 4 files simultaneously

Point each instance to your Steam\Steamapps\Common\Team Fortress 2\tf folder
  • open tf2_misc_dir.vpk in the first instance
  • open tf2_sound_misc_dir.vpk in the second instance
  • open tf2_sound_vo_english_dir.vpk in the third instance
  • open tf2_textures_dir.vpk in the fourth instance
In the 1st instance Hold down the Control Key and Left click on
Maps, materials, models and particles to select them
In the 2nd instance select Sound
In the 3rd instance select Sound
In the 4th instance Select Materials

Go back to the 1st instance Right Click on one of the highlighted folders. This will cause the Extract window to open
Now comes the fun part, we're going to start the extraction process
Click Extract and you'll be presented with a folder browser.
You point this to the
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\tf
folder in the SFM folder.

Because we're extracting folders, we want them to end up in the proper place under the SourceFilmmaker\game\TF Folder with all their sub folders intact. (That would be SFM - Game - TF - Maps, Models, Material, Particles)
This process is Resource intensive, you are going to be saving over 50,000 files to your hard drive. MOST of these files are going to OVERWRITE files that already exist in the SFM folders, only files that aren't there will be created.
Once you have the correct folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\tf (32 bit guys, drop the " (x86)" from program files) selected press ok and the files will start extracting.

Follow the process for the other three instances ensuring that the extraction folder points to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\tf (32 bit guys, drop the " (x86)" from program files)
Your Screen show now look something like the picture...
As I said, you are now in the process of extracting 53,468 files to your hard drive. Most of these are going to overwrite files that were in the folders before and files that did not exist will be created.

Is overwriting a good thing?? Can be because by taking the files from the vpk file you are actually putting the files that you use "in game" into SFM, they are the most up to date models and materials available. Some of these files will take months to end up in SFM.
These files are not going to affect your HWM models because the HWM models live in the TF_Movies folders, we're not touching or changing them in this process.
When the extraction process finishes, we're ALMOST done, now we need the maps!!!

The MvM maps are not included in any of the VPK files, they are located in your C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\maps folder.

At the time of the creation of this guide there were 5 maps
1) mvm_bigrock.bsp
2) mvm_coaltown.bsp
3) mvm_coaltown_event.bsp
4) mvm_decoy.bsp and
5) mvm_mannworks.bsp

Copy these to your C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\tf\maps folder
This part is not covered in the video!!! So if you're reading the guide, Congratulations, you have the missing step the ppl who just watch the video on YouTube are missing!!!!
Your SFM TF folders have been updated to the newest content and missing files added. There is only one more thing to do to get them to work in SFM.

If SFM is open on your system, Save your work, close it then restart it. In the video I tried to refresh the content using a console command, that command crashed SFM (not a biggy, just restart it if you try it.)

The reason SFM crashed in the video was that the process added more content then the running process knew about, it needed to close and restart to process some of the the newly added material.
SO, Close SFM and restart it. Load a session and a map (Coaltown it the one I used in the video.) Once the map is loaded, grab a camera and take a tour... You should not find any of the checkboards anymore.

Once you're satisfied that the process got rid of the checkerboards, open the "create an animation set for new model" browser and run through the models list. You should see that MOST if not ALL TF models have some sort of skin.

Now, some of these skin may appear transparent or invisible. It may be that the model is turned with its back to the viewer camera. A good example of this is the mvm-newspaper_frame2 model. Look it up in the model browser, if it is almost invisible move your cursor into the view, hold down the left mouse button and give it a spin.

(Invisible models could also be the result of a different (known) problem requiring an edit of the materials vmt file, but that problem is outside the scope of this tutorial.)

Ok, Lights, Camera, ACTION!!!! Enjoy filming!!!!
49 Comments
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Thanks, now I have my Vampire Medic in SFM :D

I am in love with your tutorial. It's bookmarked on my Google Chrome
Pte Jack  [author] Nov 9 @ 9:09am 
Yup...
Ok, so this should work for the Scream Fortress 2014 update, right? I want to use my Vampiric Vesture and Vampire Makeover in SFM... D:
=[RaiD/GM]=SnowTH123=[FE]= Aug 26 @ 12:41pm 
Ok, thanks! Have some rep :P
Pte Jack  [author] Aug 26 @ 10:24am 
Unfortunately no, unless you spend a lot of time manually going through a vpk and comparing it to what you have in SFM already. then ensuring that to only pick the files you want and all the associated materials files then ensure that you build the proper paths and place the files exactly where they need to go. It is easier just to extract everything and run with that.
=[RaiD/GM]=SnowTH123=[FE]= Aug 26 @ 2:05am 
Nice tutorial! It really helps out, but is there a way to get only the new files after a update, without having to single handedly picking out files or taking the other files you already have with it?
Pte Jack  [author] Aug 4 @ 8:44am 
I'm referring to your favourite Internet browser. I use IE11, you might like FireFox or Chrome. The download should work on any of them.
sus Aug 1 @ 7:35pm 
ok it says "open your favorite browser and download gcfscape" does it really have to be our fave browser? :3
yeah im gonna try it now
sus Jul 24 @ 6:23pm 
but really i cant get gcfscape not because its a virus but cuz its too complicated so i dont want to get it
Pte Jack  [author] Jul 24 @ 6:20pm 
Made a correction and deleted the old...