Using Blender to Create or Modify Assets For SFM - A Basic Guide
By Pte Jack
People have been screaming at me to make a tutorial on how to use Blender to create assets for SFM. This guide is a basic introduction to the process of using a simple existing asset, editing it and getting it into SFM as a new independent model. (We're going to edit the TF2 Photo_badge and tun it into a snapshot)
As Blender has a huge learning curve, I can not teach you how to use it in this tutorial. So I'm going to assume you have basic knowledge of working in a 3D editing environment.
The guide will cover the Free programs available to do the job, where to get them and how to install them.
You'll be taken through the process of
1) decompiling a Valve model to it's model source code,
2) bringing that source in to a 3d Editing program (Blender in this case),
3) editing the model to be something else,
4) Skinning it with the original textures,
5) using the original textures in a Image editting program (GIMP with the VTF plug-in used here),
6) reskinning the new object so that the object become independant on the original model,
7) exporting the smd for the new model,
8) creating the .qc required to compile it
9) creating the new vtf and vmt files to give it in game materials
10) recompiling the source back in to a Valve Model Format
I wanted to keep this simple and get it out as quick as possible, so it is a WIP (Work In Process). I'll be adding to it from time to time.
This is merely an example of something that IS POSSIBLE, the process does not have to be limited to available game assets. Use your imagination and create something new and unique. This process is basically the same whether working on a stand-a-lone prop or and actual character model. Just go to the developer website's modeling category, find and read up on the element where this tutorial is lacking.