Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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[Tool] TFMV - TF2 Loadout viewer
By neodos
TFMV (Team Fortress Model Viewer) is a tool for Windows that makes it easier to load and preview TF2 player item loadouts in the model viewer HLMV and help for testing and developing workshop items by automating file loading and adding features on top of HLMV for actions which are normally otherwise tedious and slow to do manually.

The tool lists the TF2 items so you can easily pick and load items without having to search nor pick the models file paths, it downloads the items list and icons from the official servers, so it can always have the latest items added to the game.

TFMV manages the models and materials(aka skins) of each item through a visual interface, rather than having search, load or edit files and dependencies manually.
It also makes it possible to switch materials to blue skins for model attachments, change paint colors and test material changes in real time, take screenshots with specific resolutions, screenshot transparency, automated screenshot capture for each item's paint color, material editor, loading workshop items, etc
Download & Installation
Required to already be installed your computer for TFMV:
-Windows operative system
-Team Fortress 2
-Net Framework[]

The TFMV "Lite" version has minimal features, this version should remain functional in case the model viewer (HLMV) may be updated/recompiled changing its code and behavior.
This version of TFMV to avoid incompatiblity when tools change as it does minimal manipulations on the models loaded, and hlmv.exe

-Run TFMV_install.msi and follow the steps.
-Once installed you should then find a shortcut in your desktop and in the windows Start menu.

-The first time you start TFMV, it should automatically detect the Steam and TF2 directories, if not it will prompt you to set them manually in the TFMV Settings tab.

-TFMV might prompt you with an update for the item list.
If you are having issues setting up the tool, please refer to the FAQ or comments section.
TFMV: Loadout & Items
LOADOUT and ITEMS panels
-The loadout shows the class/character and lists the items that will be loaded into the model viewer.
-The items planel lists the in-game items that we can pick from and add to the loadout.

Selecting items and loading into the model viewer
1-Select a class.
2-Select an item category.
3-Add items to the loadout by double clicking the icons in the items list.
4-Click "Loadout to HLMV" to view the loadout in HLMV.
The model viewer (HLMV) should open with your loadout and TFMV will switch to the Skins section where the team color, paints of the items can be modified.
See the "Using HLMV" section of the guide to learn how to move the camera in HLMV.
Adding and removing items from the loadout
You can double click an item in the Items or the Loadout list to remove it:

Creating a new loadout or editing
Click [reset loadout] or [reset] (depending on which menu you are) to clear the current loadout.
If you already have a loadout in HLMV and you are in the SKINS menu click [Edit loadout], it will take you back to the loadout menu where you can add or remove items and then click [Loadout to HLMV] to restart HLMV with the new set of items.

Loading an item as the main model instead of a player model
By default TFMV loads a player model (such as the Scout) as the "main model", hats and weapons are secondary models that are attached to the main model.
However if you wish to load an item or weapon alone you can do this by selecting the item in the LOADOUT list and clicking the arrow button on the left:

Saving or Loading loadouts from file
Loadouts can be saved by clicking the icon and loaded from file by clicking the icon.

TFMV: Skins
The Skins menu appears after the items are loaded into HLMV [Loadout to HLMV].
From this menu you can switch the team colors (Red/Blue) as well as modify the paints and material(s) of each item(model).

Note for workshop artists:
Materials and models changes are not saved, TFMV makes a temporary copy of the assets as a mod in \tf\custom\TFMV\ while it's running, these are removed when a loadout is reset or TFMV is closed.
However you can always get the VMT code (that TFMV modifies during preview) on the SKINS panel by clicking on the material_name.vmt of the item's material manager.
-See "Item materials manager" below for more information.

Example: switching team colors and changing the paint color of an item:

Some additional tools and shortcuts:

Item materials manager:
For each item (model) there will be a material manager, illustrated as follows + its features:

Material Editor - real time
Click the pencil button to open the material editor, easily test paint colors and VMT parameters as they get updated in real time:

TFMV: Advanced Settings and Tools
For workshop artists or experienced users, TFMV has a hidden menu with more settings and tools.

Advanced Settings
Click [Advanced Settings] to open the menu, these settings will be applied when HLMV is started.

Advanced Tools
This menu is accessible once the items are loaded into HLMV and the Skins menu shows up.
If you haven't expanded the [Advanced Settings] menu before loading into HLMV, you can click the button [>>] on the top right to expand it.
-Bodygroups: You can control the bodygroups form TFMV
-Set HLMV window size: You can click this button to change the scale of the window, these two values represent the scale in pixels for HLMV viewport that will be captured by TFMV when clicking the Screenshot button in TFMV.
Save window size and camera pos/rot as default
Clicking this button will save the current HLMV window size and the HLMV camera position and rotation and will save it in the Advanced Settings, as the default and startup settings for HLMV.
Misc Settings
-Fix player model wrist visual bug: ticking this checkbox disables the "hlp_" bones in the player model as a workaround to the HLMV rendering bug on the wrist for attached models that use this bone.
Note to Workshop creators: this feature is a workaround, not a proper solution, it should only be used to take presentation screenshots not for rigging tests, as this feature disables the hlp_ bones, which disables the vertex weight deformation around the wrists for the attached meshes to the player model, test ingame to see how it really deforms if you have rigged the hlp_ bones in your model.
TFMV: Loading Workshop compiled items
If you are a TF2 contributor and have TF2 items compiled with the ingame importer tool, you can load the workship .zip files in TFMV.

If .zip files are found in the directory \Team Fortress 2\tf\workshop\import_source\ TFMV will display a "workshop" button next to the Sniper class selection button, click it and it will list the workshop items in your import_source directory.

TFMV: Loading models from path or file
Loading models from file by Drag & Drop
You can load models from .mdl, .vpk or workshop .zip compiles by dragging and dropping the file into the loadout box, highlithed in orange:

Loading models by filepath
You can also load models by path, that may be located in \tf\models\ or tf\custom\yourmod\models\ or the game's main VPK files (tf2_misc_dir.vpk tf2_textures_dir.vpk).

-Go to the Advanced Settings tab
1-Type the model path
2-Click Add

The model should be added to the loadout list:
TFMV: Paints Chart Tool
This tool automatically generates a chart of all the paints for the items.
The tool can be found in the advanced settings/tools tab once you are in the SKINS menu, click the button >> to open the advanced tools tab, there you should find the "Paints Chart Tool" buttonm click it to open the tool.

Set the character pose and framing in HLMV then in the Paints Chart Tool panel click "start", do not touch the mouse or keyboard while TFMV is taking the screenshots, as it needs to focus on the HLMV window to refresh the paints, you can cancel at any time if needed, the process may take a few minutes, these GIFs are sped up.

Untick the box "merge screenshots into a mosaic" if you prefer to have separate images for each paint.
The image(s) will be saved in the screenshots folder.

You can also generate it with the player skin set to the grey material:
Note: for each screenshot TFMV needs to focus the HLMV window so it refreshes the skins changes, if you notice that some paints are repeated it means HLMV doesn't have enough time to reload and refresh the VMT changes between each paint change.
If so, cancel the paints chart, increase the screenshot refresh delay to a higher value (located on the bottom left) to resolve this issue and start again.
HLMV: Camera and controls
This part of the guide only covers some basics of what you need to move a bit around HLMV.
For additional information on how to use HLMV see the SDK wiki article:

Camera controls:

Left Mouse Button: drag in the center of the viewport to orbit the camera.
LMB: drag on the edge of the viewport to roll the camera.
Ctrl+LMB: drag to orbit the light source.
RMB: drag to dolly the camera back/forward.
Shift+LMB: drag with pan the camera left/right up/down.

Changing the character animation:
1- Go to the Sequence tab.
2- Select the animation.
3- Set the animation play speed.
4- Scroll through the animation frames and stop at a frame.

HLMV: Render quality
If the models in HLMV appear aliased(pixelated around the edges) or blurry, you will need to manually force the graphics settings of the model viewer (hlmv.exe), Click here to see a tutorial on how to create application profiles for NVIDIA, AMD or Intel graphcs chards.[]

Increasing the anti-aliasing to x8 or higher and enabling the texture filtering (anisotropic filtering) should give better results.
After creating the application graphics profile, restart HLMV for the changes to apply.

The program HLMV.exe is loctated in the game folder "\Team Fortress 2\bin\" (if you don't know where the TF2 folder is, check in the TFMV settings tab).

FAQ / Troubleshooting
  • TFMV crashes when I start it!
    Make sure you have the lastest version of .Net Framework[]installed.

  • Can't download the schema
    If you have an antivirus or firewall make sure its not blocking TFMV to download the schema.
    Note that around the time a TF2 major update is released, it is likely the TF2 item list (schema) server might be busy, slow or simply down and may take minutes or hours to come back online until you can download the new items list.
    If you cannot resolve the issue, you can install the schema files manually, I have uploaded the latest version here[] (17/03/2018)

    To install it, go to the folder C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\TFMV or type %AppData%/TFMV in the windows explorer and press enter.
    In this location you'll find another folder called "tf2_schema", open the zip file you just downloaded and extract the tf2_schema folder from the zip to overwrite the folder in Roaming\TFMV\.
    Restart TFMV so it reloads the files, you should be set.

  • How can you load Unusual effects?
    Unfortunately its not possible, Valve's HLMV model viewer doesn't support particle effects aka unusual effects. However you can use to preview those :)

  • Problem/Solution is not listed here?
    Check the comments to see if your question has been answered in the latest pages, if not ask :)
    If you found a bug, don't be shy, post about it too in the comments, thanks!
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[FEZ] Thurbo Apr 21 @ 8:08am 
I fully understand if it's causing so much trouble, would love for Valve to make it official.

Either way, thank you so much.
neodos  [author] Apr 13 @ 3:41am 
Not sure, I am using a third party installer solution by Microsoft.

Try uninstalling all TFMV versions, then restart windows, and then try installing again, if the problem persists maybe try to see if there's any left over information on the registry and remove, reboot and try installing again.

Hello, I got a question, when I tried to install it it said another installation was already running and I couldn't, well, install the program. I had TFMV before and uninstalled it for whatever reason (I don't remember the reason) And it keeps happening. Help?
neodos  [author] Apr 9 @ 12:14pm 
Forgot the changelog here it is.

Changelog for TFMV 1.8.6

-Fixed: crash due to changes in new version of hlmv.exe.

-Improved: Faster workshop zip items list loading.
-Changed: Workshop zip listing sorting, now lists from most recently created to older.
-Added: support for different workshop zip format versions.
-Fixed: older versions of workshop zip files not being loaded or causing crashes.
-Fixed: case where workshop items listing would sometimes display the same icon for all items.

-Fixed: expanded items list now gets collapsed when going into skins panel.
Vap Apr 9 @ 9:31am 
GetGrenade Apr 9 @ 9:29am 
Thank you so much! :dante:
neodos  [author] Apr 9 @ 4:22am 
Sorry for the delay, should be good now.

If you already had TFMV installed, lauch it, it should prompt you with an update.

I have made two versions of the TFMV, the regular and TFMV lite which has reduced features in case Valve updates tools, it should be less likely to break compatibility.
STAR o Totozu Apr 6 @ 9:52am 
Thank you man! you are the best!
neodos  [author] Apr 5 @ 2:13am 
Update: sorry I had to take down the "Lite" version, I will repost it later today, making sure its stable for everyone.

For the full version, working on a fix that's gonna take a bit longer, but last update.
Oil Ace Apr 4 @ 3:10pm 
Aw, that's a bit of a shame. One of the things I liked about TFMV as opposed to was that I can use mods from and make neat custom loadouts

Still, if it's causing so much trouble, then I understand wanting to can TFMV.