export in .mdl?

hey guys dose anyone know how to export in the source engine model format in 3ds max because i have been looking all over and i can only find one for the .vtf plugin :S



You need to export to .smd, then compile it using a .qc file (you have to write it yourself).
http://www.wunderboy.org/ for the exporter.

More in-depth explanation: You can’t directly export to .MDL. There’s actually a good technical reason for this, but it would take a while to explain.

What you have to do is export to .SMD. Then, using other programs, you “compile” that .smd into the .mdl, .vtx, .vvd, etc.

I’m not good at explaining the whole process off the top of my head, so I’ll just link to the Valve dev wiki page on compiling a model.

trust me, it’s a fail process. good technical reason=valve’s laziness.

No, actually, there’s a good technical reason.

  1. The .mdl format is constantly changing during development. I think we’re on version 45 or so. .smd does not change. By keeping one format constant, you can export easily; by allowing the other to change easily, you can improve the engine easily.
  2. Compiling models is much easier when the program can be compiled from a batch file. The way Valve does it, they have a single batch file that can recompile every single model in the game. That way, when they improve the format, they can easily update every model to take advantage of it. If they exported directly from the editor, they would have to open every model in Max or whatever, then export it.
  3. The .smd format is really simple to parse. You can write an export plugin in about a day, if you know how to code for that editor. I’ve actually edited .SMDs by hand, with Notepad, and gotten usable models. Using Valve’s method, they can easily switch to another editor.

It’s at v49 at the moment.
You’re right about it constantly changing. Episode One was v44 and the Orange Box ended with v48.