How do you decompile models made by...

…people and not Valve.

I found a model I’d like to use in my next machinima but I have no idea how to get it into 3dsmax.

It’s in a .mdl format and that doesn’t open in Max.

You can decompile it the same way as you would any other .mdl.

Do I place the model into my steam folder first?

Because I can’t decompile it otherwise…

If you can’t decompile it when it’s not in your steam folder, the solution is pretty obvious.

Put every file that deals with the MDL in a folder on your desktop. Then decompile it. If it’s not decompiling it is probably missing some files, to fix this just put all the model’s files together in a folder then decompile it while it’s in the folder with all its other files. Do not place the MDL on your desktop without the other files.

But I CAN decompile models and/or ragdolls custom made by people right?

This is just an example but, lets say I wanted the female medic model to bring into 3dsmax.

Yeah. Just install it like you were going to use it, then decompile from there. It really isn’t that hard.

you’ll need a hex editor though to change the “IDST0” on orange box models (TF2, Portal, ect) to “IDST,” so they can be decompiled.