How to port models from other non-Source games

Hi people of facepunch I’m just wondering how do people port these models from non-Source games like CoD Mass Effect etc. ?
(a tutorial would be good)

Porting is a long and arduous process that denotes roughly four major tasks.

  1. First, you must obviously have the game downloaded to your computer; if the game is a console game, this step takes even more time, since you need to download software to rip the game from the original disk into files on your computer.

  2. You must have software that is able to extract the files from the game’s native file structure. For instance, Traveler’s Tales tend to save their game data in .DATs, whereas Valve uses .GCF. While some formats are easier to unpack than others, you may run into games that use file formats that are foreign, this requires some extra research into finding, or creating, software that can extract the contents. Textures are included as well.

  3. You must then locate the models in whatever format they are native, and from there, convert them into a format that can be opened with your choice of modelling programs. Fallout/Oblivion/Skyrim store their models in .NIF format, which is not openable by most modeling programs; thus, I would have to convert it to a .OBJ via a program called NIFscape. Other file formats require other converters, some may be unable to be converted without losing data, or you may have to code, if possible, one yourself. This also includes textures.

  4. Then you have to learn how to model, and rig the extracted model to Source’s model, texture, and hitbox structure, making sure to optimize the model if necessary, and scale it to the proper Valve units. If the model is a ragdoll, for instance, you need the extra steps of setting up bones for the model to be able to move and be posed, and even further steps if you want it to match the Valve bi-ped model for use as an NPC or playermodel.

So in essence, unless you have a lot of time, a lot of software, and a lot of skill at your disposal, I wouldn’t recommend trying. There are tons of CoD and Mass Effect models for download on and the Garry’s Mod workshop thus far.