Preparing a video tutorial - need suggestions

I’ve made a lot of vehicle models for the source engine but it strikes me as odd that there still isn’t a proper, in-depth tutorial to teach newcomers how to do this as they can be very complex. I intend to make a video tutorial covering all aspects of rigging, animating and scripting a new vehicle from scratch. I use Autodesk Softimage but I will try to make sure to mention similar components and methods for 3DS Max where I can but for the most part the similarities should be fairly obvious.

Note I will not cover any modeling in this tutorial, only rigging and animation. The only mentions I will make to it are simple processes you must perform to prepare the model to be exported to the source engine.

Here is a brief rundown of the topics that I will cover:

Model, Rigging and Animation:

  • Explain how to prepare the model for source (textures, clusters, UVs, merging meshes etc)
  • Positioning bones (plan how complex you want the rig to be)
  • Set envelope
  • Envelope bones accurately to mesh
  • Adding/removing bones from envelope
  • Cover what attachments are necessary to make the vehicle work
  • Simple animation: (suspension, steering and wheel rotation)
  • Jigglebones (also mention speed bugs, use with caution)
  • Collision mesh
  • Exporting as .smd
  • Preparing QC file
  • Compiling and viewing


  • Rigging vehicles with more than 4 wheels
  • Advanced animation: (enter/exit, drive shaft, complex suspension, additional features)

**Handling and scripting: **

  • Weight distribution and gravity settings
  • Speed and power (lack of gears, explain briefly the power transmission process in the game engine)
  • Torque split and multiplication (also deciding the main driven wheels eg FWD, RWD, AWD etc)
  • Steering (different steering speed and angle based on state the vehicle is in, also cover how to best combat oversteer)
  • Suspension and wheels (relation to ride height, weight support and grip)
  • Sounds and synchronisation
  • Getting the vehicle in-game (lua for Garrys Mod and hammer for others)

Troubleshooting and common issues:

  • Missing bones when compiling ($staticprop command removes bones)
  • Car drives backwards or sideways
  • vehicle crashes game (check if it’s model or script related)
  • Parts warped, stretched or moving strangely (weight map issues, freeze modeling/transforms in softimage)

Extras to cover (questions people have raised):

  • How to set ride height effectively for vehicles with different suspension strengths (like luxury car vs sports car)
  • How to add and use bodygroups and skin families.

I would like to know if anyone else has any suggestions for topics that I should include in this tutorial, possibly problems they have suffered in the past when trying to compile their model or ways they can improve it.

I’d also like to know if anyone has any suggestions for good teaching methods, do you know of anyone else who has made a particularly good video tutorial? I’ve watched several made by Ross Scott and he always makes sure to include entertainment and tidbits of trivia throughout to keep the viewer interested and engaged, many of his tutorials are several hours long but actually still fun to watch and I would like to try to match this level of quality.

This looks very promising, and can’t think of anything that you could add.
I’m looking forward for this as I’m no good at animating vehicles and have no clue on how to make a good handling script.

Sweet maybe i can maybe do my own set of cars. i have a few in mind i was able to make a taxi model and make it have wheels now but i walk threw it like a fake car, then i went and edited then, now game crashes when spawning it.

Sweet! Thanks Chris, now maybe I’ll be able to make my own cars!

This is great :smiley:

Suggestion:Rigging vehicles with treads e.x. a snow mobile, and vehicles without rotating front wheels. I suggested this mainly because I want to make a snow mobile. And correct me if I’m wrong but animated treads is possible since the wheel spinning is an animation of the wheel doing 1 full revolution, but instead of that you could animate the treads.

I’m not sure if Master Chris knows how to do treads, but I know that DJ Iñaki can, so it might be better to ask him for help.

Yeah it’s not something i’ve ever done before so i’d probably have to ask DJ Iñaki how to do it before I could put it into the tutorial. I may leave it as a follow up tutorial for later.

Anyway i’m going on holiday for the next two weeks but once i’m back i’m hoping to start working on this tutorial.

Ok I’m currently making the final plan for the tutorial and i’ll begin recording it in the next few days.

I cant wait for this, then Ill finally be able to finish my ports :smiley:

I’m in full support of this, I can’t think of many suggestions, but do add subtitles if possible for clarity and be sure not to skip or leave out steps. I cannot stress how many problems can be avoided by having a clear explanation of what is going on… for example ive seen many 3D modelling videos where they don’t tell you what keybind shortcuts they are using or applying modifiers, racing through them without saying what is going on and why they are doing it.

Also if you want to see an example of a tutorial vid, there is a tutorial I made for animated spritecard VTFs (used by the particle editor) people have PM’d and complemented me about how well it was presented:

Did you gave up on this?:frowning:

I really, really, really wanna learn how to add wheels to my model!:slight_smile:

EDIT: Damm, i didnt looked that the user of before did necroposting, sorry