Turning an imagine into a model for use in SFM

Heyo guys, i’ve been working on a project for the better half of a year, getting a voice actor, drawing assets n’ whatnot, but now I want to know if what I want to do to animate it is possible.

I figured what I could do is make a flat “card” model, like the forest trees in Half Life 2, just pictures on a transparent background and put this image on top of that

I just have no idea how i’d go about doing that. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Go into blender, make a plane, UV map it to that image, scale it to your likings, export it as a SMD, and then compile it with a simple QC file. EZ-PZ

Yeah, you could even make one big plane with a few skins to switch between and use $transparent (or is there a more render-friendly alternative like $alphatest?) maybe. Then you can use a single model and just apply any different size transparent image to it to make a kind of sprite?

Maybe something like this for the QC:

$modelname “Ardowalalin/multiuseplane.mdl”
$body StudioArdowalalin “multiuseplane.smd”
$cdmaterials “models/Ardowalalin”
$texturegroup “planevariants”
{
{ “image1name” }
{ “image2name” }
{ “image3name” }
{ “image4name” }
{ “image5name” }
{ “image6name” }
{ “image7name” }
}
$sequence “planeidle” “idle.smd” {
fps 10
loop
}

Then you’ll have all your vtfs in models/Ardowalalin/
and in that folder the vmts maybe like:

image1name.vmt could have:

“VertexLitGeneric”
{
“$baseTexture” “models/Ardowalalin/wavysea”
“$translucent” “1” //Or alphatest?
//you could include the animatedtexture thing and import multiple images into ?vtfedit? to make it a sort of looping animated sprite in itself? :
“Proxies”
{
“AnimatedTexture”
{
“animatedtexturevar” “$basetexture”
“animatedtextureframenumvar” “$frame”
“animatedtextureframerate” 10
}
}
}
Does that sound right? Good luck!

Such a model already exists.

If the 16 or so skins its defined to use aren’t enough for a single project, you can use Material Overrides.

Oh man, I completely forgot about this! Thanks so much, and just to be clear, how could I make it so it’s transparent behind the waves and whatnot so I can have proper set pieces?

EDIT: Everytime I try to import the waves with a transparent background into VTFedit it says “Error loading image”. I should probably note that i’m completely new to any sort of modeling/material editing stuff, super sorry 'bout that!

What format are you saving the image as before you import it into VTFedit? Would it work if you save it as a .tga?