Model Viewer

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A screenshot of HLMV.

HLMV (Half-Life Model Viewer) is the program used to preview 3D models created for Source. You can preview and, in some cases, edit many aspects of your 3D model from within Model Viewer.
It is accessible through the Source SDK.

Note.png Note: The current version is v2.0.

Up until 1999, HLMV was developed by chUmbaLum sOft for previewing Goldsrc models, the latest version at that time was 1.25 but only 1.24 was released as a binary.

Later on, the program was picked up by Jed, who started a new branch building on the 1.25 code using version numbers 1.0 to 1.35. During this cycle, notable amongst the changes was the addition of support for new model features found in DOD 1.0, along with support for the PS2 flavor of Goldsrc.

It is unclear what source branch Valve used when building the Source version of HLMV, or how the license is handled, but HLMV still has a link to chUmbaLum sOft in its About menu.

Settings such as rendering options and background color is saved and stored on a per model basis, unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a way to set the standard options.


  • Normal mapping
  • Specular mapping
  • Generating QC code for Hitboxes, Physics, Attachments, IKRule, Event
  • Visually displaying vertex weighting.
  • Animation blending
  • Pose parameters
  • LOD models
  • Flex animations


  • Left drag in the center of the viewport will orbit the camera
  • Left drag on the edge of the viewport will roll the camera
  • cntrl left drag will more the light
  • right drag will dolly the camera back/forward
  • shift left drag with pan the camera left/right up/down.
  • f5 will refresh the textures if they have been recompiled.
  • U will toggle UV chart view
  • T will toggle textured view. (note normal mapping is off by default, to see your normal maps, check the normal mapping checkbox)


  • The release of HLMV with the L4D2 SDK is missing textures, such as floor, background, and cubemap. This has been explored and a temporary solution found here[1]
  • HLMV has had a very wobbly history. Without warning it sometimes no longer works because of changes/updates done to the Source SDK.
  • Any .jpg model thumbnail made using Photoshop or ImageReady will crash HLMV.
  • The normal map flag can be tricky to switch on depending on your graphic card.
  • Wireframe mode was and has been broken shortly since after the release of the Source SDK, rendering the default texture (purple/black squares) over the model. To add injury to the insult, the flat shaded mode that provided some of the same functionality, was removed some months ago between Episode One and Two.
  • When selecting a submodel category the second submodel is displayed in the 3D view, but the name of the first submodel is still being displayed as the selected in the dropdown menu (also present in Goldsrc versions).
  • When moving from folder to folder the scroll bar doesn't reset.
  • Texture resolution on models may be displayed at 1/4 of it's actual resolution (Mipmap 1) due to issues with some graphics drivers To do: Need to confirm if nVidia only?. Textures will appear more blurry and over sharpened.
  • When viewing models using materials that use the phong shader the triangle count will double what it actually is due to a calculation bug. This is most common with TF2 models due to the heavy use of phong shading.

See also

External links