SketchUp Source Tools

From Valve Developer Community
Revision as of 23:45, 14 May 2009 by JeffLane (talk | contribs) (SketchUp plugin documentation)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

The SketchUp Source Tools allow you to create 3D content for the Source game engine using Google SketchUp. There are two main file format exporters: one for .VMF and one for .SMD.

.VMF export

The .VMF export plugin allows you to export SketchUp models to Hammer, the environment editor for the Source game engine. Hammer is used to create game levels for titles such as Half Life, Portal, Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, and Left 4 Dead.

.SMD export

The .SMD export plugin is useful for creating models for props or for making static models that can be placed in your levels.


1. First, download SketchUp. You can find the latest version here.

You can use either the free version or the "Pro" version of SketchUp, which offers advanced features. The Hammertime plugin should work with either, and with any of the SketchUp releases between 5-7.

2. Install SketchUp. Launch it once, just to make sure it runs properly. If it prompts you to choose a template, any one will do. If the 3D window with a human figure comes up, you're in good shape. Go ahead and exit SketchUp so we can install the Source plugins for it.

3. Next, you will need to install the Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools. In addition to Hammer other tools, it includes the SketchUp plugins you need. They are typically found here:

C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\common\left 4 dead\sdk_tools\plugins\sketchup

4. You'll need to copy all the files AND both folders into SketchUp's plugins folder. The exact target location depends on what version of SketchUp you have installed, as well as where you've installed it, but it's most commonly found here:

C:\program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 7\Plugins

5 It's important that you have all of the following in the SketchUp plugins folder:

File Description
vmf_export.rbs Script file which performs vmf export.
smd_export.rbs Script file which performs smd export.
valve_sketchup_tools_config.rb User-changable configuration settings.
valve (folder) Contains required support files.
valve_library (folder) Contains examples and useful components.

6. Launch SketchUp.

Under the Plugins menu, there should be menu items labeled "Export VMF..." and "Export SMD..." You should be ready!

Comments and bugs