SketchUp Source Tools

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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 have installed either the Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools or the Portal 2 Authoring Tools to obtain the plugins. You may find these plugins by right-clicking the tool in your Steam library, selecting properties, and clicking on the Browse Local Files... button under the Local Files tab. Alternatively, you may search manually; for the L4D Authoring Tools, the plugins can be found here:

C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\common\left 4 dead\sdk_tools\plugins\sketchup\plugins
Note.png Note: The SketchUp plugins are not available in the Source SDK. (The folder appears but it will be empty.) SDK users should use the plugins from Left 4 Dead or Portal 2
Note.png Note: Some users may need to delete and re-install the Source SDK in order to see the new plug-ins.
Note.png Note: The SketchUp plugins may appear in other tools such as the Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools and the Alien Swarm SDK.

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 (x86)\SketchUp\SketchUp 2013\Plugins

If you have a more modern version of SketchUp, then the plugins folder could be located here also.

%APPDATA%/SketchUp/SketchUp 2016/SketchUp/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

External Links