Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I figured out the problem. I downloaded the GuiStudioMdl utility for kicks, but surprisingly it worked, so I looked at the commandline it generated to call studiomdl.exe and it looked like this:
studiomdl.exe -game "c:\program files\valve\steam\steamapps\SourceMods\DeepBlue" "C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\megafont\sourcesdk_content\DeepBlue\modelsrc\PalmTree.qc"
However, at first I had the purple checkerboard texture on my model. Then I had to decompile the original textures so the source files were available to the model compiler and it works now. So the problem was that I didn't include the -game command line argument to tell studiomdl.exe which game I was compiling the model for. I didn't do that because the tutorial on this site about compiling models didn't even show that command line argument in the example. I also had to edit my .smd file a little bit too because in there the texture filenames had the wrong file extension too.
- If there is no -game option present, StudioMdl will compile the model into CurrentGame directory(which is set by SDK launcher/Vconfig). I don't think this is a source of the problem you had.
- Also texture file extensions in .smd don't matter. Whether it was either "mytexture.bmp" "mytexture.jpg" or "mytexture.tga" that will be OK. (the produced .mdl will look at "materials/<$cdmaterials>/mytexture.vmt") For purple checkerboard texture, see Troubleshooting Modeling. --n-neko 01:26, 1 Dec 2006 (PST)
Updated my question.