3D Modeling Programs

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3D modeling software is mostly used for making props and characters, but can also be used for generating textures.

  • For Source Modeling, the model editor application must be able to export models in Valve's SMD format.

With Half-Life: Source model exporter

  • kHED - a free and simple modeling program.
  • 3DS Max - a high end suite for animation, modeling and rendering. one of the industry's best. Has a large support network and many plugins. Valve used 3DS MAX for the original Half-Life (hence the name of studiomdl.exe and .smd) there for exporters exists for all versions from 3 to 9, importers for .smd also exists for most versions as well as a .vta exporter and .vtf importer.
  • Blender - a high end, free, open-source, suite for animation, modeling and rendering.
  • Cinema 4D - a popular modeling program, especially in TV media. It is a powerful toolbox. It's exporter currently only support static prop exporting.
  • fragMOTION - a low end modeling and animation suite, but it has tight integration with the structure of half-life models and supports weighted vertexes. FragMOTION comes with .smd importer and importer as well as .vtf importer.
  • GMax - a discontinued free version of 3ds Max currently distributed by Turbo Squid. Both, an .smd exporter and importer exist for GMax.
  • Maya - a high end suite for animation, modeling and rendering. An advanced .smd and .vta exporter exists as well as a limited .smd importer.
  • MilkShape 3D - a low end, popular and simple to use 3D modeling program. Comes with .smd exporter and importer.
  • LightWave 3D - an excellent mid range modeling and animation suite. Currently, a LightWave-only exporter supports static props.
  • Autodesk Softimage - (formerly Softimage XSI) an excellent mid to high end modeling, animation and rendering suite. Valve used Softimage for most models in Half-life:Source, the Softimage Mod Tool exporter can be used with a little modification.
  • Softimage Mod Tool - (formerly XSI Mod Tool) a free version of Softimage with limited capabilities compared to the full version of Softimage. Valve developed the exporter for the Softimage Mod Tool together with the Softimage developers, and as a result the exporter has full support for importing and exporting .smd and exporting of .vta.

Without Half-Life: Source model exporter