So you want to start modelling for TF2? You can't get your hands on a copy of 3ds max? You've tried Blender but it never seems to work? Then here are some important things you should know and learn. STEP 1: Setting up First, you'll need Blender of course! Go to Blender's website and download either version it presents (2.49 and 2.5x). It doesn't matter which you choose, but Blender 2.5 is very different to 2.4, and they each need different scripts and the one for 2.5 doesn't yet support animation. For this guide I have used Blender 2.48, but 2.49 should have a very similar interface. STEP 2: Importing If you want to edit a previously existing model, you'll need to decompile it and import it into blender (Skip to step 3 if not). I'm not going to explain decompiling, but this is a good tutorial for that. Now that you have your SMD files, you are going to need to get an import plugin for Blender. There are a few about, but I use this one. It allows you to import all the texture information (including the UV layout) and generally I find it better and more reliable. WARING!!! it does however scale down the model by a factor of 40! This is extremely important as if you don't scale it back up, you will get tiny models when you export and compile. Another little annoying thing with this is that it imports an armature no matter what it is that you import. You need to delete it and everything that points to it otherwise you can't export it as a static prop. One last thing to note on this script is that, where it does import bones, it can't import animation. For Blender 2.5 users, use this. The only known problems are listed on the page. STEP 3: Modelling I'm not going to go over this. There are so many tutorials out there for you beginner modellers. To start you off, try Blender Noob to Pro. STEP 4: Texturing This should be in Blender Noob to Pro, but I'm just going to quickly run over it. After you have made your UV layout and textured it, you just need to link it to the mesh. Under "Links and Pipeline" in the Shading panel (F5) change MA:Material to the name of your texture with .vmt on the end for good measure (might not be necessary, but I do it to make sure). If you have multiple textures for one mesh, you have to go through this process. First, go into "Links and Materials" in "Editing" (F9) and click "new". You should now see the box above say "2 Mat 2". Now you have to go back to "Links and Pipeline" and change the name of this texture. Back again to "Links and Materials" and select the faces you want to have this new texture and hit assign, making sure the box still says "2 Mat 2". Select the other faces (ctrl+i inverts the selection) and hit the left arrow in the box to change it back to "2 Mat 1". Hit assign and you're done! If you have more than 2 textures, obviously repeat until everything has been assigned. STEP 5: Exporting When you're done, you'll need to export your beautiful model into SMD. Here you need another script. I use this one but I think there are others about. Just start the export script, select if the object is a static prop, the phys mesh, or an animated prop and tell it where to put it. When exporting animated meshes, you will need to select BOTH the mesh and the armature. (more on this later, when I have more information) Blender 2.5 users can use the same script I linked earlier to export your meshes. STEP 6: Compiling Remember that link I gave earlier for decompiling models? Go back to it, it will explain compiling models too! Specific cases This section will be kept up-to-date as situations arise which need to be covered. Weapons and hats I will go over this as if you have already created and textured a hat model. Begin by importing the model of that class for which your item is for (these can be found in your sourcesdk_content/tf/modelsrc folder) and scale by 40 as mentioned before, but preserve everything else, you'll need the armature. Now position, scale, and edit your model so that it fits and looks as desired. Next, remove the character model BUT NOT THE ARMATURE. Then you need to parent your model to the armature, and "skin" the model so that only the right bones are controlling the model. If you are creating a basic hat then you'll need to make the head bone (often called "bip_head") have 100% control over the model, and no other bones. I wont go over how to do these two steps, they're a common Blender techniques. Finally you just need to export the model with the armature as mentioned above. And now you're done! Just load it up to check if it has worked then you can do what you like with it! Enjoy your new skills and get creative!