As of the update integrating SteamPipe into Team Fortress 2, HLMV is included with the TF2 installation. However, the VPROJECT environment variable must be set to
Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf in order for HLMV to function properly for TF2. There are three ways to do this, only one of which is necessary:
- Set the "VPROJECT" environment variable using your operating system's standard procedures
Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\bin\check_sdk_env.batwith the following (this option will set VPROJECT properly for all of the other TF2 SDK tools, e.g. FacePoser, as well):
@echo off PUSHD . CD "%~d0%~p0..\tf" SET TEMPPROJ=%CD% POPD if "%VPROJECT%" NEQ "%TEMPPROJ%" ( if exist "%~d0%~p0set_sdk_env.bat" ( call "%~d0%~p0set_sdk_env.bat" ) else ( echo WARNING: VPROJECT not set, and set_sdk_env.bat file not present. pause ) ) else ( echo VPROJECT="%VPROJECT%" )
Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\bin\HLMV.batwith the following:
@echo off :: Batch file to launch Half-Life model viewer with proper environment :: Launch HLMV echo Starting HLMV... echo Executing "%~d0%~p0hlmv.exe" %* start "" "%~d0%~p0hlmv.exe" -vproject ../tf %*
After performing one of these three options, navigate to
Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\bin, and run
HLMV.bat. This should automatically open
A number of options and settings need to be tweaked in order to achieve best performance from the Model Viewer. The program has no GUI-based video settings like the game, so several other steps need to be taken.
Graphics card settings
For ATi/AMD cards, under '3D' in Catalyst Control Center's drop down menu, uncheck "Use Application Settings" in the "AA" section and move the slider to 8x.
For NVIDIA cards, open the "NVIDIA Control Panel" and navigate to "Manage 3D settings" or similar. Add a program-specific setting for
hlmv.exe. The location of this file is:
Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\bin\hlmv.exe
Ensure that the following settings are enabled:
- Anti-aliasing set to "override" and on highest setting possible
- Texture filtering quality on highest setting possible
The Model Viewer also pulls settings from the config file '
dxsupport.cfg'. If the graphics card settings above do not work, then this method should still force the Viewer to output with high settings.
- Navigate to this directory:
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\bin\
- Open up
dxsupport.cfgin a text editor of your choice. If you do not have this file, create it with the content from here.
- Find your graphics card within that file.
- Add or modify the following lines in
dxsupport.cfgwithin the section for your graphics card and save it, the Viewer should now be using high settings.
"setting.dxlevel" "99" "ConVar.mat_antialias" "8" "ConVar.mat_forceaniso" "8" "ConVar.mat_picmip" "-10"
- If your card isn't listed, go to Control Panel, open Device Manager, find your graphics card under Display adapters section, open Details tab of its Properties and select Hardware Ids. The IDs are 4-character hexadecimal numbers. The Vendor ID is located after VEN_, and the Device ID is located after DEV_.
- Navigate to the bottom of the file, and find the
Unknownsections. Choose the one that refers to your graphics card, which will be
ATI Unknownif you're using an ATI/AMD graphics card,
NVidia Unknownif using an Nvidia graphics card, or
Intel Unknownif using an Intel graphics card.
- Once you have located this, change the lines of the one that match, so that looks like the following:
"VendorID" "0x[Vendor ID from step 5]" "MinDeviceID" "0x[Device ID from step 5]" "MaxDeviceID" "0x[Device ID from step 5]" "setting.dxlevel" "99" "ConVar.mat_antialias" "8" "ConVar.mat_forceaniso" "8" "ConVar.mat_picmip" "-10" "ConVar.mat_motion_blur_enabled" "1"
- Only if your card is an AMD Radeon HD5000 series or above, you may enable "Super-Sample AA" under "3D" in the drop down menu in Catalyst Control Center to further increase image quality when used with the above settings. It is advised to revert "Super-Sample AA" back to "Multi-Sample AA" when you are done using the Viewer, as performance in games will be reduced significantly.
Note: Directly viewing some models will ignore the
$colortint_base attribute (which provides the texture's normal color tint to the model), forcing the model to appear grey or washed out. This can be worked around by extracting the model's VMT and adding a new attribute
$color2 with the same value as
Note: To load models, use the
(Steam) Load Model... option. This allows HLMV to access the game's VPK files. Using the other
Load Model... option allows you to load models that are located outside of the game's directory, however.
Most models have standard names but others have vague or confusing names. All item model file paths can be found by searching "
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\scripts\items\items_game.txt) for the item's entry and checking the value of "
Note: You may get issues with HLMV saying it can't find a directory. To fix this, navigate to
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\ and create the folders that are needed to get to the model you are attempting to get to. Alternatively, you can download and extract this pack, and copy the contents to
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\. This will add all the folders to load weapons, cosmetic items and player models correctly, without having any errors (this pack does also contain the Fire Overlay fix and the Cubemap fix).
- The locations for weapon models are as follows:
w_models– holds world models for some of the Stock weapons.
v_models– holds view models for some of the Stock weapons.
c_models– holds models for most newer weapons.
Note: There are some discrepancies regarding c_, v_ and w_ models. Previously, all weapons had a world model and a view model that were kept separately. Most newer unlockable weapons, and a number of stock weapons use a single model file (c_model), which is used for both the player's viewpoint and for what other players see you holding. Any weapons that have switched over to the c_model format have mostly had their w_models and v_models versions removed.
Note: Some weapons, such as the 2011 Festive weapons and the Botkiller weapons have parts of the models located in inconsistent places. For example, the older Festive weapons have the attached lights in
\models\player\items, and the Botkiller weapons have the attached heads in the
- Cosmetic items
- Most of models of any cosmetic items that were added before the Robotic Boogaloo update are located in
\models\player\items. Any cosmetic items that were added in or after that update are located in
- The Crate, Paint Can, and Name Tag models are not present in the game files. Efforts to reproduce them in a model form are ongoing.
- Player models
- Player models are stored in the directory of
\models\player. There are HWM models (or hardware morphs) stored in
\models\player\hwm. These models are higher-poly versions of the standard models and were used in the creation of the Meet the Team series. For more information about them, see the Steam Users' Forums.
Model + Lighting Controls
Holding the following keys and moving the mouse will allow you to move the model or lighting in the screen.
|Rotate model||in centre of the screen.||Rotate the current model in all directions.|
|Turn Model||at edges of the screen.||Turns the current model around from the viewing angle.|
|Pan Model||+ anywhere.||Pans the model around the screen.|
|Zoom Model||Zooms the current model in and out.|
|Rotate Lighting||+ anywhere.|| Rotates the light source around the model.|
This should generally only be used if there is a lot of glare from a certain part of the model such as Pyro's lenses.
HLMV stores model positionings and settings inside the registry in separate keys. You can open the registry editor by going to Start > Run and typing in "
regedit.exe". HLMV's directory is "
- Note: Changes made to values in the registry editor will be overwritten if the model is open while the changes are made. You will need to either close HLMV or load a different model while editing values. The values can also be updated while viewing by refreshing the registry editor ('View' > 'Refresh' or 'F5').
Inside each key are several values, and their uses are listed below:
|aColor||Ambient color||(0.3 0.3 0.3 0) #4C4C4C|
|bgColor||Background color||(0.25 0.25 0.25 0) #3F3F3F|
|gColor||Ground color||(0.85 0.85 0.69 0) #D8D8AF|
|lColor||Light color||(1 1 1 0) (white)|
|lightrot||Positioning of the light source||(X Y Z)||(0 180 0)|
|merge0 – merge3||Attached models ("weapons" in HLMV)|
|overlaySequence0 – overlaySequence3||?|
|overlayWeight0 – overlayWeight3||?|
|playsounds||Toggle sounds being played||Integer||1|
|Rot||Model's rotation in the world view||(X Y Z)||Model dependant|
|sequence||Animation sequence|| Model dependant (most commonly |
|Trans||Translation of the model||(X Y Z)||Model dependant|
- Fire texture
- HLMV applies a fire overlay material to most models. Although not noticeable under most circumstances, it can become particularly apparent when working with models that have dark or black textures.
- There are two methods to remove this effect:
- The more preferred option is to download and extract this texture replacement, and copy the contents to
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\custom\. This will replace the default file texture with a 512x512 black material, effectively nullifying the effect for all models.
- Alternatively, setting
.00in the VMT file(s) for the model will achieve to the same end; however, this setting must be enabled manually per model.
- The more preferred option is to download and extract this texture replacement, and copy the contents to
- HLMV handles reflective surfaces by using a texture to fake reflections. The default texture is that of a sunrise -- nice, but not quite clean enough for good, readable photos.
- To rectify this, download and extract this texture replacement, and copy the contents to
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\custom\. This will replace the reflection with a morose grey, making for more readable photos.
- Gray cornea (issue with NVIDIA graphics card only)
- For NVIDIA users, HLMV may have problems rendering the texture for the cornea of each of the classes eyes, causing it to appear with a gray tone instead. Currently it's unknown what causes this issue, but it's possible to fix it by downloading a modification for the
- To fix that, download and extract this texture replacement, and copy the contents to
\Steam\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\custom\. This will make the
lightwraptexture brighter, fixing the issue with the gray cornea for those using a NVIDIA graphics card.
- GCFScape – tool to extract files out of the game's VPK files
- HLMV Positioner 1.2 by Netshroud (needs steamuser to be set in Presets.ini)
- Category:Third Party Tools on the Valve Developer Community
- TFMV – special model viewer for TF2, easier to use than hlmv, automatically creates paint charts for painted variants.