Catwoman [Blender Cycles]

Blender - Play with SFM Models


Last Update: Apr 10th 2020
(See Change Log at the bottom)

Do you want to Pose/Animate/Edit/Render SFM characters in Blender?

This guide will show you how to import models from Source Engine games into Blender, apply textures to the models, and prepare the models for posing and animations.

The User Interface shown in the gifs below has been changed slightly to help new users identify the different Editors/Windows within Blender.
For eye comfort, feel free to change the appearance of Blender's User Interface via File - User Preferences.

Report broken Gfycat links or try changing the URL to this:

If you are completely new to Blender 2.8, make sure you understand the basic fundamentals:
- Blender Fundamentals (It's quick, I promise.)
- If you don't do this, you will accidentally press something and not know why it's negatively impacting your work.

After that, make sure to keep the following page open in a separate browser window or tab:
- Blender - Common Mistakes & Tips

While waiting for the finished guide, you can take a look at some of the following resources:
- Importing Source Filmmaker models into Blender by Ganonmaster
- SFM To Blender 2016 [Part 1] [Part 2] by Lizendy
- SFM To Blender 2018 [Part 1] [Part 2] by Lizendy

Tools/Add-ons that will be discussed in the guide:

Video: Blender - Import SMD, DMX, VTA and QC to Blender 2.79 and 2.81 for Editing
Crowbar | VTFEdit | Blender Source Tools (Blender Add-on)
- These 3 tools are currently being used to import/export source models to and from Blender.

[Blender 2.79] Import Source MDL and VTF (SourceIO - No Crowbar needed) [Blender 2.79] Look Mom, No Crowbar!
- A new experimental Blender add-on that imports MDL and VTF directly into Blender without the use of Crowbar, Blender Source Tools, or VTFEdit.

Video: Basic SourceOps tutorial
- A new experimental Blender add-on meant to be a more convenient alternative to Blender Source Tools.
- SourceOps only does export

Image: SFM to Blender Skeleton Script
SFM to Blender skeleton script
- A Blender add-on that connects bones together and setup IK controls.

These demos need to be organized, remade for Blender 2.8, and will have written sections for them:
[Blender 2.79] Import Source MDL and VTF (SourceIO - No Crowbar/VTFEdit)
[Blender 2.79] Look Mom, No Crowbar!
[Blender 2.8] DAZv4 - Fix Non-Manifolds
[Blender 2.8] DAZv4 - Set New Base Key
[Blender 2.8] Fixing SFM Eye Texture with Shader Editor
[Blender 2.8] Fixing SFM Eye Texture with UV Editor
[Blender 2.82a] Fixing Missing UV Map for Eyes
[Blender 2.8] View textures in Solid Shading with Flat Lighting
More demos are coming...

Shortcuts & Hotkeys

Blender 2.7 - Hotkeys
List of Basic Hotkeys for Blender
- Don't panic if you forget a keyboard shortcut. Just press spacebar key.
- I highly recommend you activate the Dynamic Context Menu addon for more spacebar functionality.

Blender 2.8 - Hotkeys
Selection Hotkeys:
LEFTMOUSE = make a selection
  SHIFT-LEFTMOUSE = make multiple selections
CTRL-RIGHTMOUSE = Lasso select
ALT-LEFTMOUSE = Select Object Menu [Demo]

A = Select All
  ALT-A = De-select All
B = Box select
C = Circle select
L = select Linked [Demo] [Bones]

Transform Hotkeys: G = Grab/Move selection ALT-G = Reset Location R = Rotate selection ALT-R = Reset Rotation S = Scale selection ALT-S = Reset Scale [ Press X,Y, or Z to lock a transformation to an axis ]
X = Delete selection M = Move selection to a collection H = Hide selection ALT-H = Unhide selection SHIFT-H Hide everything except selection
SHIFT-A = Add new Object/Bone/Node SHIFT-D = Duplicate selection
T = Tool Shelf N = Properties Shelf
SHIFT-S = Snap Menu SHIFT-C = Set 3D Cursor location to center [0,0,0]
HOME = view entire scene NUMPAD_PERIOD = view only selection(s)
TAB = switch to Edit Mode/Object Mode/Sculpt Mode/Texture Paint/Weight Paint/Vertex Paint ~ = activate 3D view pie menu Z = Viewport Shading Mode Q = Quick Favorites Menu F3 = Search for any Blender function or tool Work in progress..
For more shortcuts, check the links below. - Keymaps - Blender Fundamentals 2.80

How to Get SFM Models Working in Blender?

**Change Blender Render to Cycles Render (top header)**


Step X. Apply Materials and Textures (using Node Editor)

Image by kLuTT
I recommend using the Node Editor to avoid any problems.
Click to Show
Blender 2.7
Blender - Apply Materials and Textures (Node Editor)
[Right click video to change video speed]
- Mirror Gfycat: [Part 1] [Part 2]
You can learn more about the awesome Principled Shader HERE and HERE.

Blender 2.8
- You can quickly switch to the Shading workspace to apply materials and textures for the selected Mesh Object.
Blender 2.8 - Shading Workspace (Shader Editor) Watch Video - Apply all Texture Maps (In 2 Minutes)

TIP: Hair & Eyelashes (Alpha Transparency Textures): 
DEMO: Alpha Transparency Textures Blender 2.8 - Transparent Maps in 30 Seconds

NOTE: If your Viewport Shading is set to Texture, the model will only show the active selected Image Texture Node:
DEMO: Viewport Shading

BONUS: Shading a Human Skin in Blender:
VIDEO: Shading a Human Skin in Blender
Keyboard Shortcuts Used:
Q or ~ = View Numpad Pie Menu (Addon: Pie Menu: 3D Viewport Pie Menus)
X = Delete selected object(s) or node(s)
Shift+A = Add new object or node
Blender 2.8 - View textures in Solid Shading with Flat Lighting
Blender 2.8 (Optional): Speed up 3D Viewport performance by switching to Solid Shading with visible textures.
Keep in mind, your character model may have extra clothes, hairstyles and body parts overlapping each other (it may look weird).
You can hide those extra parts or move them to a separate layer. 
In Object Mode, select the part(s) you don't need, and then press M key to move them to a different Layer or Collection.
- Example: 
Demo: Move to Different Layer
Depending on your model, you may need to do a few tweaks:
Watch Demo Watch Demo Watch Demo
Fix Checkered Mesh with Backface Culling

Demo: Fix Mesh Seam
If you want more cleaning tips, click HERE.


Step X. Setup Bones for Easy Mirror Posing/Symmetrical Posing

Image by kLuTT
Want to pose your left/right bones in a symmetrical fashion?
Click to Show


Bone Naming Conventions [INFO] Naming conventions in Blender are not only useful for you in finding the right bone, but also to tell Blender when any two of them are counterparts. If you have a bone that has a copy on the other side (a pair), like a hand, give it one of the following separators:
Separators LEFT RIGHT
handLeft handRight
underscore _ hand_L hand_R
dot . hand.l hand.r
dash - hand-l hand-r
space hand LEFT hand RIGHT
If there is a lower or upper case “L”, “R”, “left” or “right”, Blender handles the counterpart correctly. Pick one and stick to it as close as possible when rigging; it will pay off. Note: - Placing the left/right part before the bone name is also valid. - The short "L"/"R" code can only be used with a separator (e.g. “handL”/ “handR” will not work!).

Step X. Setup Camera

Click to Show


[Work in Progress...]

Step X. Setup Render

Click to Show

[Work in Progress...]

Blender Random Tips

1. You can use Old and New versions of Blender any time, using the portable (.zip) versions instead of the installer (.msi).
- Portable (.zip) versions are exactly the same as the installer, in terms of performance and features.
- Portable (.zip) versions require no installation (unzip and run)
- Download Old and New versions of Blender from here:

2. What is a Normal Map and what is it used for?

3. Help! I can't Scale or Rotate anymore in Blender!

Blender - Common Mistakes and Tips

Blender - Common Mistakes and Tips

If you want a true introduction to Blender, check out these resources:
If any of the videos are blocked in your country, replace 

Contact: XCurtainX
Show Change Log
Apr 10 2020
Added Demo for fixing Missing UV Maps for Eyes

Jan 13 2020
Added Basic SourceOps tutorial

Jan 12 2020
Added Pte Jack Video: Blender - Import SMD, DMX, VTA and QC to Blender 2.79 and 2.81 for Editing

Jan 9 2020
Guide is currently work-in-progress

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