Creating Weapons for Half Life 2

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  05 May 2006
Question Creating Weapons for Half Life 2

I want to create some weapons for a Half Life 2 Mod. This is my first attempt importing a weapon into HL2, so I have a few questions. I am creating this for someone who wants it to have the following specs:*

Really, just 2 questions:
below it says 3 models for the weapon:first person, third person, world view, so I assume it means what it says? create 3 models. I assume they will need to vary in polycount. First person= highest poly, third person=midrange, world view=lowest poly?

The last line I'm a little unclear on too. If anyone can shed some light on this I'd appreciate it. example links would be helpful too, thanks!

* 3 models - first person, third person, world view (pick-up)
* 1 1024x1024 texture (first person model, I think the others can be smaller)
* Normal maps
* 1k - 2k polys
* Must replace one of the existing weapon classes/functionalities in HL2 * Sounds would be a nice bonus, but not necessary
  05 May 2006
You only need two models;

The view model. Usually prefixed with v_
The world model. usually prefixed with w_

The world model is seen being held by other players/NPCs and the view model is the one seen in the first person view. You may end up creating more than one world model because of the LOD models and/or shadow model, but there is no player model like Half-Life 1 games (p_).
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  05 May 2006
edit someone beat me to it.

dont forget you will have at least 3 x 1024x1024 maps
you will need a specualr map a normalmap and a diffuse map
and who knows mayb even an alpha map.
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  05 May 2006
You don't *have* to have all 3 texture maps.

However, if you're going to have a spec map, I advise you have a normal map with it, even if it's just a bump-to-normal via the nvidia plugin. It looks pretty dodgy if you only have a spec map.
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  05 May 2006
heck...if you even have a decently modeled gun you can go away with just a diffuse map. My half life 2 hasnt normal mapping and the diffuses read just fine !
arp !

  05 May 2006
Some games do use seperate world and player models for weaponry, for futur reference, the playerheld would be the one with lower polycounts as it's gonna be more in movement, be more prone to be obscured and probably have more of them in view.
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  05 May 2006
Originally Posted by Johny: heck...if you even have a decently modeled gun you can go away with just a diffuse map. My half life 2 hasnt normal mapping and the diffuses read just fine !

Here, here!

'S what I like about Source. Things don't have to have a normal map to look good.
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  05 May 2006
for the mod that i work on (Goldeneye Source) wew do just 2 models
the world model (the one players pick up and run and gun with in 3rd person) and the view model (the classic FPS view gun)

our View models are usualy around 3000 triangles, and our world models are usualy around 1000, but you can go quite a bit lower thna that for the world models, cause ususaly people dont get to close to them, look at Counter Strike Source the world models are pretty simple.

for textures, the world view has a 512 map, and the view model uses a 1024. after that yo ucan play with normal, spec, and anything elese that your into. hope that helps a bit
  05 May 2006
Great info folks. I appreciate it!

* Must replace one of the existing weapon classes/functionalities in HL2

this meant I cant create any new weapons like a laser. or chain saw. I have to use the existing animations. I guess It has to shoot bullets or something I can whack with.

Last edited by scadbrad : 05 May 2006 at 02:56 PM.
  05 May 2006
I'm looking for info or a tutorial that shows me how to take a weapon that I created and assign it to an existing HL2 weapons bones and animations. I'll be doing this in Maya.

I have successfully imported the HL2 character source model Kliener_reference.smd into Maya. I assume that I will do it the same way for the weapon. Like this.

1. Open the source models.gfc with GFCScape.

2. Open Hl2 folder>models>weapons.

3. Extract W_pistol.dtx80.vtx, W_pistol.dtx90.vtx, W_pistol.mdl, W_pistol.phy, W_pistol.sw.vtx, W_pistol.vvd

3. Use MDLDecompiler, locate and extract the W_pistol.mdl to your work folder

4. extract all the textures in TGA format. Using VTF Explorer

5. Import the pistol_reference.smd to Maya

If all the above is correct, then this is the ultimate question:

1. Do I simply detach the HL2 Source model weapon from the bones and delete geometry

2. smooth bind my weapon to existing bones

3. export to SMD (isn't there 2 or 3 smd exports?, reference, idle, ?, ?)

Last edited by scadbrad : 05 May 2006 at 03:53 PM.
  05 May 2006
Hey. There's a bunch of tutorials for this stuff.

Check this thread for two video tutorials on model hacking and source compiling:

Or check this thread for a textbased tutorial:

You can also of course animate your own weapons and put them in HL2/CSS/... If you want to know how, check this thread:

The animation tutorials by Jeniffer!! (he's a bloke btw) are for 3dsmax, but they're pretty entertaining and the principles should apply to any program really.

About polycounts: In my experience textures bring the Source engine to its knees, not polycounts. For Off Limits we set our max polycounts to +/-4500triangles for the view model rifle. World models are generally between +/-500 and 750tri's with us.

I hope this helps.
  05 May 2006
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