The Source engine's NPC and player models differ: An NPC model applied to the player has no animations. It cannot walk and holds its arms out to the side by about a foot. The weapon is held in the right hand and you can see the player switch weapons, but the weapons also have no animation.

How do I convert between these model types?

  • \$\begingroup\$ as I recall there are 2 models used, one is the world model (e.g. how someone looking from outside the world sees the model) and the view model which is what the player sees (typically only hands and gun are modelled for this type unless the game is 3rd person) animations should exist for NPC's however they may not be sufficient for use by a player, you may need to create your own, you would also need to connect animations to player triggers (e.g. W key would activate walk animation), most humaniod characters use a skeleton system for animation. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 19, 2014 at 6:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes! That's where I'm at now. I've decompiled the models I want and I can recompile them for the game I want, but they cannot be used as player models. I'm looking for a good tutorial on how to assign a skeleton to a ragdoll such as I have now. \$\endgroup\$
    – PatPeter
    Apr 27, 2015 at 6:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know Noesis Interactive turbosquid.com/Storefront/Noesis-Interactive had some tutorials on doing this. Also I believe that the Valve modding wiki had details on skinning meshes for deformation have you looked here? developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Category:Modeling and here developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/… \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2015 at 7:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ the last link I provided there seems the most relevant, it explains the re-skinning process and recompile of the model so that it alters the player \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2015 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


Source works a bit different than i guess you understand it. I can't claim that everything i write now is correct but it should point you in the general direction!

"Converting" a model:

  • You can't just "convert" an model intended to be used on an specific NPC to a player model because the animations that you want to apply are called by actions, and the names of the actions are most likely different than the names of the actions that the player-controller/entity calls upon moving, shooting, etc.

What you need to do instead:

  • You will need to recompile the model with different action names or reskin the npc-model to a player skeleton (hello blender / 3dsmax) that you can get by decompiling the player model. Trust me, both of this can be a whole new experience of pain in the ass, but it can and has been done before
  • You will not need to recompile weapon-view models or anything that can also be used by the player anyway

I hope this helps you, you may also want to visit a source-engine specific forum to post this question into

Good Luck!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I found Crowbar yesterday and have used it to decompile and successfully recompile models for Half-Life 2/Portal into models that I can use on my Garry's Mod servers. However, I'm stuck at the point you describe wherein I need to assign animations to the model, and I have no idea how to do that thus far. \$\endgroup\$
    – PatPeter
    Apr 27, 2015 at 6:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check this out: developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/$sequence as well as the source files for weapon-models valve gives you with the sdk in the steam folder. I'm afraid I can only help you this far. \$\endgroup\$
    – VaTTeRGeR
    Apr 27, 2015 at 9:56

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