Creating Quake 2 (MD2) Models for Papervision3D

March 26, 2009


OK, after the last post on MD2, if I don’t show you how to create your own MD2 models I haven’t done my job…so let’s do it!

Making your own Quake 2 (MD2) models is a must if you are going to be successful. The process described here will work for both 3DSMax and Maya, but there are similar procedures for other modeling applications. There is both good and bad news here.

The bad news: there are lots of steps

The good news: they are all easy

It’s a four step process.

Four Steps

Four Steps

 Resource Files Download (3DSModels, images, MD2 files, etc…)


To make things easy, and completely understandable, we are going to YouTube our way through these four steps:

Step 1: Create Your Model

There are extensive tutorials on the book’s blog on creating 3DSMax models and texture. Check them out at

So we will not repeat all that info, but just create a very simple model to demonstrate the process. Import to the process is to make sure you hit the 7 key to keep those polygons down as you build.

Watch Your Polygons

Watch Your Polygons

Step 2: Texture and Export Your Model

It’s actually simpler to put a texture on a model in Blender. So here’s an outline of how it’s done in 3DSMax (make sure you watch the video below as well)

  1. After creating your model in 3DS Max, add the Unwrap UVW modifier
  2. After selecting your model, select Face from the Unwrap UVW modifier
  3. From the parameters menu (of Unwrap UVW modifier) select Edit
  4. From the UVWs menu (pop up) select mapping and select flatten mapping and click OK (presets should be fine)
  5. You should now be able to see the different sections of your house, then click on tools and select Render UVW Template
  6. In the Render UVs popup change the dimension appropriately (for mitmapped textures 256 or below you get hardware acceleration, but you give up resolution – so it’s a trade off – just use resolution when you need it)
  7. Then from the Mode drop down menu choose solid and then click Render UV Template
  8. Your Render Map should pop up, click on the disk icon to save this map to your hardrive for editing in Photoshop, Gimp, or your favorite image editor (defaults should be OK when saving image to hardrive)
  9. After editing your texture map and saving it (in this instance I saved it as a png since that format works well in Flex), from the Edit UVWs popup choose Pick Texture from the UV drop down box and the Material/Map Browser popup will appear.
  10. From the Material/Map Browser select Bitmap and navigate to and select your image. Your image should appear in the Edit UVWs window overlay (as in Blender use this window to edit your image position).
  11. Now place your texture on your house by hitting the m-key, select the first sphere, click the button next to the diffuse label. And your Material/Map Browser will popup, choose bitmap and navigate to and select your image. That image will now appear on your sphere.
  12. Drag the image from the sphere to your house. Click the “Show Standard Map in Viewport” button to see the uv map on your house (or do a quick render to see it).
  13. Click the export button from the file menu and choose the 3D Studio (*.3DS) format , name your file, and click save
  14. Choose Preserve MAX’s Texture Coordinates and Click OK.

Step 3: Prepare Your Model in MilkShape

You can download MilkShape 3D and a MD2 Viewer from

The steps for creating a MD2 model for PV3D starting with 3DSMax (or Maya) are as follows:

  1. After creating your model in 3DSMax (or Maya)
  2. Export it as a 3ds file (fdx file)
  3. Import this file into MilkShape by choosing Autodesk 3DS… (or Maya)
  4. Click the model tab, then the joint button and insert a joint by clicking on a vertex of your model
  5. Select all vertices (control a)
  6. Go to the joints tab and click assign
  7. Check to make sure animation is correct (single frame for no animation)
  8. Export as an MD2 file (ignore the no md3.qc warning not loading into quake)
  9. Check it out using the MD2 model viewer found on the MilkShape site or the PV3D viewer provided on the book’s website.

Step 4: Export to PV3D Model Viewer

After exporting to the MD2 format, change the markers XML data to include the pertinent resources, and upload those resources (xml data, MD2, image, and zip file) to your server. In an upcoming chapter, we will show you how to create an Air viewer.

In a previous post on

PV3D Quake 2 (MD2) Model Viewer and Download

we demonstrated a Papervision3D Viewer. You’ll now load that viewer with the model you created previously.

You made it! Lots of steps, but the process is pretty fast. I can get through it in about 30 minutes, but my designers take a couple of hours. Of course, that’s why their designs rock!!!