Dota 2 – CS: GO SDK Model Viewer Guide

May 9th, 2012 by Cyborgmatt Leave a reply »

Edit: Dota 2 now has its own model viewer which I highly recommend you use instead of this one:

The Counter-Strike Global Offensive Beta now has it’s own SDK which ships with more up to date tools than the Alien Swarm SDK does.

You can view the old Alien Swarm SDK guide here.

It fixes a number of issues we’ve been having with the model viewer, for example, it allows the models that have been broken up into multiple parts that don’t currently work properly in the Alien Swarm SDK like Windrunner’s and Nature’s Prophet’s to work properly resulting in the ability for me to provide you GIFs like the one below.

Update: If you’re having issues with the model viewer itself not launching, check the appended fix guide here.

The initial steps are very similar to the Alien Swarm SDK guide but a few extra steps are required later on in the tutorial.

Step One

Download GCFScape:

Step Two

Launch GCFScape and open the “dota 2 beta\dota\pak01_dir.vpk” file.

Step Three

Extract the “root” directory to somewhere on your hard drive and then rename it to “DOTA 2″ after the extraction is finished.

Step Four

Copy the “materials” and “models” folder from the extracted files in to the CS: GO folder: “Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo”.

Step Five

Next you need to mass edit the vmt material files, for this I suggest using Notepad++ using  the “Find in Files” feature, which you can find under “Search –> Find in Files…”.

Step Six

Using Notepad++’s “Find in Files” feature you need to find “CustomHero” and replace with “VertexLitGeneric”, filter for “*.vmt” and choose the directory “Counter-Strike Global Offensive\csgo\materials\models” making sure “In all sub-folders” is also selected.

Press “Replace in Files” when you’ve your options setup like above.

Step Seven

Install the “Counter-Strike Global Offensive Beta – SDK” from the Steam library tool list.

Step Eight

Launch the “Counter-Strike Global Offensive Beta – SDK” and launch “Model Viewer”.

Step Nine

In the “Model Viewer” press “File” and select “Load Model…”.

Step Ten

You will now be in the model file structure, from here you can go into the different folders and load a “*.mdl” file.

Step Eleven

When loading a model like Nature’s Prophet you’ll notice only his base model is loaded and parts will be missing.

Step Twelve

In order to resolve this you need to load in the extra parts as “Weapons”, via the “File –> Load Weapon…” option.

Select the extra part like when you loaded in the initial model.

The extra part will then be loaded into the model viewer.

Step Thirteen

You should now know how to load models into the CS: GO model viewer, enjoy.

Model Viewer Controls


If you’ve any questions ask them in the comments or via the “Contact Me” form.


Fix For Model Viewer Not Launching

In one of the more recent CS: GO updates, the model viewer in the SDK has stopped launching for some people. This is caused by an issue with the soundsystem.dll file.

In order to fix this you need to copy the soundsystem.dll file from the freely available Source Filmmaker SDK and paste it into the CS: GO SDK’s bin folder.



Paste it into here:

Steam\steamapps\common\Counter-Strike Global Offensive\bin

SFM is available for free but if you don’t want to download it you can get the required file here.

  • afanasij

    Hi. Check the Crystal Maiden model and her animations. She has a lot of funny animation

  • Helpful Guest

    The files was leaked, you can get copy here

    • Wywzseid

      Doesn’t work, do you mind providing more information?

  • dragonblaze5

    Does doing this affect your game in anyway??

    • Cyborgmatt


  • Guest

     No, it won’t affect your gameplay. Why would it?

  • Mavis

    Where can you find the CS SDK on steam?

    • Guest

       Library -> Tools

      only if you own CS:Go, if not, see comments for link

      • Mavis

        What link?

    • Jus’ Helpin’

      You need to be in the CS:GO beta which, like Dota 2, is invite only for the moment.

    • Garlix

       You need CS GO beta

  • Aaaaaa

    Is it just me or the models look a bit different from when seen by the Alien Swarm SDK?

    • Cyborgmatt

      It’s because this is using a generic shader instead of the CustomHero shader that we use in Alien Swarm SDK.

  • Mjauz

    Why are all my models wireframed no matter what?

    • Cyborgmatt

      Make sure you’ve edited all of the material files and selected “textured” in the model viewer’s dropdown box.

  • dji

    Looks like it will be alot of customization options when valve release the inventory/shop/drop system.

  • JM

    I hope Valve makes a Cyborgmatt sunglasses item for NP. 😀

  • Naso

    You might want to change the link at the top that still links to the old way of viewing the models.

  • Jordan Meinecke

    Wow what JM said, but seriously, how the heck do you figure out this stuff? It’s not very intuitive if you ask me.

  • klabby

    I think Valve hired Cyborgmatt to do the same thing he did with dota 2 to every other valve game :D. good job Cyborgmatt

  • Joeysqueakhedrick


  • Matt White

    Cyborgmatt=Icefrog, it’s confirmed.

  • Crisgon

    hi cyborgmatt, anything new related to the dota2beta test update?

  • Pro Sport

    And where is prediction?

  • Ryceg

    Hey, I can’t find the (Steam) Load Model option. I’m getting a dropdown box similar to your Step 12 box. 

    • Cyborgmatt

      That was suppose to be just “Load Model..”, It’s fixed now.

  • Wahid145

    fuck furion dancing so imba 😐

  • Athiwat

    Can I get VAC for this? I’m afraid I will get VAC for this because I replaced the files and now my CS:GO is showing black screen(it fixed itself when I reinstall CS:GO)

    • Cyborgmatt

      Nope. Just make a backup of your CS GO directory when doing stuff with Model Viewer.

  • Not

    Only if I had CS:GO…

  • Radi

     Pls can you tell me how can i see the file with heroes stats (STR, INT, movespeed…)??
    i want to make a XML with all of them

    • Cyborgmatt

      Hero/Ability strings are in: dota 2 betadotaresourcedota_english.txt

      Hero stats (attack stats, attributes, movement speeds etc): dota 2 betadotascriptsnpcnpc_heroes.txt

      Ability stats (range, damage, costs etc): dota 2 betadotascriptsnpcnpc_abilities.txt

      Unit stats: dota 2 betadotascriptsnpcnpc_units.txt

      Item stats: dota 2 betadotascriptsnpcitems.txt

      • radi

         thxxxxx a lot 😀

  • Alvin Malaca

    Can someone help me? I can’t download CS: GO, I don’t have the file :/

    …Man this sucks, is it the only way?

  • Colossal

    Is there any way at all to fix the specular?

    • Cyborgmatt

      Untick the “Specular” checkbox on the Render tab in the Model Viewer.

  • Tsoojkovski

    Matt I will love you forever if you make a guide to extracting models to a usable format for 3D programs, its just about impossible to line up your hats/ items for models that you don’t have in your 3D program (formats like .obj, .lws, .3ds, .dxf) <3

    • bob

  • Deniz Abacioglu

    Well do I need to use 3dmax or something like that to make an item or this program provides an ability to create and edit 3d objects? I hope it’s not just a viewer. Come on making just a table and some objects on it taking almost 3 hours I want(need) a simple program. Really bored with watching guides on 3dmax and seriously most of them are useless if you gonna make easy things.

    • tygr

      Try Blender, it’s similar to 3DS but much, much easier.

  • Guest 001

    Counter strike folder does not exist . Need hint please.

  • Alex

    cyborgmatt i have trouble with my cs:go sdk  when i click model viewer iget hlmv.exe has stopped working

    • Jim

      I’m replying to this now, even though 6 months late this is still a problem. I can’t access the model viewer at all.

  • Bugi Bye

    does loading weapons work on Alien Swarm SDK?

  • [AzurA]DarkSuo

    I dont have CS;GO beta, so i cant find his directory nor his SDK on tools list. what can i do now? just stick to Alien Swarm SDK?? =//

    • Kobb

      Buy CS:GO

  • Essem

    I’m hoping you just might reply to this Matt. I’m trying to master this viewer and it’s driving me insane. Why when i’m trying to blend pose sequences together does it never work right? For instance antimage won’t blend poses whatsoever. If I hit blend it just always goes back to BindPose for some reason. Yet I can get Zues to blend between his idle and cast animation no problem. I still haven’t figured out what the little check circles next to the sliders do either. Is there anyone who is really good with this? I can’t find anything through google xD

  • Stephen

    I don’t see the CS GO SDK in the tools list. Was this replaced by something else?

  • halo

    So on step Eight when I attempt to launch the model viewer nothing happens…I followed all previous steps to the tee. What might have happened?

  • Kyle

    I know i am late to the discussion, But is that a custom animation playing on him?
    If not, do you know how to play custom animations on the dota 2 characters? or how i can import them like this –

  • Daz

    there is no
    “Counter-Strike Global Offensive Beta – SDK” on steams tool library anymore! how can I get it?!

  • Yaroslav Dutka

    on step3 i realise that there is no excist models folder. what could it be?

  • Romidar

    I bought CS:GO and after that I was able to download SDK programm. Did everystep, even had to fix Model Viewer not launching by copying soundsystem file into it. But everything works fine, thx you Cyborgmatt!

  • Jesper Skeppstedt

    Cyborg, I got stuck at open the CS.GO Model Viewer. I can open the program cause i own the game, installed it etc. But when the green menu comes up with Hammer World editor, model viewer etc. Then it doesn’t start. The Hammer World thing starts but not the model viewer. What can be wrong? Cheers

  • Lasse

    It says “0 occurences replaced” I have no idea what to do. Tried other folders and just picking the counter strike global offensive folder didn’t help. How?

    I may have messed up with GFCScape but can’t see what.

    Only thing i noticed

    When i copied the folders from the root folder (or DOTA 2) it asked me if i wanted to replace the models- and materials folders with some existing ones in the csgo folder.

    And when i extracted the root in GCFScape it said that something went wrong with the program. But when i looked through the files everything seemed to be there.

    Anyone have ANY idea what i can do?

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Lasse

      here’s a screenshot of it

  • S

    Please help! The models that I loaded in (Load Weapon..) is missing. But
    when I spam on F5, the weapon loaded can be seen “flickering”, but when
    I stop, the item went missing again. I don’t know what I did wrong.
    Btw, I’m using AlienSwarm SDK. The model loaded seems to have stretch

  • Miami Police

    Hi!Can u help me pls.I cant open Model viewer in csgo sdk beta.What can I do with this?

  • Xe No

    I can’t leave a message in the Contact Me section, any suggestions? Is there a maximum characters limit? :S

  • General Juggerjerk

    Notepad++ leaves this message: 0 occurences replaced.
    Textures are completely missing, pink and black squares is the only thing I see. I leave this message here because I tried to contact with you using the “Contact me” section. I guess you’re busy so you couldn’t see my message. I’ve been using this model viewer since the first day and it never gave me any problem. But now no matter how many times I repeat the tutorial, it keeps giving me the: *** ERROR *** Model attempted to load one or more VMTs it can’t find. Thanks in advance :)

    • Dzad

      Same problem here. Please help!

  • digitaldood

    For some reason when I import the .vpk file its corrupt with weird characters and GCFScape crashes

  • Nibby

    CSGO SDK Still won’t work I did everything like that I even reinstalled my game and sdk nothings happening sugestions?