GUI StudioMDL – Win32 Gui wrapper for the Half-Life model compiler

Having used computers for a long time, using a command line tool isn’t and issue for me, however I noticed more and more people getting into Half-Life model making but coming unstuck when trying to use the model compiler. To this end I’ve written a small Win32 Gui front end to the compiler called, oddly enough, GUI StudioMDL. It provides access to all the same functions and parameters as the DOS based compiler, but through a simple, lightweight user interface.

GUI StudioMDL - A graphical interface to the Half-Life model compiler

So why use it?

Well I cant force anyone to use it but it does save some of the hassle of starting a DOS window and typing long pathnames in! It does however give you the following:

  • Windows interface – no more MS-DOS!
  • Works in just about any 32-bit version of Windows (9x, ME, 2000/XP)
  • Lets you use any version of studiomdl.exe
  • Lets you set command line parameters through simple checkboxes
  • Ability to drop QC files onto GUIStudioMDL and have them automatically load, or set up a file type association.
  • A Shortcut can be set-up with the -autocompile parameter and you can drag-and-drop compile models!


Place GUIStudioMDL.exe in a location of your choosing, although I would recommend placing it in your Source SDK “bin” folder along with the rest of the SDK tools.

If you create a desktop short-cut to GUI StudioMDL you can drag QC files onto it and they will be automatically opened and loaded.

Instructions / How-To

Run the installer and GUI StudioMDL will be installed for you. It will associate itself with QC files and create two shortcuts on your desktop – either one will start GUI StudioMDL or you can drag a QC file onto the icon to auto-load it. Draggingg a file onto the Auto Compile icon will open and compile the QC script for you.

GUIStudioMDL includes the default Half-Life SDK compiler. If your mod requires a different version, replace the compiler in the GUI StudioMDL install folder.

Known bugs / caveats

The output window doesnt show the output of studiomdl.exe until after the compile is done, so if its a large model your compiling you might not see anything for a while.

License / Disclaimer

You are allowed to distribute software on this page freely as long as it is not for profit and this documentation is intact and unmodified. If you do decide to distribute it, please let me know as I’d like to know who’s using it.

This software is experimental. I, the author, assume no responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic.

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