Object Viewer Alpha 1 Released - NemPosted: Feb 17th, 2006 - 7:33:41 pm


Crafty is a 3D object, material, model and file browsing utility targeted towards Half-Life modders or enthusiasts looking for a Steam Independent application for quick previews. It currently supports Half-Life 2 .bsp, .mdl, .vmf and .gl formats along with Half-Life .bsp, .mdl, .map and .rmf formats in a variety of render modes.

Release Schedule:

As I stated before this is a feature incomplete release meaning that some features targeted towards the final release have yet to be implemented and the software, though stable and capable, is not ready for the general users yet, just those who want to get a head start in the game. I will be releasing updated builds weekly up until the time of the final release (hopefully within the next two months).

System Requirements:

The requirements for Crafty change dramatically depending on what you are trying to do with it, but for general usage (say Source .bsp viewing) the minimum and recommended system requirements can be found here.

Note: There are still several optimizations that need to be made on both CPU and RAM utilization so I expect these requirements to come down in the final release.


To set Crafty up:

  1. Start Crafty.
  2. Select Setup then Options.
  3. Under the File System tab, select your Steam Directory then the User Name whose custom content you wish to use.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Setup then Profiles and select the modification whose content you wish to open.
  6. Click File then Open and load your level. (Alternately you can use the File System Browser in the View menu to load an object from a (GCF) package.)

Selecting a profile loads all the commercial and custom resources associated with the profile. If you wish to load a Counter-Strike level then a Day of Defeat level, you must change profiles in between loads. You can double check which resources are loaded at any time by opening the File System Browser located under the View menu.


If you experience any bugs using Crafty (specifically crashes) please let me know (at 30,000+ lines of code there are bound to be a few). If you think your bug may simply be a feature I have yet to implement, please hold off until the final release. When posting bugs it helps if you can:

  1. Explain what you did to cause the bug and if it is repeatable.
  2. Post any related error message and the stack trace if it is a crash.
  3. Post the log (in the Console) if you believe it contains valuable information (i.e. red text).
  4. Post any relevant system information (CPU, RAM, GPU, OS, Framework Version etc.).


Object Viewer

Object Viewer

File System Browser

Material Browser

Model Browser


Almost forgot! You can download Crafty here.

Modified: Aug 7th, 2006 - 1:26:00 pm[ 162868 Views ]

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46. TaliaPosted: Jun 3rd, 2006 - 4:06:48 am
Yah, I figured out the problem, and I appreciate the updates. It was just the fact that it didn't have the configurations quite spot on that had me thrown for a loop. I opened the file sys browser and changed the profiles while watching it; The thing is the window only updates when you click on it, which really threw me for a loop. I'm used to them updating without me having to interact.
Uhm, and yah, I'd have it default to a HL2 profile, cause having it load with no profile is counter-intuitive. I've always faulted Hammer for that too.
Thanks, Nem.

47. Man NayPosted: Jun 3rd, 2006 - 9:10:58 am
Thank you very much for these changes Nem! At first I could not get the .obj command lines to work, but that's because the correct switch was -convert, not -export ;)

48. TaliaPosted: Jun 4th, 2006 - 11:26:08 pm
FYI, I just finished formatting and reinstalling my system, and on a fresh load, Crafty worked beautifully out of the box. Nice work. :)
Sorry I jumped the gun earlier.
Last comment; I believe the sv_maxspeed is the players' normal running speed, so I'd use that as the default camera movement speed, as it gives you a good approximation of scale in the viewer.

49. tyroPosted: Jun 21st, 2006 - 3:40:11 am
Nem, what in your background allows you to do such powerful tools, I am a frustrated visual basic programmer who would love to gain access to half-life 2ís engine. What levels of education or books have facilitated your remarkable skill? I canít seem to get beyond a certain level of complexity. The invention of object oriented programming shows that I am not the only one suffering from this. As the program grows I just want to start a fresh. It might have something to do with efficiency, as it grows it becomes harder for me to see its efficiency. I think its psycological; any way I need to get trough this barrier; how do you manage to build tools of such complexity when I canít get beyond the simple ones?exploding

50. NemPosted: Jun 21st, 2006 - 11:28:53 am
I don't have much in the way of formal education. I first took the Digital Processing option for the Computer System Technology program at BCIT. After completion, I transfered directly into third year Computer Science at SFU. I'm currently a fourth year student though I would say, at least in comparison to my peers, that I'm slightly ahead.

I don't really think a formal education, or any number of books, can make someone a good programmer. Certainly it can point you in the right direction, but I really believe the best way to learn is to just sit down and try it. That's how I've written the majority of my programs. When I first wrote Terrain Generator (though the program is more of an embarrassment now) I had a very limited knowledge of C# or 3D programming. I didn't even know where to start. I just sat down and started writing and it taught me a lot.

Object orientated programming is a skill in itself. It seems simple if you've ever taken an object orientated course, but in reality, designing a complex program like Crafty is a huge challenge. I've rewritten several parts of Crafty over its course of development and I'll probably continue to do so. However, the program itself is quite elegant in it's design and the only advice I can give is what any object orientated course will tell you: high cohesion and loose coupling. Your modules should be specific and specialized up until the point it becomes a hassle. Again it just takes practice.

Lastly I have to suggest you pick up C++. VB is a great beginners language, indeed it was the first language I learnt. But if you are interested in 3D programming, C++ is the industry standard and for very good reason. It has an almost the perfect balance of low level goodness and structure.

Good luck!

51. sawoModified: Jul 1st, 2006 - 9:51:15 pm
I have problem, i cant see my custom textures on my CS Source Map in the game they work just fine...
Maybe Object Viewer search only in the GCF's ?

52. BluefangPosted: Jul 2nd, 2006 - 12:05:22 pm
Make sure that you chose the 'Counter-Strike: Source' profile from the Setup menu. also make sure that crafty is set up properly (I.E. correct Steam directory (should be correct by default) and correct steam user name).

Then open the File System Browser and make sure that the cstrike folder is mounted and your materials show up.

53. MegaBotPosted: Aug 4th, 2006 - 7:15:18 am
Help! Why this program don't see textures of any map

54. NemPosted: Aug 4th, 2006 - 10:55:39 am
Did you read the Setup section (and select a profile)? You may also look in your Console (Help menu) for clues.

55. Le PoulpePosted: Aug 31st, 2006 - 4:20:25 am
i can't open anything. "Error initializing OpenGL engine"
please help me i'm a noob. i don't understand anything of this message

56. NemPosted: Aug 31st, 2006 - 10:32:19 pm
Been using the same font code for years and haven't had a single problem with it, now two users complain at the same time. What type of video card do you have? What OS? Have you updated your video card's drivers recently?

57. Le PoulpePosted: Sep 1st, 2006 - 8:51:49 am
I've updated the drivers of my motherboard and of my video card. I still get that message.

Video card ATI FireGL V3100
Motherboard Dell Precision workstation 670
OS Windows Professionallazy

58. Le PoulpePosted: Sep 14th, 2006 - 4:28:16 am
I've decided to clean my whole computer up. I've re-installed everything and guess what?.. Now Crafty works perfectly!walking
I'm just dabbling in mapping but,from now on, you can number me among your followers!

59. NemPosted: Sep 14th, 2006 - 11:18:44 am
Weird, it must have been your OpenGL driver installation. Anyways, thanks for the heads up, good luck with your mapping career.

60. MarkusPosted: Dec 10th, 2006 - 3:27:17 pm
I've been trying to work around another use for Crafty: importing a model created in Maya into Hammer and it being recognized as brushing. As I see it, Crafty allows for the importing of an .OBJ file which is great, however I've come to a bit of a problem. Whenever I try and export the model into a .VMF file, it simply creates a null file with only the header file. The same thing occurs when exporting a .MAP file. I was curious, when exporting via Maya/3ds Max, are there any special attributes I need to apply? Do I need to carry over the normals and smooth groups, or rid of them entirely? Hell, is it even possible, is my main concern. Anyway, thanks for the great tool! I await your response and thanks in advance.

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