This Curriculum is primarily focused on becoming comfortable with the XSI MOD Tool. You will learn: General navigation, Hotkeys, Modeling 101, Applying textures, Animating simple objects, and explore a few of the more advanced features of the MOD Tool. In addition to this, by the end of the course you will be able to apply what you have learned to create a wide range of “scenes” and/or “content” ranging from simple animatic videos, to prop models ready for exporting into a number of Video Game titles. Specifically, we will be exporting prop models for Half-Life 2, Episode 2.

Disclaimer I: The contents of this curriculum have not been re-evaluated for a number of years since the initial draft (2007-ish). Eventually I may update the curriculum to be as current and accurate as possible. When I do, this disclaimer will be removed.

Disclaimer II: Before following this curriculum, or any online tutorial, always use caution and perform necessary steps to backup and protect your system. I take no responsibility for any damage that may occur as a result of following this curriculum.

Table of Contents

  • Overview and Setup
  • Module 01 – XSI MOD Tool Interface
  • Module 02 – Manipulating Primitive Objects
  • Module 03 – Intro to Points, Edges and Polygons
  • Module 04 – Explorer, Schematic and Browser Windows
  • Module 05 – Advanced Primitive Editing I
  • Module 06 – Advanced Primitive Editing II
  • Module 07 – Advanced Primitive Editing III
  • Module 08 – Materials/Textures
  • Module 09 – Intro to Animation Fundamentals
  • Module 10 – Animation 101: The Pixar Lamp
  • Module 11 – Course Review
  • Module 12 – Create a Dynamite Prop
  • Module 13 – Detailing the Dynamite Prop
  • Module 14 – Detailing the Dynamite Prop II
  • Module 15 – Finalize Dynamite Prop
  • Module 16 – Valve Engine 101 – Exporting into HL 2
  • Module 17 – Import Dynamite Prop into Hammer
  • Module 18 – Compiling and Play Testing

Required Tools

Setup the Default Mod Tool Curriculum Project

Please ensure you follow these steps to setup a main project to house the following modules you will be working through:

File > New Project > Project Name: Haus of Mapping Curriculum

C:\Softimage\Softimage_Mod_Tool_7.5\Addons\Haus of Mapping Curriculum

  1. Install XSI MOD Tool 7.5
  2. Open XSI and create a new project:
  3. Copy all of the folders and files located in the "_Project" folder, contained in this Zip file, into the Haus of Mapping Curriculum folder you created from the New Project wizard above:
  4. Install the Valve Source 6.02 XSI Add-on, located here.
  5. Extract the contents of this zip file, and drag the add-on into an open instance of the MOD Tool and restart the application. Done.
  6. A fundamental resource to this curriculum are the Noesis Half Life 2 Video Tutorials. Please bookmark the following links for later reference:

  7. It's always a good idea to have the application help files on hand for quick reference. You can find the help files within application menu. These files are fantastic for quick searches and supplemental knowledge.
  8. Launch the Source SDK from Steam and accept any updates if prompted. Once the Source SDK window opens, make sure the Current Game is Half-Life 2, and the Engine Version is Source Engine 2009 (This is a critical step). Once this has been verified, you can safely close the Source SDK window.
  9. To ensure that the SDK system file paths are correct, play the first few minutes of Half Life 2, Half Life 2 Episode One and Half Life 2 Episode Two. This will guarantee that the Source SDK functions properly when we launch it in Module 16.
  10. Since we will be working with various file extension types in Windows Explorer, ensure “Hide extensions for known file types” is Unchecked in Explorer > Tools > Folder Options > View.
  11. Re-open the Source SDK and launch the Hammer Editor, if you receive no errors, you can safely close the editor. Everything is configured correctly.
  12. In case there are any issues with the configuration options in Hammer, please refer to Module 17.
  13. And finally we want to set up a series of shortcuts on the desktop to expedite the final modules. Locate the following directories and create shortcuts of them to the desktop:

C:\Softimage\Softimage_Mod_Tool_7.5\Addons\Haus of Mapping Curriculum\Source_SDK_Sample_Files

Locate the following applications and create shortcuts of them to your desktop:


And that's it! We are ready to begin. 🙂

Index | Module 1 »