How to Make and Create Custom Playermodels in Garry’s Mod Sandbox Game

Garry’s Mod (GMod) is a popular sandbox game that allows players to manipulate objects and experiment with physics. One fun aspect of GMod is creating custom playermodels to use as your character skin. With some 3D modeling knowledge and the right tools, making your own unique playermodel is very achievable.

Software Needed

Here are the main programs you’ll need:

  • Blender – The open source 3D modeling software. This is where you’ll create the 3D model mesh and rig it to the Valve Biped skeleton.
  • Crowbar – Source engine tool to decompile/recompile .mdl files. Extracts the model data from GMod to edit in Blender.
  • GMod – Of course you’ll need Garry’s Mod installed to actually use your playermodel.

Modeling Your Player

Create your model:

  • Model a character in Blender ensuring proper edge flow and polygons.
  • Keep poly count reasonable so it runs well in-game.
  • Make sure to model the arms separate from body for easier texturing.

Rig to Valve Biped:

  • Import the Valve Biped armature into your Blender scene.
  • With snapping enabled, snap your model’s bones to the Valve Biped bones.
  • Parent meshes to the rig with automatic weights.
  • Test posing to ensure proper deformation.

Export as .smd:

  • Select the rig and meshes, export as a .smd file.
  • This is the file you’ll later recompile for GMod.


Create texture sheets:

  • Unwrap model UVs efficiently so texels are uniform.
  • Layout UVs into simple texture sheets for body and arms.
  • Bake textures from high poly if available.

Make .vmt files:

  • Create .vmt files defining shaders and texture paths.
  • Standard materials are VertexLitGeneric and UnlitGeneric.
  • Place textures in a subfolder like materials/mymodel.

Compiling for GMod

Decompile playermodel:

  • Pick any playermodel in GMod as a base in Crowbar.
  • Decompile the .mdl to access its .qc script.

Edit .qc:

  • Open .qc file in text editor.
  • Replace model name, texture paths to your files.
  • Replace $modelname with your model name.

Compile .qc:

  • In Crowbar, compile .qc to generate new .mdl.
  • Make sure “Enable proxy” is checked.
  • If errors, fix .qc script syntax.

Add to GMod:

  • Place the materials and new .mdl into GMod garrysmod/addons folder.
  • Refresh addons and test out your new playermodel!


  • Use Enhanced Playermodel Selector addon to aid testing.
  • Recompile often to check for errors.
  • Start simple before attempting complex models.
  • Have fun seeing your own creations come to life!

The process involves quite a few steps but being able to conceive something in Blender then make it a reality in your favorite sandbox is incredibly rewarding. Making quality playermodels does require 3D modeling proficiency so start small to build experience. Refer to the various tutorials linked in the search results for more in-depth visual guides. Happy modding!