Mesa 1.1 : Installation


Stage 1


Download MESA – [download page]

when done open the Archive file with Winrar, or a similar application.

This is what you should have over your eyes :


You can also read the detailed article about the content of the Archive file :

MESA Archive Content Details


Stage 2


MESA and the Mod_Source directory

According the the Create mod installation article .

ModName_Source is the place where the source file will be stored, before to be compiled to the ModName Directory, where the final mod is stored.

MESA must be stored into ModName_source/mesa/

1. Extract “ModName_source/mesa/“, into your own “mod_source” directory.

Note :

The workspace.mel , when you set your working project in maya, will automatically read the /mesa/ directory to get the scripts.

2. Extract “ModName_source/workspace.mel” into your own mod_source directory.

3. Create a folder and name it Scenes in your own Mod_source directory.

4. Open Maya and Set your project on your Mod_source directory.

5. Close Maya and go to the next stage.


Stage 3


How to setup Maya correctly

1. Extract “/maya/prefs/shelves/shelf_MESA_V1.mel” into your Maya user Directory:

The default path is : C:/users/USERNAME/documents/maya/YOUR-VERSION/

USERNAME : This is your Profile Session on window.

YOUR-VERSION : This the version you got installed of maya.

Example : C:/Users/fuzz/Documents/maya/2012-x64/prefs/shelves/

2. Now open your Maya.env file with a text editor.

Path example : C:/Users/fuzz/Documents/maya/2012-x64/maya.env

Note :

I recommend you to use Notepad++ or conText, instead of the default notepad editor, that could messed up the structure of the Code declarations by the lack of the back to line.

3. We will tell to MAYA where the icons are stored.

Note :

If you have several path to set, the path must be separated by a semi colon “ ;

  1. Keep the Maya.env file open for the Next stage.


Stage 4


Set up the Mod Environment Variables

Now MESA is installed, but the scripts will not being able to find the compilers tools of the source sdk. So we have to set some extra Environment Variables into our Maya.env file.

1. If your are using Source 2007 Engine branch set this path or change the path to “\source2009\bin\” directory.

2. Set the path of the mod_source directory, where the Source files are contained.

3. here is the name of your working directory Mod_source, this is just informative, and the Path Tab of MESA will tell you on what working mod you are in.

4. Unfortunally it’s very important to set this path of the source sdk tool a second time.

5. Set the path of the Mod project in your Steam SourceMods directory.

6. Save the edited Maya.env.

Mesa Is now installed properly.



Stage 5


Extra Stage : The Sample Scene, and content.

From the Mesa Archive file :

1. Extract “/modName_source/scenes/props/” directory in your own mod_source/scenes/.


Note : It Contains only a Maya Scene example.


2. Extract /ModName_source/materialsrc/models/ in your own mod_source/materialsrc/

The folder contains the texture files.


Note :

Vtex.exe only work with TGA formatthe conversion will not occurs if you use a different type of texture file.


3. into your “mod_source/modelsrc/” directory, you must create the same folder hierarchy than the one in Scenes folder.


Note :

Because the “/scenes/” folder must lies with the “/modelsrc/” folder. so the script


Create an empty folder named “/props/“. The folder will be the location where all the SMD files, and the QC script will be written.

Now we are ready to export. Go to read the Export tutorial here : come soon.

Stage 6

TF2, PORTAL 2 and DOTA 2 support.

As you know TF2, Portal 2 and Dota 2 do not have mod_source folder, but you can create you Own mod_source.

It would be a good solution for backup your works, if you only release models for the Steam Workshop. This is an acceptable solution.

1. Extract all the content of “/modName_source/” from the Archive file, where you want to save your Source on your local hard drive.

2. you will surely want to delete the sample files and folder, or you should want to keep the file to test out if the MESA exporter works correctly.

  • scenes/props/
  • modelsrc/props/
  • materialsrc/models/props/

3. Open the maya.env

Path example : C:/Users/fuzz/Documents/maya/2012-x64/maya.env

  1. Export to Dota 2:

Now we are ready to export. Go to read the Export tutorial here : come soon.

Let’s start Maya now !


  1. Quick question about exporting. When I go to export it stops at “exporting vmt…”, it doesn’t convert the .tga files I have to .vmt files no matter what I do. I have gone over your tutorial numerous times and exported your sample scene successfully every one, so I have to be missing something when I do it myself. Any help would be greatly appreciative cause I’m pulling my hair out on this one.

    • Hello Mike
      i think the problem come from the the materials path:
      what is the path in the paths tab of the export in Materials / Texture path ?
      you must have the path to your mode like : modname_source/materialsrc/ and nothing more after.
      if the defautl path doesn’t point on that directory the problem from from here.
      or its maybe possible you forget to add the materials attributes to your model. do you have something in the main node of your object in extra attribute? vertexlitgeneric nocull etc ?
      also check what is the complete path of your textures, it must not have the full path, but only start at /materialsrc/
      Mike a new version will be available this night or tomorrow, i will release a more complete documentation to use mesa as well.

  2. What if i just want the import/export of smd, without running mesa or anyother as tf2, dota, just want it for models

    do i just kinda follow the Step:3 ?

  3. I’m not sure where I messed up but I’m getting the following error when trying to load the shelve
    // Error: Invalid flag: -enableBackground

    Using 2010


    • Hi Josh, thank for the report.
      so try that :

      open you user/documents/maya/2010/prefs/shelves/
      and open “shelf_MESA_v1.mel”, with notepad
      and select all the text and paste this one :

      and tell me if it works, i don’t have the Maya 2010 version installed, but i think the shelf can’t deal with background color for the shelf icons.


      • Hey Red,

        Thanks for the reply!

        I had tried commenting out that line before and I just get the same error with

        Maybe I need a new version of Maya :)

        • hi again Josh,
          it would be better to have the full log from your script editor, to understand what is going on on the hided process in maya.
          can you open the script editor and check this two option , “Line number in errors” and “Echo all commands”.
          post the log on, and give me the post the link here.


          edited :
          i just have rehandled the shelf mel from the prall version

          let me know if that one work better, Josh.

          • OK, we’re making progress.
            The buttons are there without icons. Just say Export, Add and Layer
            Hitting export gives me this error
            // Error: Unrecognized parameter: both. //

            Hitting Add gives me this error
            source sourceAddShaderAttributes.mel;
            // Error: setAttr $h = 0;
            // Error: Syntax error //

            Layer button seems to work OK.

            Thanks again!

            • do you have the proper path for the Icons into your maya.env ?
              XBMLANGPATH = G:\Steam\steamapps\SourceMods\modname_source\mesa\icons;

              i can’t identify the problems you get with smdOptionWindow :/
              this is really strange, because that argument “both”, is already used into the valve (maya 4.5) and the prall version (maya 2008>2011).

              about the sourceAddShaderAttributes.mel i note the problem and will fix it in the next release, i just noticed now, that my local version the file is different than the one from the archive.
              check out the main page soon , i will try to do my best to reupload a new version of MESA. and with a compatible shelf for maya2010.


  4. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong here, my knowledge of both Maya and code are very low. II get this error when trying to import .smd files that I exported. // Error: file: E:/Steam/steamapps/sourcemods/Mod_Source/mesa/smd/smdRead.mel line 8: end of file readched without tag triangles It loads up the model that looks stacked on itself and is devoid of any work I did to it. I was exporting it as a method of saving so if there is a better way I am all ears. Any help would be amazing.

    Thank you for your patience with my probably stupid issue,

  5. Thanks for making this available. I’m having real problems however running a full compile in Maya. I have MESA showing up in Maya. I can export files ok. But when MESA tries doing a full compile, it says:

    ‘C:/Program’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

    My SOURCE_BIN_PATH never works, no matter what I set it to.

    SOURCE_BIN_PATH = C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\joelwalden\sourcesdk\bin\source2007\bin;

    I tried removing whitespace (space characters), and still it will not compile.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for this tremendous service to DIY modders in Source.


    • hello , thank you Joel for the positive comments :)

      I think you should try that one:
      SOURCE_BIN_PATH = “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\joelwalden\sourcesdk\bin\source2007\bin\”

      note that only variable like XBMLANGPATH and MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH got a semi colon at the end of the path. into the maya.env file.

      • Red,

        I have the same error:
        ‘C:/Program’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

        I am trying to set things up to use the new SFM bins/paths
        I’ll show you my maya.env — I have created a mod called jb with the SFM sdk:
        XBMLANGPATH = C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\content\jb\MESA\icons;
        SOURCE_BIN_PATH = C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\bin
        SOURCE_MOD_PATH = C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\content\jb
        SOURCE_MOD_NAME = jb Source
        SOURCESDK = C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\bin
        VPROJECT = C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\jb

        The above all seems correct to me, but what I cant figure out is why in the paths tab of the exporter (in maya) the Source SDK Path is:
        C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\bigjb02\sourcesdk

        Am I complicating things too much by trying to set up with the SFM? Given my maya.env why do you think my sdk path is looking at that old sdk folder and not the newer (sfm)bin I have specified?

        • hello JB,
          did you try to put the path into quote, as i proposed to Joel walden in the post above ?
          it also possible that the environement variables definied in Window, overwrite the one definied into the maya.env.

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