Making Ragdolls in 3ds Max for Source

Posted Feb 12, 2012
Last Updated Oct 21, 2023

Making a ragdoll requires you to use the hierarchy tab in the command panel, which may be a new area for less experienced modelers. Watch the video here to get a basic overview of how to make a ragdoll for Source.

Note that as of WWMT 1.9519, you no longer need to enable Bone On for ragdolls. All you need is to enable the joints and to use the $jointconstrain option in WWMT. The sample scene has been updated to reflect this, but the video is still showing the old requirements.

Ragdoll Requirements

To make your ragdoll, you must create a linked hierarchy. You must also set the rotational limits of each joint.

  1. Click the Pick and Link tool (usually at the top left of the 3ds Max UI) and link all children objects to their parent objects.
  2. Select each object and click the hierarchy tab in the command panel.
  3. Set the hierarchy submenu to IK.
  4. Optionally set each axis to active and/or limited. If active but not limited, the joint will be free in that axis (can rotate indefinitely).
  5. For each axis that should not move, choose From 0 to 0 or not have the Active flag.
  6. For each axis that should be able to move (limited), set the desired angles.
  7. The damping spinner will translate to the damping of this joint in that axis.
  8. In WWMT, make sure that you have $jointconstrain checked in the Collision Hull rollout.
  9. Export.

More Options

For advanced bone controls, see the newer Advanced Bone Settings article.

Using the Sample File

The example scene demonstrates making a prop where you can shoot the top part of a model and it spins freely on a single axis.

To use the sample file:

  1. Extract the contents of Ragdoll Example (or others that get loaded here).
  2. Open wallworm_prop_ragdoll.max (or other packaged scene) in 3ds Max 2014+.
  3. Make sure nothing is selected in the scene and click Wall Worm > Wall Worm Exporters > Export WWMT to Source Models. (By selecting no objects, it tells the exporter to export all WWMT models in the scene.)
  4. Again, making sure nothing is selected, click Wall Worm > Wall Worm Exporters > Export Selected Model Textures to export the materials of the models.
  5. Export the scene as a game level: In the main Max menu, choose Wall Worm > Wall Worm Exporters > Export Scene as VMF
  6. In the export dialog, make sure to choose the Compile Map on Export checkbox
  7. Click Export VMF button
  8. Note the name of the map you are saving
  9. Open that map in CS:Source.
  10. If you don't own CS:Source, open the VMF in Hammer, add a spawn point for your mod, recompile. Now view the map in game.

Note the example scene has a prop using the $jointmassbias command. See above for more details.

Using the IK Tab

Articles pertaining to the IK functions in Max and how they translate into settings for Source Game Engine models.

  1. Making $jigglebones in 3ds Max for Source
  2. Making Ragdolls in 3ds Max for Source