WoW Blender Studio | Complete guide




Hello, Model Changing Network. In this tutorial I want to show you how to edit and create WMO models using Blender WMO addon.

Actually, this addon is much more than a usual import/export Blender plugin. Besides core functionality of importing and saving edited WMOs, this addon is also a powerful editor supporting nearly all (you still cannot create working transport objects with it) features of World of Warcraft World Model Object (WMO) files.

What is World Model Object?

World Model Object or just a WMO is a special compound 3D structure used in the game World of Warcraft for making buildings, dungeons and other big complicated 3D objects. It does not only contain traditional 3D model parts as geometry, UV maps, materials and so on; but it does also support features like liquids, complex lighting system, portal culling system and much more.


The provided software is available completely free of charge, however, if you want to support the development, 5958fa7ed8b05_-1.png.3efcddf114bd1cce5de here is  Skarn's PayPal account.

He is also working on a similar Blender plugin for .M2 models. So, by helping him, you can speed up the development of two tools at once.

Currently supported features:

  • Geometry

    • Materials

    • Lightmaps

    • Double-UVs

    • Collision

    • and more.

  • Portals

  • Liquids

  • Lights

  • Fogs

  • Doodad Sets

  • Various WMO settings


bdb.png.e7bae4cfd7857ff7c92358d299381ad3 Blender

wmo.png.a58bb47286f3aee90d6b57be84bc3205 WMO addon

1251.png.b533bd0ec871cbd197f094bf397eace WoW Model Viewer

Command_Prompt.png.0a2f5f592831bd2815c7f BLPConverter

Part 1. Installing addon and configuring your Blender

  • Download and install the latest Blender version (2.78c or newer).

  • Download WMO addon and place it into addons folder inside of your Blender folder:

  • Download WoW Addon Pack which contains WoW Model Viewer and BLPConverter and place it into your WoW Tools folder:

In this tutorial I will use this path:


Step 1. Enable the WMO addon


Step 2. Fill your tools paths


Always click on Save User Settings button after editing the addon preferences

Now you are able to export and import .wmo models right from your Blender

Part 2. Basics and peculiarities of WMO editing using Blender

This addon is designed in quite a special way and it would probably be better to import some existing .WMO model from WoW to learn how to operate it because the WMO from WoW will be already configured correctly by itself. For this purpose, I am going to use a small human farm.


In this tutorial I won't explain how to create models in Blender. I will just tell you how to make them work as a .wmo in the game. I will cover the unusual parts that are different from the normal Blender usage.


Quick WMO Tab

2017-07-02_19-23-31.gif.2e0290f3b1ce3c87 Ld0sVvS.png

This tab is the easiest way to edit your model. There are few main sections:

  • Display - used for displaying different object types on the scene
  • Add to scene - used for adding different object types to the scene
  • Game data - used for loading your WoW MPQ patches from your data folder (Part 1 Step 2)
  • Selected - used for converting selected objects and materials
  • Apply - used for applying different actions to objects
  • Doodads - used for doing different actions with the doodads on the scene



This addon uses his own special material properties called WoW Material which are bound to Blender material. There you can specify the texture you apply to the model by setting a path to it and a few other less important settings:



  used for producing special WoW render effects

Terrain Type

  used for producing footsteps sounds and footprints


      used to control texture blending on rendering

Texture 1

diffuse texture (object)

Texture 2

environment texture (blending)


used for defining special render options for the texture

Emissive Color

the color of the object when no light falls on it

Diffuse Color

base color of the object





disable world lighting effect


disable world fog effect


render from both sides

Exterior light

ignore local WMO lighting, use world lighting instead


used for windows to glow at nighttime


has no description yet, used for windows

In order to assign the texture to the geometry you need to assign a usual (Blender) material to it

Go to material properties, find a tab called WoW Material and specify the required settings there:


When you assign and tweak all of them, the textures will be visible in-game



In order to create collision for a model you need to go to Quick WMO Tab and click on Quick Collision:


That's all! One button click - pretty easy, isn't it? B|


WMO groups

World of Warcraft WMO supports two group types - indoor and outdoor.

Outdoor is used for exterior objects and is influenced by the zone lighting. Indoor is used for interior models, interior parts of models. It is not getting influenced by the external light. If you are planning to use indoor groups in your scene you will have to create portals for them. I will explain how to make them later.

  • For setting group types, select your objects and click to Convert selected --> To WMO group and also specify a type of the group:



In the same preference tab you can also see various settings:


  • Name - Object's name is saved into the files and is only used for development purposes, for example, when you inspect your model using a 010 editor. Please do not name as "Antiportal", an internally reserved name that actually makes sense for the game.
  • Description - group description, which is also used only for development purposes. Name it whatever you want or leave blank.
  • Place Type - select type for your group: indoor or outdoor.
  • Flags - enable/disable different flags for your model. You can always see the description of each flag when you hover it:


  • DBC GroupID - connected with AreaID for WMO. Used to detect indoor groups for example, so the server can dismount you when you enter them.
  • LiquidType - fills this WMO group with selected liquid.



Portals are used to connect indoor groups to outdoor groups or other indoor groups. If the portal is not set but the indoor group is used, you will have the indoor group rendered only while standing in it, everything else will look like emptiness.

A portal is a plane that, in most cases, contains only 4 vertices and one face. Portals are created as separate objects (you can see them in the outliner if you import some original WMO like I did with human farm).


If the portal is bugged in-game:

Step 1. Select your portals


Step 2. Use Bake portal relations button


Step 3. Use Set portal direction button with Auto option selected


If it is still bugged, try one either Positive or Negative unless the portal starts working. If it does not help, make sure that relation baking algorithm has bound the correct WMO groups to the portal object.


Creating custom portal geometry

There is nothing complicated in making custom portal geometry. Though, remember that it should be precisely on the edges that connected groups share between each other.

So, in order to create a correct plane for a custom portal select one of the groups. Simply select 4 corner vertices and press F. It will generate a plain between them. Then select this plane and press P. In the opened menu choose By selection. It will detach the plane to a separate an object, so that you can fill in the settings.


If you move the portal from that point it will be bugged in-game on camera rotation. Be careful with that.

Step 1. Convert your plane to WMO Portal:


Step 2. Bake portal relations.


Step 3. Set portal Auto direction if set otherwise.


Done! Much easier than in previous addon version. Just make your plane and click on these 3 buttons. Easy peasy B|


Vertex color

You can paint vertex colors on WMO groups. It is used for lighting and coloring particular places of a group. For doing that switch to Vertex paint mode.


You can learn vertex painting features by practice or by using some Blender tutorials or documentation.


Don't forget to enable Vertex color flag in WoW WMO Group tab else the color won't be seen in game. The flag is forced on export for indoor groups, though.


 For filling, pick up a color and press Shift + K

Better than Photoshop, right? B|



The fog effect mimics the scattering of light in a fog. Objects in the distance become less contrasting and acquire a fog color. In night scenes fog is usually dark, in daytime - whitish or slightly bluish, just like real fog. In Blender WoW Fog looks like transparent sphere.

In order to add a fog, you just need to click on Add Fog button in Quick WMO Tab:



Fog has some simple options to work with:


Ignore Radius

(probably) makes fog global

Inner Radius

a radius of fog starting to fade


 anything further away from the eye than the far clipping distance isn't displayed (it's too far away)


anything closer to the eye than the near clipping distance isn't displayed (it's too close)


fog color

Underwater farclip

same as Farclip, but under the water

Underwater nearclip

same as Nearclip, but under the water

Underwater Color

fog color under the water

One-button-action. Again?! 



Water - used to make WoW liquid in your model. In order to add water you need to click on Add Water button in Quick WMO tab:


You can't scale water! Just edit your water size (subdivisions) in left bottom corner when you're creating it.

WoW Liquid group has own options:



LiquidType - type of liquid in WoW. There are lots of variants to work with:



Color - water color

WMO Group - parent group for this liquid. Use an eyedropper or type the WMO group name to select a parent object.


If you switch to vertex paint mode when the water plane is selected, you will be able to set flags to quads that control the rendering of the water. We do not yet know what most of them means, so if you figure that out, please tell Skarn, he will rename the buttons.

There is an easy way to work with water. Just tweak your options to get a perfect result.



This function is used to add a visual placeholder for taking some information about your model proportion.

Just click on the button:



You can edit your Scale Type in the left bottom corner when you're creating it:



Batch Types. Lightmaps. Blendmaps. Second UV

Batches are groups of faces which are used to accelerate rendering. World of Warcraft WMO supports two batch types - Batch A and Batch B.

Batches are usually used only for interior groups.

Batch A is influenced by the outdoor (zone) lighting. Batch B is not getting influenced by the external light from outdoor groups.

Lightmaps - used to accelerate light rendering. Normally used in Batches A in order to blend the geometry with world lighting. See the entrance of the human farm in order to see how it works.


Blendmaps - used to accelerate texture blending. If your material is using one of the TwoLayer shaders, you enter a second environment texture path, which will blend with the diffuse texture according to lightmap values. 

SecondUV - used to define the UV map for double texture materials. Just create a new UVmap, edit it and bind to this property.

Step 1. Enable Edit Mode

Step 2. Assign faces to vertex group


Step 3. Select your group in batch vertex group



In order to work with Lightmaps:

Step 1. Create vertex group, enable Weight Paint Mode and do your edits


Step 2. Select your group in Lightmap vertex group

Weight Paint palette:

Картинки по запросу weight painting blender

Weight = 1 - red color. Maximum effect

Weight = 0 - blue color. Nothing happens.

You can learn weight painting features by practice or by using some Blender tutorials or documentation.

Blendmaps are painted by the same way. Just try it by yourself.

Not so long for making your model looks realistic. Just keep improving your skills at it.


Doodads and models importing

This function is used to import WoW models (.M2 and .WMO) directly from WoW Model Viewer in a very fast way.

Add WMO - used to import the last selected .WMO model from WoW Model Viewer. Imported model will be just a usual Blender object to be edited.

Add M2 - used to import last selected .M2 model from WoW Model Viewer. This model is just a visual placeholder for real WoW model. Imported model will have the property WoW Doodad assigned.



WoW Doodad has own options:


Path - real WoW model path in your patch

Color - Doodad color (overlayed effect)

Accept Projected Texture - keep textures with enabled Projected Textures in WoW game options

Adjust lighting - applying local doodad lighting

For WoW Doodad you can edit only position, rotation and 3-axes scaling.

You can't scale one or two axes. You won't probably be able to see the changes correctly in game in that case.



Doodad sets are used to group doodads on your scene into sets. The model can have multiple sets which can be chosen in the map editor to be displayed in one particular WMO instance. Normally they are used to create different furniture blocks to add some variations to the appearance of the model. See the human farm once again as an example. Another common usage is to create the normal set of furniture and the broken set of furniture, see Westfall packs of human buildings.


  • There is always one global doodad set which is displayed along with the selected set. Global doodad set cannot be turned off, however, it may be empty. See the global doodad set in human farm once again - it contains a few crates, some barrels, and smoke coming from the chimney. Those doodads are displayed on all the sets available. If you do not create a global doodad set, empty one will be created on export automatically.


In order to add doodads to the doodad set:

Select them and click Add to doodadset, there you will be able to create a new doodad set, create a new global doodad set or add to existing doodad set. Choose whatever you need.






There are some export settings to be observed when you are ready to see your awesome model in the game:



  • Operator presets - allows you to store "favorite" export settings for WMOs.
  • Export selected objects - makes the exporter export only selected objects on the scene.
  • Fill texture paths - automatically fills empty WoW Material texture paths based on texture filenames. Does not change the properties, in contrast to the same operator from the Quick WMO panel.

Part 3. Balkron's tips & tricks

1. The fastest way to add anything

You can press Shift+A hotkey to add anything to your scene very fast:


2. Disabling black vertex color

As you can see, sometimes when you import models, they are black as night. So you can disable this problem: just create new vertex color layer and fill it with white color by Shift+K hotkey:


3. Disabling doodads lines


4. My tips for viewport

You can switch your Viewport Shading options:


My tips:

  • modeling - Solid + disabled Textured Solid

Simplified white models without textures. Easy to work with.

  • bug-finding - Texture

That way I can easily find UV-bug or geometry-bug, because there is no shading, but it keeps the textures.

  • overview - Solid + enabled Textured Solid + white vertex color layer

It ts the best way to take a look at your model without distortions.

  • difficult model parts - Wireframe

Just enable and select what you want without clipping and camera moving.

5. Numpad buttons

I'm always using numpad buttons to navigate my models:

Num 1 - front view

Num 3 - right side view

Num 4/6 - horizontal rotation

Num 2/8 - vertical rotation

Num 5 - orthographic mode

Num 7 - top view

Num 9 - flip to top/bottom view

6. Hotkeys

Always try to learn Blender hotkeys. They will speed-up your work significantly.

7. Other addons

You can download other addons to improve your workflow. I recommend F2, Magic UV, Loop Tools and Quad Unwrap.

8. Customize it

Always keep making your workflow to be better. Custom hotkeys, themes, tabs placement - just try to make Blender work with you in the fastest way.

9. First person navigation (from Gratural)

One more trick - Fly mode. Perfect tool for overwiev and camera move across your WMO's.


Shift+F - enable mod 

WASD - moving

Shift - moving acceleration

Space - jump to target face

G - enable gravity

LMB/Enter - disable fly mode 

Scroll Up/ Scroll Down - increase/decrease speed

10. Balkron's gifts

I decided to share my settings-files with you. There are custom settings, hotkeys and theme.

I hope you will find it cool and helpful B|





%AppData%\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\x.xx\config






Thanks for reading! This tutorial is relevant to the recent version of WMO addon for Blender. If the addon gets updated, the tutorial will be updated too.




  • Like 2

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The imported M2 and WMO are white and do not show any textures. May I ask where I set it wrong?image.thumb.png.56b443bebaa803306c329a17c15fd34e.png 

  • Sad 1

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 The guide is unbelievably good! Thank you. But is work still being done on the project? On the page is written: THE ADDON IS OUT OF DATE!
Would like to support such a great project.  😍

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After a very long break from editing maps and the like. I've come back and got this wonderful tool working, only to be hit by this roadblock. While attempting to load the Cataclysm UC model into the addon and fix some missing textures I encounter this error. I realize I am likely a fool for missing something obvious, with respect I query if anyone has any ideas?

CataUC import error.jpg

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I don't understand the errors in model export

How can I solve this problem


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23 hours ago, Alastor Strix'Efuartus said:







Thank you!

so  I have changed blender version to 2.78

When I choose textface to material, there is still an error!

I really hope you can help me

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shilen, i been have same trouble (With 2.79 Blender)

In wmo script action "wmo_fill_textures" works correctly only when all models and textures packed into MPQ.

You must pack your custom assets or edit .py file, where just do disabling loaded game data check.

My decision - making custom script for renaming materials. Something like this :)

class Fill_WMO_Textures(bpy.types.Operator):
    bl_idname = 'scene.wmo_fill_textures'
    bl_label = 'Fill textures'
    bl_description = """Fill Texture 1 field of WoW materials with paths from applied image. """
    bl_options = {'REGISTER', 'UNDO'}

    def execute(self, context):

        for ob in bpy.context.selected_objects:
            mesh =
            for i in range(len(mesh.materials)):
                if mesh.materials[i].active_texture is not None \
                        and not mesh.materials[i].WowMaterial.Texture1 \
                        and mesh.materials[i].active_texture.type == 'IMAGE' \
                        and mesh.materials[i].active_texture.image is not None:
                    path = os.path.normcase(bpy.context.scene['MWOTexturePath'] + os.path.basename(os.path.splitext(mesh.materials[i].active_texture.image.filepath)[0]) + '.blp')

                    mesh.materials[i].WowMaterial.Texture1 = path

  {'INFO'}, "Done filling texture paths")

        return {'FINISHED'}


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