1) When you merge it, be sure to freeze the resulting polymesh and delete the original copies (there’s a handy button to do all this at once on the merge property window). Otherwise, you could just be exporting the older seperate pieces.
2) Make sure everything has a texture projection prior to / after the merge.
3) If the model uses different materials, check its VMT file to make sure it is set to use the correct lighting (though I’m not sure if model viewer cares about vertexlit/lightmaplit, so this is probably in vain?)
4) Reimport your reference smd into XSI to see what it looks like, and if it has the correct model.
Did your seperate models have textures applied to them? If so, in the merge ppg, there’s a button to press (in the middle) that merges the textures/materials into the new mesh.
If you’ve never done a texture projection, first read up in the manual. There used to be a great tutorial from Noesis on the Mod Tool page, but I don’t see it there now. It was for importing dynamite into Source…
Then, (in regular XSI, not modtool layout) hit 3 to switch to render layout.
2) texture/from file - select the texture image. Very important - in the middle of the ppg, it has a line for texture projections. Currently it’s blank, you don’t have one applied. Select new, Unique UV
3) switch viewport to textured unlit and you should see the model with a texture.
4) adjust UVs - select the model and hit alt-7 to open Texture Editor. Modify as needed, by tweaking the UVs or applying new subprojections as needed. Finally, make sure to freeze the model and all the operators.
With source, the model is currently looking for a VMT file. This is a text file you have to create which tells the model which texture to use, as well as defines other surface properties for it.
My old classmates always hated that purple and black grid because they saw it as an error. For me, the purple and black grid is awesome. It means the grunt work of the model compiling is over, and now I just have to focus my efforts on getting the material files in the correct path.