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|Initial release||27 June 2012|
0.9.8.4 / 15 May 2020
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||3D computer graphics software|
Source Filmmaker (often abbreviated as SFM) is a 3D computer graphics software toolset used for creating animated films, utilizing the Source game engine. The tool, created by Valve, was used to create over 50 animated shorts for its Source games, including Team Fortress 2, the Left 4 Dead series, and Half-Life 2. On June 27, 2012, Valve released a free open beta version of the SFM to the gaming community via its Steam service.
The Source Filmmaker is a tool for animating, editing and rendering 3D animated videos using assets from games which use the Source platform, including sounds, models and backdrops. The tools also allows the creation of still images, art and posters.
SFM gives the user a "work camera" that enables them to preview their work without altering the scene cameras. It also uses three main user interfaces for making films with:
- The Clip Editor is used for recording, editing and arranging shots, which can contain recorded gameplay and user-placed assets. The Clip Editor also allows the user to place and arrange sound files and video filters.
- The Motion Editor is used for motion adjustments over time, such as blending two animations together. Motion presets (e.g. jittering, smoothing) can also be applied onto selected motion paths.
- The Graph Editor is used for editing motion through creating keyframes; which can be used for pose-to-pose animation.
SFM allows users to record and edit motion from gameplay or scratch, as well as record a character many times over in the same scene, creating the illusion of multiple entities. SFM can support a wide range of cinematographic effects and techniques such as motion blur, Tyndall effects, Dynamic Lighting, and depth of field. It also allows manual animation of bones and facial features, allowing the user to create movements that don't occur in-game (as in games, nearly all character animation sequences are stored in a set of different movements, and the amount of different animation sequences is limited).
Production and updates
SFM was developed internally at Valve from as early as 2005, forked from the Source engine's in-game demo playback tool and used to make Day of Defeat: Source trailers with experimental effects that could not be achieved in real-time. The tool's full potential was finally realized with the release of The Orange Box, particularly with the Meet the Team featurettes for Team Fortress 2. This version of SFM, which ran using Source's in-game tools framework, was inadvertently leaked during the public beta of TF2 in September 2007. By 2010, the entire interface was re-implemented using Qt 4, and given its own engine branch for further development.
Before Source Filmmaker was officially released to the public, Team Fortress 2 carried a simplified version of the tool called the Replay Editor; it is limited to capturing the actual events occurring over the course of a player's life with no ability to modify actions, repeat segments, nor apply special effects beyond those already used in-game. However, arbitrary camera angles are possible, like tracking the actions of other players in action at the time. Replay incorporates the ability to upload completed videos to YouTube.
On June 27, 2012, the same day as the final Meet the Team video, "Meet the Pyro", was released, Source Filmmaker became available on a limited-basis through the Steam network. It has been in open beta for Windows as of July 11, 2012[update].
On April 1, 2013, Valve implemented support for the Steam Workshop, which allows users to upload their own custom-made assets onto the Steam community; these assets range from video game models and sounds to raw animation project files.
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- "00 basics". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "01 recording". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "02 editing". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "03 sound". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "04 manipulating". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "05 time selection". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "07 puppeteering". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "06 graph editor". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "13.1 Pose To Pose Animation". YouTube. Valve. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- SFM Team (23 May 2013). "Day Of Defeat: Prelude To Victory". Valve. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Source Film Maker Tutorial". YouTube. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Valve (9 October 2007). Team Fortress 2 (Steam) (126.96.36.199 ed.).
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- "Free Source Filmmaker brings Valve's 3D animation tools to the public". Ars Technica. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- Daw, David (12 July 2012). "Trying Out Valve's Movie Making Tools With the Source Filmmaker". Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Happy New Year! (0.9.6.1 Released)". Source Filmmaker. Valve. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- SFM Team (1 April 2013). "The SFM Gets Its Own Workshop!". Source Filmmaker. Valve. Retrieved 4 April 2013.