Source Filmmaker

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Source Filmmaker
Source filmmaker logo.jpg
Source Filmmaker, using Team Fortress 2 assets (Meet The Scout).jpg
Source Filmmaker UI, beta release[1][2][3]
Developer(s) Valve Corporation
Development status Ongoing (Public Beta)[2]
Written in C/C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows via Steam
Platform Source (game engine)
Size 12.32 GB[2][4]
Available in English[2]
Type 3D computer graphics software
License Freeware[4]

The Source Filmmaker (abbreviated as SFM) is a video capture and editing application that works from inside the Source game engine.[5][6] The tool, created by Valve Corporation, 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.[1][2][7][8]


Unlike most movie-making tools, which only create a small part of a movie, the Source Filmmaker merges all animation and effect workflows onto a single PC. With SFM, one can create movies and posters by using assets and events from the video game world, providing creators with a "'what you see is what you get' environment".[4][7]

SFM gives the user a "Work Camera" that enables them to see what they are doing without messing up 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.[7][9][10][11][12]
  • The Motion Editor is used for motion adjustments over time, such as seamlessly grafting two animations together. Motion presets (e.g. jittering, smoothing) can also be applied onto selected motion paths.[7][13][14][15]
  • The Graph Editor is used for editing motion through creating keyframes; this is extremely useful in pose-to-pose animation.[7][16][17]

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. SFM also applies motion blur per-object.[4][5] 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).[7]

Production and updates[edit]


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.[18] 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 and in use by 2010.[19] Since then, the entire interface was re-implemented using Qt 4, and given its own engine branch for further development.

Before the SFM's official release 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.[20]

Beta versions[edit]

On June 27, 2012, the same day as the final Meet the Team video, "Meet the Pyro", was released, the Source Filmmaker became available on a limited-basis through the Steam network.[1][7][21][22] It has been in open beta for Windows as of July 11, 2012.[3][4][23][24]

On April 1, 2013, Valve announced that the Steam Workshop now includes a section for Source Filmmaker assets.[25][26][27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Source Filmmaker homepage". Valve Corporation. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Source Filmmaker". Steam. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Valve Tutorials". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "FAQ". Valve Corporation. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Valve Corporation (27 June 2012). Source Filmmaker. Steam (software) (v0.9.5.17). 
  6. ^ "Source Filmmaker". Valve Developer Community. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Introducing the Source Filmmaker". YouTube. Valve Corporation. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Source Filmmaker is LIVE!". Team Fortress 2. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "00 basics". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "01 recording". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "02 editing". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "03 sound". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "04 manipulating". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "05 time selection". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "07 puppeteering". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "06 graph editor". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "13.1 Pose To Pose Animation". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  18. ^ SFM Team (23 May 2013). "Day Of Defeat: Prelude To Victory". Valve Corporation. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Source Film Maker Tutorial". YouTube. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Valve Corporation (9 October 2007). Team Fortress 2. Steam (software) (v1.2.3.3). 
  21. ^ Valve Corporation. "Showcase". YouTube. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "Free Source Filmmaker brings Valve's 3D animation tools to the public". Ars Technica. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  23. ^ Daw, David (12 July 2012). "Trying Out Valve's Movie Making Tools With the Source Filmmaker". Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Happy New Year! ( Released)". Source Filmmaker. Valve Corporation. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  25. ^ Alden (1 April 2013). "Source FilmMaker Workshop Brings Models & Sounds For Your Next Movie". Valve Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  26. ^ SFM Team (1 April 2013). "The SFM Gets Its Own Workshop!". Source Filmmaker. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  27. ^ SFM Team (3 April 2013). "As Promised, We Have All Collectively Lost It". Source Filmmaker. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  28. ^ SFM Team (31 July 2013). "Source Filmmaker". Source Filmmaker. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 

External links[edit]