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Valve releases Source Filmmaker machinima tool

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Valve Software has publicly released Source Filmmaker, the tool used to create its own promotional animations.

Based on Valve’s Source engine, the software provides a complete machinima toolkit, enabling budding directors to create movies within popular team-based shooter Team Fortress 2.

It can be used for commercial work, too, if you don’t use any of Valve’s own in-game assets – which also means, presumably, that you aren’t limited to Team Fortress 2’s cartoon-y visual style.

Judging from the demo video above, Source Filmmaker has a fairly standard range of animation-editing tools and, interestingly, a “GPU-powered facial animation system”.

The software also includes the other things you’d expect in a machinima system, including tools for recording and editing in-game footage, and adjusting lighting and sound.

Apply for a beta key now
At the minute, the system is still in closed beta – according to the FAQs, contributing an item to the Team Fortress Workshop, TF2’s internal marketplace for fan-made items, raises your chance of getting a licence key.

To get the tool, you’ll need Windows Vista or 7, and have an account on Steam, Valve’s online gaming service.

Updated 11 July: Source Filmmaker is now out of closed beta and available to all. Get it here.

Visit the Source Filmmaker website
(Includes more tutorial videos and link to apply for a beta licence key)

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