Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Valve releases Source Filmmaker machinima tool

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)