The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by us here at Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. Because the SFM uses the same assets as the game, anything that exists in the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (246 reviews) - 87% of the 246 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (10,165 reviews) - 92% of the 10,165 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Jul 10, 2012

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Use Source Filmmaker

Source Filmmaker is available for free as a public beta.

 

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"(Free) movie-making tool built by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine."

About This Software

The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by us here at Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. Because the SFM uses the same assets as the game, anything that exists in the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa. By utilizing the hardware rendering power of a modern gaming PC, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get environment so they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.

To get started, just click the button above to install. The SFM includes all the base game assets from Team Fortress 2 along with assets from some of the first “Meet the Team” short films.

Resources

Once you're up and running, here are some general resources for finding help and learning how to get the most out of the Source Filmmaker.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 / Vista (Windows 7 64 bit suggested)
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
    • Memory: 2GB (4 GB suggested)
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 200 series card or better, or AMD Radeon 3000 series or better (NVIDIA GeForce 400 series or AMD Radeon 5000 series preferred)
    • Monitor: 1366 x 768 (1920 x 1080 suggested)
    • Hard Drive: At least 15 GB of Space
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible USB headset with mic (suggested)
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (246 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (10,165 reviews)
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7,490 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
princessldp
0.9 hrs
Posted: September 25
I BORKE IT AND I CANT FIX IT
Helpful? Yes No Funny
🍎VGToaster90🍎
141.5 hrs
Posted: September 25
A very good engine for animation. The community is amazing, creating new models every day.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
elijah062902
368.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
Every time I launch it, it crashes and it says something about changing it to -nosteam and it doesn't change a thing. I haven't been able to launch it sense about 3 days ago (sorry my english sucks)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gremdi #Im dead
503.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
is great animation software
just wish theyd update it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Neto▄︻̷̿┻̿═━一
0.9 hrs
Posted: September 25
Very good and quite easy to use program.
I like using it to make my picture profiles.

I really recommending this program to you because as i sayed its quite easy to use.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Majestic Sir_Kartoffelnase
9.6 hrs
Posted: September 25
its sfm

every person that's using it should know what it is
Helpful? Yes No Funny
アⓞⓚⓔ Ӈελ๔гσσ♏
51.4 hrs
Posted: September 24
valve= perfection
Helpful? Yes No Funny
☣Msane, Parallel Angel☣
86.1 hrs
Posted: September 24
This piece of software gives the user's to manipulate things beyond the universes normal standards and allowing them to twist and add some spicy twists to movies or scenes to make things funny, cute, bad@ss, and pure beauty. Having a few places besides the tf maps from the workshop is limited but with external sites like SFMLab, That adds up more maps to play with and experiment new techniques.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ToxicStation
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 24
I see but for me i am brain dead i have a hard time finding what to do but every time i load a map it crashes source or just
because source freezes for no good reason.... Help ;-;
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AVI IS AWESOME
44.2 hrs
Posted: September 24
Really cool, a bit buggy though but really fun for making cool animations.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
69 of 70 people (99%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
1,268.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
After achieving 1,000+ hours, I think it's time I gave my opinion on Source Filmmaker... So, here we go.

A powerful animation tool that brings games into the spotlight, with precise tools, easy to learn GUI, and various special effects that can be added at any given time to make the most out of your shots!

Source Filmmaker is normally seen as impossibly hard by beginners because most of us tend to jump straight into animation without prior knowledge as to how it's done. For this, Valve and the amazing community behind SFM as a whole have created many detailed tutorials and explanations as to how things are done in many different ways. Maybe you like Pose-to-Pose animation? Or maybe graph animation is your thing instead. Whatever you choice is, the tools are completely at your disposal. With workshop support, you can expand your movie making experience through addons the community has made. From simple models, to more complex ragdolls, particle effects, sound effects, and scripts that greatly increase SFM's capabilities, despite being in beta ever since it was released.

Pros:
- Full control of illumination.
- Detailed posing and accurate tools.
- in-built particle editing for endless effects.
- Easy to learn GUI and well organized.

Cons:
- Limited scaling options (XYZ are all together. There's no X, Y, or Z-only scaling).
- Can be laggy for most computers. Requires lots of resources to run properly.
- Can be unstable at times and crash (This program is still in beta. It's to be expected).

Here's a very honest tip, coming from an adept SFMer: Don't jump straight into animation. I know it's tempting, but instead of going through the frustration of not being able to animate... Learn how to make posters first. Posters are the non-challenging part of SFM. Here you learn how to pose a character, how to lock a cosmetic item to them, how lights work, what camera angles can do for you, and pretty much the basic stuff before you jump into an actual animation. Posters are a great way to learn the ins and outs of the top and medium layer of SFM.

For brand new beginners, please, at least watch the first five videos of Valve's tutorial. They will pretty much explain the very basics so you can be more familiarized with SFM's layout. Trust me, the time will be worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
Good, but the 'help' option is simply a list of Valve made projects, no actual help. You do have to go out of your way to learn how to use it, but it will be well worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
Get a tutorial boi. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1,107.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
After 1000+ hours, I can say this is the best software I've used.

Sure it's tough at first. But after reading a few tutorials...You'll get used to it, I highly recommend this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
Recommended
716.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
great for making dank memes
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
Compared to other software i have seen and used, this very compact and powerfull tool.
"Easy" to understand, in one day you can already do some sort of an animation :P
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
92.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Through my experience in the Source Filmmaker, here are some reasons why you should be interested in SFM.

If you are interested in animating 3D models, then this is where to start. Throught Valve's Offical Tutorial, it show you the basics of the SFM, and shows some intermediate steps. If you are new, look at some tutorials that show you some basic stuff. Then when you feel comfortable with the SFM, try and look depper into doing IK rigs, smooth animations, etc. Ideas are the main thing that you will be working on in SFM. Popular SFM creators come up with ideas such as "Scout runs out, gets blown up, and demo laughs.". That is a basic idea. If you want to make bigger animations, I suggest writing the basic animation on paper, and while you animate along the way, you can add some minor details that make it feel more realistic. You can also use some editing tools (Sony Vegas, Adobe, etc.) to add music in a dramatinc/fighting scence. You can import custom sounds/music throught Audacity aswell into SFM.

Conclusion:
Source Filmmaker in all is a pretty good animating tool and is a good software for people that want to start animating 3D models. You can get custom maps/models through the SFM workshop. It can also be inspirational to atleast enter a Saxxy Awards (while writing Saxxy Awards 2016 is comming up) animation if you work hard enough on it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
I've seen what some people are capable of with this software, and I recommend it for skilled people that are into it. But make sure your PC is able to handle it. Mine nearly exploded and wouldn't work for an entire day when I tried using it.

My old PC aside. This is still a great movie-making software.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
good but hard to use
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
347.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Best animation program thats not a pain to work with.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny