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 (242 reviews) - 87% of the 242 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (10,146 reviews) - 92% of the 10,146 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 (242 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (10,146 reviews)
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7,480 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
Rom[]White Sister[]
50.8 hrs
Posted: September 24
Hard But I Like It
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Elvendagger117
186.0 hrs
Posted: September 24
Despite being terrible at even making a finger move, this software is a good start for animating. The only complaintsterile I have are lag on less powerful computers and not having a definite idea to animate.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
♥ Gaming SFM ♥ (Miles/Alya)
423.3 hrs
Posted: September 24
This helped me alot why not try this out,it might be hard but some people can help you,make your dream come true :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Uncle Dane
5.6 hrs
Posted: September 24
very good
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rex Gamer
0.1 hrs
Posted: September 24
I want it on Mac please
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EnricosUt
3.3 hrs
Posted: September 23
impossible to use.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[B.C.] TheWiseRanger Spirit.tf
1.1 hrs
Posted: September 23
Meh
Meh its good
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bonegeneration
97.6 hrs
Posted: September 23
its not starting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
djcp64
11.4 hrs
Posted: September 23
Amazing what you can do on this program
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
62 of 63 people (98%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
1,264.2 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
19 of 20 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
15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
17 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
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1,105.2 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
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
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 25
its a bit hard to learn in the begning, and the guides on youtube suck, u need a good friend to teach u, but once u learn it, its a bit fun to mess around in it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
12 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
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
90.2 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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 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.
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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