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 (312 reviews) - 89% of the 312 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (10,020 reviews) - 93% of the 10,020 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! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (312 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (10,020 reviews)
Recently Posted
Ryevan Bloo
1,202.8 hrs
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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
skull razer
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 31
good animated thing to do
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Business Duck☢☢☢
2.5 hrs
Posted: August 31
Niiiiiiccccccceeee but 2012 for CSGO and portal 2 and dota 2 valve intro is creepy 3: but i can skip intro by space press >:3. who is the guy name you picked? valve
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pootis Spencer Here
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 31
very hard to use but if you can figure it out it's really fun I definitely recommend it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
OrbitalEliteGaming OEG
3.5 hrs
Posted: August 30
I think Sfm is good in all it's a great animating tool but I can't find the button to create frame or something like that I'm nor sure please help :(
Helpful? Yes No Funny
zombie9143
48.1 hrs
Posted: August 30
would be better if it was regularly updated
Helpful? Yes No Funny
★Envidia2002★
8.1 hrs
Posted: August 30
A good way to do your tf2 avatars
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hayden7300
1.4 hrs
Posted: August 30
i love it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ruleroftheworld
26.9 hrs
Posted: August 30
ANTI-FNAF CLUD i see people do fnaf on this amition thing
Helpful? Yes No Funny
hunter13
3.0 hrs
Posted: August 30
.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
24 of 25 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
36.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
TLDR: Good ♥♥♥♥ but you need to be willing to learn how to use it


If you've seen the 'Meet The Class' series that Valve put out as trailers for TF2, you've seen what this software can do at it's peak.

If you've seen the animated gifs of Overwatch characters ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ing, or the animated shorts of the daily life of a citizen from Half-Life, then you've seen what a reasonably skilled user can do.

If you've seen 'poseters' of characters mid-fight, you've seen what someone at a mid-level can do.

If you've seen negative reviews of people claiming SFM is broken, you've seen what someone impatient looks like.

I'll be blunt: Source Filmmaker is a bit like learning how to cook. If you bum-rush it, you can probably make something like what you wanted, but to get good it takes time. If you're willing to take the time, you can make amazing things. If you aren't, prepare for assaches. This isn't Pivot, this isn't Flipnote, this isn't Photoshop, and this sure as hell isn't any kind of drawing program you didn't pay for. This is professional-level software that a company, litterally worth a hundred times- at least- the house you are sitting in, has created. This is VERY high-end content production potentional- as evidenced by the examples I mentioned above. If you aren't willing to donate time to figure out what you're doing, you shouldn't be reading this review in the first place.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
25 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
The supreme porn making software
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
67.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
Apparently people donate items when you make them ~free~ posters
11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
543.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
This certainly is a great software with a lot of capabilities.
It is a great tool if you want to make fan works for pretty much every Valve's source based game, and thanks to the workshop, the community and external resources, SFM can even be used for other popular games with a decent outcome.

Be prepared though, as this is not an easy program to use, and learning to use it to it's full extent will take quite a lot of time. Even more time will be required if you decide to start animating and don't limit yourself to posters.

Thankfully the community has made quite a lot of guides and they can be found everywhere from the Steam SFM hub to YouTube and other obscure sites on the endless world of Interwebz.

SFM is both frustrating and satisfying at the same time. The endless search for inspiration and motivation, the struggle of posing and crashing and the satisfaction of exporting, until it crashes again is truly a must have experience that can only be useful later on in life.

Remember, you won't get good straight away, and previous knowledge in other animating software, Garry's Mod and photography/filmmaking theory is certainly helpful. But eventually you'll be able to make great things with it.

The only downside is that Valve hasn't been updating it for over a year, and manual content updates take time and are painfully complex. Also the software really isn't up to date with the constantly evolving computer tech. But this downside is minimal compared to the potential of SFM, and I'll use it as long as I can.

Get it, experiment with it, and hopefully you'll learn to love it as much as I do!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1,202.8 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
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
4 of 4 people (100%) 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
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Learning now but seems like a really good animating software
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
61.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
When I downloaded sfm, I didn't had any idea for posters. Then I saw that everybody made their class with their loadout. So I decided to make my engineer. Then I saw the other posters and I had lot's of ideas.
The best part about sfm is that it's free! So you can download it and make great posters. I love to create scenes, like if the Scout had a minigun and the Heavy had a scattergun.
So yeah I totally recommend it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
79.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Source Filmmaker has helped me in plentyful of ways, increasing my artistic skills, helping my creativity sprout out of the roots of my brain into becoming much more into the eyes of an artist. I enjoy creating posters and other pieces of art using SFM. I recromend this program to anyone who is learning to become an animator or simply use for a hobby as myself.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny