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It's not that the current offerings have been terrible, far from it, but ever since Valve released the Source Film-maker there's been the quiet expectation that it would really start to shine once professional animators, and not just dedicated fans, got hold of it.
Well, here's what it looks like when a professional gets their hands on it.
This lengthy short, detailing the daily problems faced by an Engineer, is the work of James McVinnie, a cinematic designer at BioWare. If you think the animation looks a little better than what we're used to seeing with these clips, that's because he used two Kinects to grab motion-capture data.
Sure, it took him 130 hours, but the fact something this impressive can now come from just one man...
Oh, Source Filmmakers, is there anything can't you do?
That's a relative term, of course, as these are video game celebrities, but still. If you've ever wanted to see Minecraft creator Marcus Persson, Valve's Robin Walker and internet superstar Freddie Wong go at it over Team Fortress 2, here's your chance.
To cut out the fluff, the actual game - which also includes other devs from Valve and Bethesda - starts at 8:18 in the video above.
Weird question, I know, but it's one you now have an answer for regardless, as 3D artist Mariah Combs has used 3D Max to render a bunch of characters and weapons from Valve's Team Fortress 2 as though they were...exquisite pieces of glasswork.
Like I said, weird, but hey, it's late, let's just roll with it and enjoy the awesome art. Oh, and the bonus Half-Life Striders.
You can see way more examples, including sniper rifles and Portal robots, at Mariah's site.
While we've shown the Gordon Freeman and Left 4 Dead figures before, this gallery of images from Comic-Con give us a good look at some other video game figures coming from toy company NECA, including their Borderlands 2 line and some awesome Team Fortress 2 pieces.
Also, those Portal turrets? Wonderful.
There are way more images at the link below.
To date, most people have been using Valve's Source Filmmaker for comedic purposes, but let's remember, comedy is but one genre. So it's nice seeing this clip that's reminding us the tools can be used for more serious stuff as well.
This is amazing. The effects here rival those of all but the finest in professional pre-rendered trailers, so it's almost intimidating to think what people will be able to come up with when they really get a handle on the software.
Remember when Valve was teaming up with Adult Swim and I almost had a heart attack? You probably don't remember the heart attack. It was a good/bad day.
Well, it ended up being a promotional hat campaign (because, of course). If you've been prancing around the Team Fortress 2 maps in your brand new Robot Chicken hat, you might be pleased to hear that some fans have taken it upon themselves to create a real-life beanie version. And it is utterly awesome. Though I'm sure you'd get odd looks picking up groceries while wearing it.
Check out the rest of the pics down below.
Team Fortress 2's Pyro is a...unique character. It sees things inside that mask that may be better off left unseen.
If we are going to see them, though, we may as well see them in LEGO form, courtesy of master builder Pepa Quin.