Last week, the good folks at gaming studio Valve (Half-Life series, Portal, Team Fortress and many more) introduced something unique: a mix between a animation software suite and a machinima studio – the Source Filmmaker (SFM).
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.
But enough words, check it out in action:
OK so first things first, this is basically having an animation render in real-time, a chimera for all animators out there.
The second observation would be that for now you can only use that game world and assets, but we believe in the near future you will be able to add your own characters and “sets” so now you can start to see how this can play a very interesting role in creation animation. Machinima creators were already very resourceful and creative when making their own stuff, and this tool gives them (and anyone) else even more freedom to create their own animation world.
Like Bay said in the video, the Source Filmmaker was used, for example, to create the latest Valve short for the Team Fortress II game, “Meet The Pyro”, which already had 4.7 million views in less than a week. Take a look:
Pretty cool, isn’t it? Valve always makes some great shorts for their games, and these ones for Team Fortress are really good.
The Source Filmmaker will now enter beta stage and you can apply and know more information about it on the official website.
So what do you think, will this give freedom to creatives to make their animation more easily within the boundaries of a game engine, or will it just be a piece of software to make animations stuck to the Valve game world? Comment below!