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Valve hands over its own movie-making tools to gamers

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July 3, 2012

Valve is planning to release the Source Filmmaker to let gamers animate and record their o...

Valve is planning to release the Source Filmmaker to let gamers animate and record their own videos using the game developer's titles

Valve has gained a reputation over the years not just for consistently putting out great games, but also for the slick trailers and promo videos that go along with them. But now the developer is turning the tables and handing over its own video-making tools to fans free of charge. With the Source Filmmaker, gamers will be able to direct, animate, and record their own videos as if they were shooting on location inside a video game.

The new tool will allow gamers to make their own movies using the acclaimed Source game engine directly. This means that users will have almost any element from a recent Valve game at their disposal, including characters, locations, props, particles, textures, and sounds. New assets can even be created from scratch using the Source SDK and imported into a video project. People will then be able to position objects and choose their shots as if it were a real-world location - even lighting and visual effects can be adjusted on the fly.

Where the Source Filmmaker differs from most animation tools is that it acts as an all-in-one package for rendering, video editing, sound editing, motion capture, etc. So rather than rendering a 3D animation using one program and then editing the video in another, for example, an entire animated video can be constructed with just the Source Filmmaker. Don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity the program offers though; it's still a very complex tool with a steep learning curve.

Valve marked the announcement of the Source Filmmaker with the release of "Meet a Pyro," the final video in a series of humorous introductions to the characters in Team Fortress 2. Since this is the same tool the company used to make about 50 promotional movies for their games, it definitely seems like they're issuing a challenge to gamers to make even better videos.

The developer is currently handing out beta keys for the Source Filmmaker through the official website, with a full release planned for later this year. The initial release will include only objects and effects from Team Fortress 2, but Valve plans to include further elements in later releases.

Check out the video below to see Valve designer and filmmaker, Bay Raitt, demonstrate the Source Filmmaker software.

Source: Valve

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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4 Comments

It is so cool that valve is releasing this. It gives lots of people access to make low budget Machinima like the Red vs Blue series.

Even if people only use it as a replacement for Xtranormal it would be interesting. There is so much pent up rage behind some of the dialogue of those it is always funny but the Xtranormal software is pretty limited.

This being built on the source engine will probably allow mods and importing of a lot of different character models besides just TF2.

Daishi
3rd July, 2012 @ 08:38 pm PDT

I hate to reply to my own post but this is an example of what I was talking about: "So You Want To Be An Electrical Engineer"



Daishi
3rd July, 2012 @ 08:55 pm PDT

@diachi

Brilliant!!

Captain Danger
11th July, 2012 @ 08:06 pm PDT

http://wideo.co is an excellent free tool to create animated videos. You can upload your videos to youtube

Jose Fotografia
6th May, 2014 @ 09:02 am PDT
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