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Make your own Team Fortress 2 videos with Source Filmmaker

by William Schwartz

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As you know and have undoubtedly already seen, Valve’s last installment of the acclaimed “Meet the…” series released today with “Meet the Pyro.” It’s a hilariously morbid tale of a psychopathic killer who chooses fire as his murder weapon of choice. If you’re sick enough in the head to be inspired by it, then good news! You can now create your own Team Fortress 2 movies and do a whole lot more with Valve’s Source Filmmaker.

The software is the very same that the devs themselves at Valve have used to create the “Meet the…” series, and it’s now yours to explore and enjoy. Via the official site:

“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.”

Valve designer Bay Raitt states in an introductory video that gamers have transcended the notion of just sitting down to play a game. He notes that players love to become actively involved in the worlds they love:

“For a while now it’s been clear that gamers like to do more than just play games. We like to watch movies, and we like to participate in the worlds we spend so much time in. We built the Source Filmmakers so we could efficiently share our creative efforts across all aspects of the entertainment experience.

The Source Filmmaker software will allow you to to pause in-game sequences, and alter the environment by combining cinematography, editing, and animation. It also features a GPU-powered facial animation system that allows for subtle facial expressions and pinpoint lip-syncing accuracy.

Raitt stated that Valve will be offering, with the software’s beta, the working-session of “Meet the Heavy” so that you can re-shoot and re-animate it to make it your own. You can sign up for the beta here.

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