May 23, 2013 - SFM Team
If you have a WW2-themed story kicking around in your head, or are just a big Day of Defeat fan, today is your lucky day! Why? We've added Day of Defeat as an optional DLC for the SFM.
Don't worry, we're still plugging away at the Workshop. But we also think it's really exciting to experiment with putting up large content packs as DLC.
Incidentally, Day of Defeat was also the first game to get a trailer made in the SFM:
"Prelude to Victory" has a special place in our hearts because it was made with an early prototype of the SFM that only had game recording, clip editing and camera manipulation. There was no animation system, no posing, no set dressing, and no lighting. Everything you see in that video is us recording ourselves running around in the game, then later adding motion blur, depth of field and some film grain and color correction. Having a constrained set of tools with which to make a trailer meant we had to get creative with our process. It also taught us a lot about the process of telling stories using game assets.
We wanted to create the feel of squads of soldiers running, fighting and ambushing each other, and our first attempts to recreate this for the trailer involved simply getting a dozen folks connected to a server and recording them running, fighting and ambushing each other. Easier said than done, as it turned out. The first challenge we encountered with this approach is that it's surprisingly hard to get an in-game actor to walk a set path and shoot a designated target correctly each take, let alone trying to get a dozen people to do it simultaneously.
The second challenge (and this seems obvious in retrospect) is that when you get a dozen people together in a first person shooter, they tend to... well... shoot each other. On countless occasions while trying to get everybody in the right place hitting their marks, someone would inevitably shoot someone else, triggering a firestorm of bullets and rockets as everything promptly descended into chaos.
Learning from our mistakes, our next attempt involved recording a single person running down a street. Then we recorded that person again, this time following the first recorded player. And recorded a third following the first two recorded players, and again, and again. We found that recordings of players following their previous actions generated a surprisingly natural crowd behavior, and as opposed to the free-for-all of a dozen actors shooting each other at once, it was very easy to create.
We found that in general, recording multiple takes was useful - not just for larger, more ambitious scenes, but also as a way to find better camera angles. Since all of our animation was getting recorded, everything was rendered in real-time, which meant that it was easy to fly cameras around and discover better framing shots than we'd originally blocked out. The best example of this is in the shot where the German machine-gunner is sniped, and his helmet rolls onto the floor. Having recorded the gameplay first, and being able to fly the camera around afterwards, allowed us to find the right angle to see the helmet roll right up into the camera, which placed the viewer more in the scene than the higher-angle shot we'd started with (our first of many happy accidents with Source's physics engine).
Day of Defeat will always have a fond place in our hearts. It was the first time we'd ever tried telling any kind of story with the SFM, and while it looks kind of primitive compared to later efforts, a lot of it was us discovering the full potential of the SFM tool for the first time. Now that all the assets from Day of Defeat have been added as optional DLC, we hope you'll make some interesting discoveries of your own.
April 3, 2013 - SFM Team
Only 36 hours out from the launch of the SFM Workshop, an amazing clip of Dr. Kleiner singing "Baby Got Back" has surfaced. CornetTheory is either incredibly fast, or has had his Sir Mix-a-Lot/Half-Life jam in the chamber for years, his finger on the trigger just waiting for his moment to shine.
This doesn't just give us something to play on endless loop for the next few months, though--it helps showcase how talented some of the voice actors are in the SFM community, and hopefully gets filmmakers thinking about what more they could do with great acting, especially in the voice of the characters they're using. So...
Actors: upload some teasers!
Filmmakers: Start making requests!
April 1, 2013 - SFM Team
That's right! We've added Steam Workshop support to the SFM. Now you can share your models with other filmmakers, rate the work of others, or pick out just the right music for your film. The SFM Workshop is going to be a fully peer-to-peer workshop, allowing you to upload and download assets easily. That does, however, mean that the approval process will solely be determined by the votes (and flags) of folks browsing the workshop. Still, the normal rules apply - don't publish other people's work or anything that others would consider offensive.
Models and sounds will be the first asset types the SFM Workshop supports. We chose models because model sharing has been one of the most-requested features to date, and we wanted to ensure that the filmmaking community has a single destination for all models compatible with the SFM. Similarly, we chose sounds because the SFM community has made it clear that including dialog would allow filmmakers even greater flexibility in their storytelling. Also, the SFM team can assure you that the first time we hear a solid impression of Dr. Kleiner singing Baby Got Back, we at Valve will all collectively lose it.
So go see what's in the workshop! We've put up info on the wiki to walk you through it. Also, be sure to check out the discussion forum, where you might find like-minded collaborators eager to help create the models and sounds for your opus!
January 22, 2013 - SFM Team
It's been a while since we've released an update to the SFM. But don't worry, we've been busy!
Granted, we've mostly been busy watching your videos. But we've been up to other stuff too. The two most noticeable changes are that the UI should be snappier all around, and the animationset editor now has a bunch of new scene management functionality. (Check out the release notes for details.)
We've also added a third tutorial to the Pose To Pose Animation Tutorial series, and starter sessions for all three. (All tutorial sessions are located in tf_movies\elements\sessions\tutorials.) Part 3 delves into the Graph Editor - the animator's secret weapon. By examining the subtle intricacies of a decapitated robot head in flight, this leisurely tutorial is designed to acquaint the discerning animator with tools helpful for fine tuning motion. So jump right in! This tutorial requires no previous experience.
Lastly, we've updated our video policy to clarify that you can receive ad revenue on videos using our assets. Check out the full details here.
Alright. Back to watching videos.
December 7, 2012 - SFM TeamClick here to see the winner of Best Overall!
November 30, 2012 - SFM Team
The Second Annual Saxxy Awards start in just 10 minutes! And to celebrate, everybody who participated in voting is getting a free Saxxy Clapper Badge!
Don't forget to watch the Spike Video Game Awards pre-show December 7th, where we'll announce the winner of the "Best Overall" category live!
Lastly, due to getting fewer submissions than we'd hoped for the "Best Original Universe" category, we didn't think it was fair to the other finalists to showcase it at the awards site, since they had to battle through stiffer competition to make it this far. But congratulations all the same to TheMike, Black_Stormy, Crazyb2000, Gamerman12, Oggnog, =|NLR|= Narry Gewman and Anton on their winning short "Elements". Your Saxxy's on the way, guys!
November 28, 2012 - SFM Team
The awards are getting polished. The limousines are gassed up. We're even steam-cleaning all the gravy stains out of the red carpet. All those portentous omens can mean just one thing: In just 48 suspense-packed hours, the Second Annual Saxxy Awards presentation will begin - LIVE, on the internet!
If you're looking for something to do while you're whiling away those hours, why not visit the awards site and keep time with our handy countdown timer? It's not just fun - it will teach you valuable lessons about the passage of time that you can use in your everyday life! If watching precious seconds subtract themselves from your lifespan isn't your thing, make an appointment with the local Teufort tailor and grab The Tuxxy (available Thursday from Mann Co. Store) so you'll have some dapper duds for the big night.
November 15, 2012 - SFM Team
Voting is now LIVE for the Second Annual Saxxy Awards, from now until midnight GMT, November 27th! Your votes will help our panel of judges make the final call on which entries are the most gut-bustingly hilarious, the most eye-wettingly dramatic, the most pants-crappingly action-packed, and the most heart-tuggingly romantic. We don't want to oversell things here, but this is quite literally the most important thing you will ever cast a vote for. All that Presidential election hooha? Consider that nonsense practice for your voting finger, like the training montage in Rocky IV, except instead of your finger lifting a telephone pole up a mountain on its back, it'll be clicking a mouse button.
How to Vote
Every video entered in the 2012 Saxxy Awards can be viewed and voted on at the Saxxy Awards hubpage. Head over now to vote! We've randomized all the entries to keep things fair; however, you can sort by category if you're more interested in some genres than others. After you've watched an entry, simply upvote it or downvote it and move onto the next one. Vote as much as you like, but remember: you've only got one vote per entry.
Also, with such a huge number of entries, it's a challenge to keep on top of entries breaking the contest rules. So if you spot an entry that's longer than five minutes, or that's using copyrighted (i.e. not Valve, and not public domain) material, help us out and report it.
The winners of this year's Saxxy Awards will be revealed on November 30th, with the exception of the Best Overall category. Why? Because the winner of the Best Overall category will be announced LIVE on the GTTV Spike Video Game Awards pre-show on December 7th, AND their entry shown on the air. Stay tuned for details!
November 9, 2012 - SFM Team
Just a friendly reminder to anybody planning on submitting an entry to the Second Annual Saxxy Awards that the deadline is November 15, 12:00 AM GMT. This means that we won't accept entries after this date. Those of you planning on waiting until there's a single adrenaline-gorged second on the countdown clock, remember: You're not Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker and there's absolutely no need to do this. If you want to ensure your entry gets submitted, do not wait until the last minute.
Also, once your entry has been submitted, don't forget to double-check it.
October 31, 2012 - SFM Team
As of 12:00AM GMT and for the next two weeks, we are now accepting submissions for the Second Annual Saxxy Awards!Click here to find out how to submit! (Note: Replay category submissions will be accepted starting tomorrow, via the in-game Replay Browser.)
October 24, 2012 - SFM Team
Today we added images to the steam community hub for the SFM. You can now share your images directly from the file menu!
To celebrate, we thought we would show you how we make wallpapers and posters using the SFM. We've found that once you get the hang of using light and shadow with a 3D scene, it can really feel like you're painting with light.
October 18, 2012 - SFM Team
October 5, 2012 - SFM Team
In just under a month, we'll start accepting entries for shorts made with the Source Filmmaker, Valve's filmmaking tool. You'll be able to submit in five different categories (Best Action, Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Original Universe and now Best Replay) with the hope of taking home a Saxxy at the star-studded Second Annual Saxxy Awards. So if you've got an SFM opus in you, crack those knuckles and get creating — November 1st'll be here in no time.
Also, a couple of quick changes for entrants:
We've Added a Replay Category
The Source Filmmaker is the perfect resource for creators looking to dramatize the TF2 mercenaries' off-hours — but after we announced the Saxxy rules, we realized we'd under-represented some of the great dramatic, comedic or just plain violently entertaining moments in-game. So we've added a new category to celebrate all the creators out there who'd rather make their movie magic on the battlefield.
You Can Use Non-SFM Tools for Post-Production
Because the SFM didn't ship with a few post-production features, like titling and transitions, we've decided to let people use other effects and editing tools for this year's contest.
Remember, though, that nothing makes us happier than people using and giving feedback on the SFM. We want this tool to keep getting better and better, and to do that, we'll need creative folks like you pushing the SFM in new directions.
October 4, 2012 - SFM Team
We've been really impressed with everyone's work as folks have been coming up to speed animating characters in the SFM. After the initial 12 tutorials, we've received a lot of requests to help beginners animate characters. So here's part one of our crash course in animating in the SFM! It doesn't cover everything, but it's a good place to start. Let us know what you think!
September 14, 2012 - SFM Team
One of our early beta testers, Brandon Fayette, has officially become the first successfully funded Kickstarter Source Filmmaker project. It's a great example of what you can do with the SFM using your own, non-Valve assets. We're looking forward to seeing how Dome turns out!
Here we’ll be sharing news, tips and tricks about all things relating to our storytelling tool, the Source Filmmaker. Because it’s the tool we use here at Valve to create our own movies, we will be adding features as we need them and then sharing them with everyone through Steam. You can join our official Steam Group to stay up-to-date with all the latest SFM news.