Valve officially announcement the beta version of its Source Filmmaker, a free tool that allows users to create animated movies using assets from Team Fortress 2. The company notes that all of its own video shorts are made with the tool, and its release will allow others to create animation with “the rendering power of a modern gaming PC.”
The announcement is accompanied by a demo video that shows some of the flexibility of SFM. Users can work with or edit pre-animated clips, or create their own animations using a separate tool for working on character joints and limbs.
The voiceover emphasizes that the tool allows animators to pause the videos they create, implement changes in the 3D image, and then restart the animation, without having to re-render the scene. . The reduction in render time has been cited as a major benefit of Unreal Engine 4, so its use in a mainstream industrial tool is very impressive. Of course, SFM has a much smaller tool set from which most, if not all, of the characters in the demo video are square jawed. TF2 variety. It’s also not the first time that Valve has shared animation tools; earlier in June, the company announced that it was sharing its Source engine to power an upcoming 3D animated film, Deep.
Beta registration opens today and requires a Steam account. Once you click the button on the SFM site, Steam will perform a spec check on your system, so be sure to ask your best platform.