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Q. What is the Source Filmmaker (SFM)?
The Source Filmmaker is the movie-making tool built and used by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. It is how we have been making all of our animated short movies. Because the Source Filmmaker uses the same assets as a Source-engine game, what goes into the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa. By using the hardware rendering of a modern PC gaming machine, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a what you see is what you get environment so that they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.

Q. How do I get the Source Filmmaker?
Source Filmmaker is available for FREE to everyone. All you need is a Steam account (which is also free). You can download SFM from valve’s website.

Q. How is this tool different than other 3D animation tools?
Most tools only create a fraction of a movie: a renderer, a 2D video clip editor, a keyframer, a motion capture editor, a sound editor, etc. The SFM is a hybrid of all these workflows merged into a single system, where you can create an entire movie by reusing assets and events from the video game world.

Q. What can people do with the SFM?
The SFM allows a storyteller to create an entire movie on location inside the video game world. Movies exported with the SFM can be uploaded to the web or shared like any normal movie file.

Q. Does the SFM create polygonal meshes, sounds, or textures?
No. you can think of the SFM as a virtual movie set with lights, actors, props and cameras. Fabrication is done using the same tools you would use to create a normal Source game mod.

Q. Can I bring my custom-made items and maps into the SFM and make my own movies with them?
Yes. The SFM is native to the Source game engine. Assets that you make for Workshop or for your own game mods can be recompiled and loaded into the SFM.

Q. How many characters, maps, and props are included?
The initial release is for the game world of Team Fortress 2. There are nine characters, hundreds of locations and thousands of props, particles, textures, and sounds.

Q. Does the SFM work with other Valve Source games and mods?
At this time, the SFM is only being released for Team Fortress 2. Users familiar with modding with the Source engine will be able to mod the SFM build of TF2 to create new worlds.

Q. Can we make new characters or props?
Yes. Check out blog posts for how to make a hat, a map, or a gun, or just to get an idea of where to start. We will also be creating blogposts on sourcefilmmaker.com in the near future about how to create new characters for the SFM.

Q. Why are you giving the SFM away?
In the past, we’ve found that giving away our tools for free leads to the community creating amazing things for themselves and for others. We can’t wait to see what amazing creations you make with the SFM.

Q. Can I make money with this tool?
Yes, but not if you’re using Valve’s assets in your movie. The tool is free for non-commercial use. You can use Valve’s game assets (things like characters, props, particles, textures, and sounds) to create movies and images to share with the game community, as long as what you create is free. We’re not giving you a license to commercialize our assets. However, if you do not include any of Valve’s assets in the movies and images that you make, then there are no restrictions on what you do with your content and you can make money with it.

Q: Can I use the SFM on my Mac?
The SFM currently is not supported on the Mac.

Q. What are the hardware requirements?
OS: Windows 7 / Vista (Windows 7 64 bit suggested)
Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
Memory: 2GB (4 GB suggested)
Hard Disk Space: At least 15 GB of Space
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 200 series card or better, or AMD Radeon 3000 series or better (NVIDIA GeForce 400 series or AMD Radeon 5000 series preferred)
Monitor: 1366 x 768 (1920 x 1080 suggested)
Audio: DirectX 9.0c compatible
USB headset with mic (suggested)