Source Filmmaker: The Complete Guide

The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. 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. 

To celebrate the announcement of the SFM, Valve also released "Meet the Pyro", the ninth installment in the "Meet the Team" series. Like all of their animated shorts, they made it using the SFM. The following is a step-by-step guide, made by Valve, to show you how to make a video.

Step 1: The Basics

Step 2: Recording

Step 3: Editing

Step 4: Sound

Step 5: Manipulating

Step 6: Time Selection

Step 7: Curves 

Step 8: Clip Motion & Puppeteering

Step 9: Locks

Step 10: Facial Animation

Step 11: Rigging

Step 12: Lighting

Complete Tutorial - Once you follow all the steps, the completed project should look like this. 

We hope that this step-by-step guide by Valve helps you to make your movies! Make sure you send some in to us, and we'll post some of the best to the page! Throw your credits in the email with it.