On this page, i will explain how to setup Valve's source filmmaker tools leftover in the beta, tricks you can perform with the tool and how to fix technical problems with the program. I will also periodically post my own films (Accidental Apocalypse Studios) or other SFM related works. If you have any tips or things you'd like posted here, e-mail me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

SFM Basic Use

*Thanks to TerebyteS*
-How to start SFM:
First of all be sure to have installed all the patches and the tools. Tools go in the bin/tools folder.
Run hl2.exe first. Let it load completely, then exit.
Make a shortcut to hl2.exe. Right click and open the properties. In the target line, go to the end and add:

"-game tf -tools -console -applaunch 440 -window -noborder -novid"

Press OK and use the shortcut to start the game.
You are free to delete RUN_TF2.exe as it is of no use for your purposes.

-How to load a map to work on:
File -> Load map... Ctrl+L
or use the Ctrl+L key shortcut.
A window will appear at the center of the screen. Select your map from the list at the bottom, click on it and press Open.
Wait for the map to load. Once it's done you'll see the usual TF2 blackboard.

-How to get in position:
First off, you wanna close the welcome board.
To do so, press F10 to change the mode to Game control, and F11 to toggle fullscreen. Select your team and class, and position your character where you'd like to start recording.
If you want to record a swarm of characters, it's useful to position yourself behind a wall, where the camera can't see you, as that will serve as a start point for every instance you're going to record of yourself.
After you're in the right position, press F10 and F11 again in order to go back to the editing window.

-How to record a track
To record a track, press the record button (Red circle), edit the settings to your liking and press Record.
You will hear four beeping sounds. The last one will tell you when the recording will start.
Record your action, and when you're done press Esc to go back to editing mode.
The recording will stop by itself.
Now you can scrub trough the recorded track and cut the parts you don't like.

-How to record the later tracks.
After you recorded the first track, you may want to take another character and start acting with it. Press F10 and F11 again to get in Game Mode, and change your class or your team.
While you explore the map you'll notice ammo packs and cap points are doubled, and one of them is rotating, while the other is standing still. Since you don't want this bad effect to appear in your final track, you may want to delete the entities.
For ammo packs and health packs, just put your crossair over them and, in console, type:


and press Enter. The rotating entity will disappear, and the copy from the old recording will remain. You'll have to repeat this for every recording.
You can't use ent_remove on Capture Points, because the game would crash.
Point your crossair at the hologram (preferably the top) and type in console:

"ent_fire !picker hidemodel"

The CP should vanish. If it reappears in the next recordings, just repeat.

To make multiple instances of yourself, just repeat the above steps.

Once you're done with the instances, follow the below steps.

-How to place a camera
To place a camera, move your mouse over the track in the timeline, right click and select Set New Camera. Now, with no need for F10 and F11, just use your wasd keys and your mouse (click and drag on the view window) to move the camera and place it in a convenient position.

-Watch your result
Now press the Play button and watch the final result till the end. You'll probably want to cut out a piece at the end. To do so, position your mouse at the end of the clip and it should take a "]" shape. Click and drag to the desired endpoint of the track.

-Watch your result
To render a video, press File and Export video. Save it if prompted, then change the folder where it will save the video and make a folder just for it. Then you can select if to save .tgas (it's better) or .avi. If you save tgas you can put them together using vdub.


Adjust camera focal distance
Adjust the focal distance on the Work Camera by pressing F and moving the mouse up and down. Simple as that!


  1. Okay, I launched the game and It just instantly popuped SFM.When I joined a server, I got an error that my game got a apphang. Any solutionz?


    MAP EDITOR, plz helP!

    1. huh? Plz explain so ppl can help.
      Like where on the screen are those located? etc.

  3. is there any way to put the new weapons of the "new" TF2 like the sandwich in the tf2 beta and use them on the source film maker??


  4. Help, the info i put into the hl2 target isnt valid, and i cant open hl2 without a "gameinfo.txt" file!!!

  5. *sigh* Whenever I hit F10 to go to gamemode, it just shows a camera view of 2fort (the map I chose) and not the class select screen. Any ideas?

  6. Anyone know how can i avoid the filmmaker getting stuck at exporting a movie on 100%?

  7. First I select my team and class and everything is fine, but after first recordin HUD is gone and I cant change my class or team. Why is that? plz help.

  8. Is there any way to move object easier? O.o

    1. details? like how and what do you use to move and how do you wanna move

  9. I get a Binkw32.dll error, and I already instlled it in the Computer files, help!

  10. Dude my screen isn't in full screen it is only a window. Help?

  11. My SFM won't open for some odd reason... Anyone know why?

    1. Nope. Unless you give more details.
      How do u expect us to know what was wrong??

  12. How can I delete a model on the set without destroying/ deleting my scene??? I want to make another clip with a different model, on my sequence. So 2 clips, 2 different characters, same set.

    1. Look to the left for a list that says "Animation Set Editor".
      find the model you want to delete, right click it, and Delete Animation Set.

  13. Please don't rant at me, I'm new to ALL of this. But, where\how do I aquire an SFM account? I want & need one so badly.

  14. *Sigh* Gosh I feel SOO dumb, never mind.

  15. http://youtu.be/xG02JftoiLU

    ^ the answer for all your questions