Source Filmmaker: A Writer's Showcase

Shiny logo.
Considering I have nothing for yMusic this week, I'm taking this as an opportunity to build upon the Team Fortress 2 post from the week before and cover a program that's sabotaging my writing time: Source Filmmaker.

If you're here for yMusic, skip to the very end of the post.

What is Source Filmmaker

For those unfamiliar with it, Source Filmmaker is an movie animation program using the Source Engine. Previously, it has been used for the Meet the Team videos highlighting the nine player classes. They're of high-quality.

This professional tool had been released in open beta--for free.

Oh, and with a couple of the Meet the Team videos ready to remix.

As a result, a melting pot of videos have populated YouTube. Some are shabby; others boast great cinematography and even a touching hint of a story.

There's yet to be any extensive story created using the characters and settings of TF2, but it's possible. We're in the early stages, and the focus of most of the animators are getting the hang of the program before tackling narrative and scenes. But it's in the future.

Not that Source Filmmaker isn't an useful tool right now. I'm learning the ropes. For example, here's my first video:

...Okay, it's not good, but it's something. I've never used a 3-D animation program, and 2-D animation programs perplex me.

Maybe I'll put my mind into narrating a blog post and having one of the in-game models lip-sync to it. With some action. And maybe a death at the end.

In any case, I would love to see a writer blogger use Source Filmmaker to convey writing advice with a fresh medium.

The Best and Funniest TF2 Videos

Now for the meat of the post. There have been hundreds or even thousands of YouTube videos made with Source Filmmaker. Some of them stood out for me personally.

They fall under two categories:

  1. The impressive ones. They're more well-done and polished.
  2. The funny ones. They might not be the best (or might be only a remake), but they're hilarious.

Both will construct a niche that will herald future animators.

Even if you're not familiar with TF2, I would suggest watching some of the videos. For your convince, I've compiled a playlist. More and more will be added on.

WARNING: Mild language and strong cartoonish violence throughout.

Meet the Family

This was created with a leaked version of Source Filmmaker, but it doesn't detract from its spectacular cinematography and understandable story. Oh, and it uses The Incredibles theme. Which I learned in orchestra a while ago.

Still, it can be enjoyed by anyone who never have played a video game.

Meet the Nicki Minaj

It's only a Meet the Heavy remix, and all the creator did was to auto-lipsync "Super Bass", but as a Nicki Minaj fan who wants to do something similar, I can't leave this off the showcase. Expect more of these.

Cinematic TF2

It's a series of slow-motion pictures showing the team at its darkest hour. And it's touching. Another professional one, several commentors have given the creator suggestions on how to expand this to what might be an emotional story.

Poker Face

I thought this would be based off the Lady Gaga single. Instead, it's a quick yet laugh-out-loud gag. Just listen to Heavy!

Pyro is Bored

It's a slow one, and another gag one. Don't be surprised at the end; that's typical.

Heavy Looses an IQ

Yes, it's "looses". And it's another "Meet the Heavy" remix. But it's one of the more extensive ones Barring the rough final shot, it pulls its humor well.

Stop Meeting the Heavy

One more "Meet the Heavy" remake, but with Scout being a pest. You won't expect anything.

Just One More Hat

As a finale, Scout sings a parody of "Part of Your World" of The Little Mermaid fame. It took hours to animate, but it pays off as peeking at #1 in the Steam community. Ignore the fact he's not blinking, and enjoy the show.

I bet you liked at least one of these.

YOUR TURN: What are your thoughts of Souce Filmmaker and any of the videos animated with it? Do you think it will have any impact on writers or storytelling?

PS: If you want some music, here it is:

What? I just finished animating this.