Valve has released Source Filmmaker, the in-engine film creation tool it has used to produce over 50 animated shorts, including the Team Fortress 2 Meet The Team trailers.
The free tool is currently in closed beta, but will be made available to the public later this year via Steam.
Among other things, SFM allows filmmakers to capture motion – by running characters through the world in firstperson – insert clip motion, or animate characters from scratch. There's also a facial animation system that allows for "feature-film quality lip-sync".
You can see it all in action in the video below:
"The goal of the SFM was to develop a story telling tool that allowed us to create computer animated movies more efficiently, and with greater creative freedom," says Valve designer Bay Raitt.
"Over the past five years, we've produced more than 50 animated shorts with the SFM. The Source Filmmaker will allow our community to create their own movies in Team Fortress 2 and in their own Source SDK-created mods."
The release will also include the working session for the Meet The Heavies trailer, allowing users to reverse engineer Valve's work. You can find out more, and sign up for a beta invite, using the link below.