Valve have just announced that the Source Filmmaker is now in full-on open beta, available “for free, to everyone“. Yes, that means absolutely everyone with a Steam account. It can be downloaded from the Steam Store, here. It’s a fairly bulky program, though, so make sure you have a fair bit of free space on your hard-drive before you download and install it.
The SFM itself has received a brand new update, which includes session files for “Meet the Engineer”, the third TF2 Meet the Team short film. This means that the onslaught of “Meet the Heavy” parodies is about to come to an end, and an even greater influx of “Meet the Engineer” variations are about to flood the Internet. May God have mercy on our souls.
The Source Filmmaker is a cinematic story-telling tool based in the Source engine, originally developed by Valve in 2005. It is now used all of their animated short films and promotional videos. It’s unbelievably versatile, fairly simple, and it synthesizes the entire production pipeline of a modern animation studio, into one simple program, that can be used and operated by any gaming PC. Really, what’s not to like?
In addition, Valve have opened a new section of the Steam Community devoted entirely to the Source Filmmaker. There, you can share, view, discuss, and rate videos made using the SFM. There are already over 870 videos in this Filmmaker community, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping. So why not join in?
The reveal, and subsequent beta release of the Source Filmmaker has ushered in what may be a new age of machinima film-making. For now, it might only seem like an endless onslaught of Meet the Heavy parodies, but very soon, we’ll start seeing the good stuff coming to light. Unless it’s already happened. In which case… well, read on!
These days, the art of machinima isn’t doing as well as it used to. But way back in 2008, one of its masters was, and still is Xanatos of the Janus Syndicate, who released the first episode of the G-Man Squad series that same year. While he’s still making some awesome stuff these days, the G-Man Squad remains many people’s favorites from the Janus Syndicate. Which might be why Xanatos has decided to return to its origins, with a ten-minute G-Man Squad special containing re-shot and re-edited video from its first 3 episodes, as well as some never-before-seen footage. And yes, you get to hear Boris’s… distinct scream, in HD audio.
Half-Life 2 lends itself to a lot of different styles and moods. As such, it seems as if you could almost put just about any soundtrack behind it, granted it fit properly. But, of course, the prevalent atmosphere in the Half-Life 2 series is melancholia. After all, the Earth has been invaded by a totalitarian multi-dimensional alien empire picking Earth to the bone for its now-dwindling resources. There are no more children, and genocide has taken most of the world’s population.
So while you could, in theory, make an improved HL2 soundtrack using Haddaway’s “What Is Love”, the HL2 series really does lend itself to more somber sorts of music. Which brings us to…
A very, very long time ago, in February of 2007, CaLeB (or, as he is now known… oxcjae) released a lovely little Garry’s Mod comedy video, UnKnown Moments. A crazy collection of all sorts of weird and surreal comedy sketches, UKM was a hit, and just half a year later, it got an even better sequel. But we had to wait one whole year for part 3. And another whole year for part 4. While we got some holiday-themed shorts during 2010, last year brought us absolutely zilch on the UKM front.
Well, you need wait no longer. Unless you haven’t actually been waiting for it, in which case… gah, screw it. UnKnown Moments 5 is finally here. All the classic in-jokes, running jokes, characters, and signature moments are back. Twice the length as well. It’s the last one of the series, so let’s take a look!
What have we been up to this past week? Well, aside from a bunch of articles, I’ve been putting a lot of work into my Portal 2 review, after I briefly mentioned it in Episode #152 of Podcast 17. It’s becoming more of a critique, or analysis if you will. It should be out shortly. This is why this week’s Roundup is so small!
The Janus Syndicate is one of the oldest and the greatest machinima comedy groups around. It was formed in November of 2005, and it’s the group behind the excellent “Dr. Strangeman“, the hilarious “Counter-Strife: The Noob’s Guide to Counter-Strike” and, of course, the incredible ”Half-Life 2: Anxiety“, which won the Grand Prize of the 2008 Ivy Film Festival.
They went on an extended absence, but returned in late last year, with a number of new videos – “Unfriendly Fire“, “Hearts and Brains” and ”The Garrysmod Secret Agent“, as well as a new episode of the G-Man Squad. But they’ve just released a sort of spiritual successor to one of their most popular videos: “Counter-Strike For Kids“. Read on to check it out!