DigitalEro Offline

Getting started with SourceFilmMaker

Sat, 26 Jan 2013 13:02:20


I started using SFM some weeks ago and had to find my way around some issues, some of them documented other not and I though it might be useful for others willing to give SFM a try to document this here. I won't teach you how to use SFM, there are enough resources out there from valve and others (and I suggest you start with before reading further) but I compiled a list of issues I ran into and solutions I found either by myself or on forums, some of them I found here. The first advice I have is save often, really ! I find SFM pretty stable but I still have completely random crash where SFM just exits, don't be afraid though if you save often you should be safe as I have yet to loose anything. Some interesting resources on using SFM : ... ?t=2793373 ... ?t=2778860 Access other mod/game content : SFM will not load anything from outside its own folder so unlike garry'smod just having a mod installed does not means that its resources are available (maps, materials, models, ...), to get access to these you need to download GCFScape and extract the corresponding .gcf file content in the sfm game folder. The default location for gcf files is C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps , as an example for counter strike source the file will be "counter-strike source shared.gcf", once you have it open in GCFScape you will find a cstrike folder in it, extract it into C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\ (I will refer to this path as <SFM_FOLDER> now) . Once you have done this you need to go into the "<SFM_FOLDER>\usermod" folder and open "gameinfo.txt" in any text editor (Notepad/Wordpad should be fine), find the "Game xxxx" lines and add one with "Game cstrike", now you should have access to counter strike resources inside sfm ! (restart sfm if it was running) Note: I saw one post about using a relative path (ex: ..\..\cstrike ) to access already installed content but never tried it myself since sfm is on a different disk than my main steam library, you can try Adding custom content to SFM : To add content from facepunch/digitalero into your sfm install you have multiple solutions, the easiest is just to unzip everything into the usermod folder but read further for another cleaner solution. Here are my problems when using only the usermod folder: - hard to filter inside sfm, if you are looking for all the models you don't really need to go through the list of hundreds or thousands of props. - dealing with new content: say you just downloaded a zip file, extracted it and it does not work (from my experience not everything works in sfm at least not out of the box), if you want to keep your folder clean you will have to get each file and delete them one by one. I first started by using the usermod folder and quickly decided that wasn't the road I wanted to take so I put the folder aside and restarted from scratch. What I do now is not really complicated, create as many folders as you want in the game folder, they will be your categories (for example: models, nude_models, props, maps) and then edit usermod/gameinfo.txt, find the "Game xxx" lines and add one for each of the folders you created (ex: "Game nude_models"), now provided you extract your zip/rar in the right folder you can use the dropdown in the "add model animation" dialog box inside sfm to filter things and get what you are looking for. In addition to these folders I also use a temporary folder which I use to test new stuff, I just extract the zip in it, test it inside sfm and then if it works I move the files into the proper category folder, if it did not work I just delete everything in my temp folder ! It requires a little more discipline but in the end I find it easier to use, I find what I am looking for quicker and can concentrate on the scenes I want to build. Here is what my gameinfo relevant section looks like:
			Game				|gameinfo_path|.
			Game				tf_movies
			Game				tf
			Game				my_work
			Game				sexy_maps
			Game				sexy_mine
			Game				sexy_models
			Game				sexy_props
			Game				sexy_testing
			Game				left4dead2_movies
			Game				cstrike
			Game				hl2
			Game				ep2
			Game				portal2
			Game				blackmesa
Issues and their solutions if any : no HDR when loading a map : SFM requires HDR and since it takes a while to compile the map with some maps do not have it (it also seems like it does not changes much things in-game at least for cstrike/gmod), the only way I know to deal with this is to decompile the map and recompile it, the tool I use for this is called "bspsrc". Missing texture (pink squares) : You are missing content, your best bet is to check the readme associated with the map and see if the requirements are mentioned in it then check the start of my post to add the missing content for sfm. missing props in loaded map : First inside SFM right click in the camera view and enable Game entities => Show others. Now you want to make sure your player is inside the room or near it, switch to game mode (F11) and type "noclip" in the console to move through walls and go to the location where props are missing, if you see the props in game mode hit F11 again and they should now be visible inside SFM, if not you may be missing some models check the SFM console. Weird white flash of light : This is due to invalid or missing cubemaps in the map, this is used for surfaces which reflect the environment (at least that my understanding of it ), you have two solutions: - you can disable it, in SFM console type "mat_specular 0", the map will reload and you should be fine (you can add this command in <SFM_FOLDER>/usermod/cfg/autoexec.cfg file if you want this done on start) - you can (re)build the cubemaps (SAVE BEFORE DOING THIS): go into game mode (F11) and type "buildcubemaps" in the console (it appears to work too in sfm console), this will take some times and then reload the map at which point your SFM is in a weird semi crashed state, just restart it. After doing that look into the usermod folder you will see a bsp file for this map, move it back in whatever folder it was and overwrite the old one. weird boobs/ass after adding a model : Sometimes when adding a model into the scene the boobs are "inside" the model (I don't really know how to describe this xD), if you see this just move the cursor on the timeline and hit the "UP" key to get back at the start, for me that fixes it (I mainly sees this with Zoey). It seems to affect all jiggle bones but not for every models. Map too bright : If you want to reduce or kill the ambient light in a map you need to edit the camera settings, first add the camera into the left panel (create animation for existing entity => camera x) and then selects it. With the camera selected in the Animation Set Editor you will see a toneScaleMap option on the right, move this slider to the left and see the changes (you need to be in motion editor mode (hit F3) to do that otherwise it won't do anything) Hide map props : Sometimes you will want to remove any props in the map to add yours, while I don't how if you can really remove them without editing the map itself you can hide them by unchecking Game entities => World Static Props and Other Entities to have the same effect. Water surface : SFM does not like water, sometimes it works more or less and sometimes it simply does not work, I read somewhere that SFM was using an older version of the Source engine and that this may be related, I suppose they will eventually update it. I will try to keep this post up to date if I find something else or if someone else has something to add to it.
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 19:37:58


If you are using an azerty keyboard like me, here is something that will make your life easier. First you need to download AutohotKey, this software basically allows you to automate repetitive tasks, remap keys and more but here we will just use it to remap "q", "z", "w" and "a", create a new text file and call it sfm.ahk with this:
SetTitleMatchMode 2

#ifWinActive Source Filmmaker


What this script does is: - when you press q it will sends a to the application - when you press z it will sends a w - when you press w it will sends a z and one last thing since ctrl+z becomes a bit problematic with this (I could make it works but I just wasn't motivated enough to bother) I remapped the "a" key to do a ctrl+z (undo). Once the file is saved just double click it and it should add an icon in the systray and youa re good to go, the remapping will only be effective in sfm (as a side effect it also affects any application with "Source Filmmaker" in its name).