DigitalEro Offline

Breaking into SFM, criticism/advice wanted.

Thu, 24 Oct 2013 02:59:29


Recently started to get into SFM after seeing a bunch of cool stuff made with it. Downloaded it, mounted the episodes and CSS, downloaded some maps and models from here and threw this together in around half an hour. It's pretty terrible yeah. I'm just wondering if some can throw me some general tips on posing, camerawork, the whole party. Main thing with this picture is lack of water effect (I have no idea how to add water to the shower outside of the skin for the lara model) and general iffy posing. I'm also wondering where's a good place to get maps. I can find models just fine but maps with HDR are killing me. I've hit SFMbox which i've gotten most of my maps, and has a couple decent maps, but in general I don't have much to work with. Also, might as well be my first time posting on the forums. Had the account for a bit, but didn't do much outside of download stuff. Pretty sure this is the right section, I didn't see any C&C threads, though I might be blind. TIA
Thu, 24 Oct 2013 03:33:11


Welcome to the community! In my experience, the only places to reliably get SFM-compatible HDR maps is here and SFMbox. Every map I've ever downloaded from or anywhere else has had some kind of issue in SFM. I usually add effects such as smoke or water in photo shop, but I'm sure someone more familiar with SFM can help you with realistic fluid effects. As for tips, I'd recommend: -Familiarize yourself with the concept of 3-point lighting; it appears that you have a single dim light coming from the left that casts a harsh shadow behind lara, resulting in some flat lighting. Adding a second and a rim light will give her more dimension. -Get an idea for composition; there's a lot of empty space on either side of Lara, so this might work better in a portrait orientation rather than landscape orientation -Don't for to pose fingers and collarbones; whenever your elbow goes above your shoulder, your collarbone naturally moves up with it. If you forget to pose collarbones, your models will end up looking like stiff action figure. As for fingers, I've said it every time I've given posing advice: Hands are second to the face in terms of human expressiveness, so don't forget to pose them! I hope you find these tips helpful, and you stick with it. SFM is a lot of fun and very rewarding if you can get over the initial hurdles.
Thu, 24 Oct 2013 05:28:51


I'll expand on what HuggyBear said by adding a few findings of my own: Like HuggyBear already said the best places to get maps are SFMbox (updates are kinda sporadic now) and if you're lucky; but I've found a few on these sites that with a bit of meddling work ok in sfm gamebanana (search for HDR) the gmod workshop (also useful for models) If you're just interested in posing I'd say look into this stuff: - positive/negative space - weight - lighting (look up Zachariah Scott on youtube for some info on lighting and a bit into particles) - line of action (related to silhouette) - facepunch's SFM section - More compliment begging than anything but something useful pops up every now and then. if you want to animate then you should take the stuff above with this stuff below: - Watch the Valve tutorials on SFM - - search for IK rigs for the models you use, usually they are linked in the comments for each model or even in the first post. - find reference for the action you're trying to replicate (watch a lot of porn) - also take note of where the camera is in the porn you watched from the bullet above. -- Cameras are a big area of study and although you can literally put the camera anywhere in SFM, the best Machinimas or Machiniporns use realistic camera placement and movement.
Thu, 24 Oct 2013 12:46:27


If I may add one bit of advice... Choose one camera angle for a pic and then lock it down. This way, you can cater your poses, facial expressions, and scene composition to that particular angle. Most may not agree with me, but nothing screams NOOB to me more than seeing a million different angles of a single pose posted on r34.