Common issues and questions

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Why does my camera not move sometimes in the viewport?

The camera might be animated. For more information, see "The scene camera and the viewport," in Cameras overview.

I exited game mode with Alt+Tab ; how do I get my mouse pointer back?

You have to exit game mode with F11 before you can move your mouse pointer in movie mode.

Why does my animation stop too soon?

You may need to make your shot longer. For more information, see Manipulating shots.

How can I move a gun to the position of a character's hand?

Lock the gun to the hand, use the Zero preset on the gun's animation, and unlock the gun. For more information, see Working with locks and List of procedural presets.

How can I make a gun follow a hand's existing animation?

Lock the gun to the hand, use the Playhead preset on the gun's animation, and unlock the gun. For more information, see Working with locks and List of procedural presets.

How can I get my models and maps to work with the SFM?

If you want to use additional models or maps, beyond those that come with the SFM, recompile them first. This includes any models or maps from Team Fortress 2, or any other Source game. For information about compiling models, see Compiling a model. For information about compiling maps, see Saving and Compiling.

How can I animate the scene camera orbiting around a character?

Select the camera, place the pivot on the character, and use the rotation manipulator to move the camera in a circle around the character. For more information, see The screen manipulator and The rotation manipulator.

Why is there a white line across my viewport, and why does it look washed out?

Your computer does not meet the Source Filmmaker's minimum requirements.

Why am I seeing speckles (noisy shadows) in my scene, and how can I make them go away?

SSAO speckles (click to see)

What you're seeing is a preview of ambient occlusion, which is a lighting technique that simulates certain aspects of real-world light and shadow. Leaving it on means that your rendered movie will have a more realistic look. But if you want to, you can turn it off in the render settings by right-clicking in the viewport.

To be noticeably smoothed out, ambient occlusion requires at least 64 samples of depth of field.

Alternatively, you may disable ambient occlusion by right-clicking in the viewport, clicking "rendering settings", and un-ticking Ambient Occlusion. This will have the benefit of increasing the framerate of the viewports, as well as decreasing rendering times.

How can I publish my movie to YouTube?

On the File menu, click Sharing, and then click Publish Movie to YouTube and Steam. In the dialog box that comes up, type in your YouTube username and password. If you don't already have a YouTube account, click Create Account. Note that currently, the SFM does not support 2-step verification.

Why can't I run the SFM on my laptop?

The SFM requires a substantial gaming system to run well. Laptops with embedded graphics chips or small screens are unlikely to be able to run the SFM. For more information about minimum hardware requirements, see Installation. If your laptop has a powerful video chip that is capable of running other 3D software without any problems, check your driver settings; it is possible that it may have incorrectly categorized the SFM as a "low performance" application.

How do I import custom audio?

Make sure your audio is a 44.1khz 16bit .wav file and save it somewhere under your mod/sounds directory. MP3's also work, but they don't scrub well.

How can I pose the Scout's dogtags or the Soldier's helmet straps?

Many less commonly modified controls are hidden on a variety of models by default. You can see these hidden controls by toggling "show hidden controls" from the options menu in the animation set editor. You can also show and hide selected controls from the context menu.

I have added my own sound with the element viewer but it has reverb, how do I get the SFM to just play the sound without any effects on it?

Put a # in front of your path for the sound in the element viewer and the sounds will be played regardless of the soundscape the player is currently standing in.

How do I change a model's materials?

Find the .vmt that the model is using and copy it into your own mod. The way source modding works, any files of the same name and location are used instead of the models in tf or tf_movies so you can tweak it however you want. The Source developer wiki can tell you more.

How do I create smooth camera motion in the SFM?

You can puppeteer the viewport manipulator with left drag and the WASDZX keys and hitting the spacebar. You must have the animation set for the active camera selected and be in the motion editor with all of time selected for this to work. Afterwards, you can apply the "smooth" preset, or select a custom region of time with falloff and use the "round" preset.

My SFM window is no longer at the default size and I can't reach the menus. How do I reset the layout?

Click the Reset Layouts option in the Layout section of the Windows menu (Windows -> Layouts -> Reset Layouts).

Why don't I see the option to render at 1080p in the export movie dialog?

To render at 1080p, you have to add –sfm_resolution 1080 to your SFM launch options. For more information, see Rendering_at_1080p. If you need help setting the launch options, see Setting Game Launch Options.

How can I make my movie feel more cinematic?

Try narrowing the field of view using one of the lens presets to mimic a real world lens. Movies are rarely shot with a wide angle lens on every shot.

What are some good some animation resources I can use to learn to animate better?

Check out, The Illusion of Life, Timing for Animation, and Acting for Animators.

How do I report a bug, ask a question, or make a suggestion?

Visit the forums, and if your bug, question, or suggestion is not listed there, you might create a new forum entry. For bugs, you can also file a bug report and send it to [email protected].

See also