Working with effects and overlays

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You can use effects and overlays to refine the look, sound, and feel of your sequence.

To add a grain effect to your scene:

  1. On the timeline, in the track groups, expand Effect, right-click Overlay, click Add Clip to Track, click Overlay Material Effect, and click OK. (If you don't see track groups, on the Windows menu, click Layouts, and click Sound Editing.) You can use this effect to put images or animated textures over the viewport.
  2. Drag the clip's ends to make it last the entire sequence. (If you're creating a clip for a title card, you would leave the clip shorter.)
  3. Right-click the clip, and click Show in Element Viewer.
  4. In the Element Viewer, to the right of the text field, type a name for your effect (for example, grain). The clip's name updates on the timeline too.
  5. Next to the material field, click the browse button (SFM icon Browse.png), and locate pgrain.vmt in the resulting list. You can filter the list by typing pgrain in the Filter box.
  6. Lower the grain's opacity by clicking the box to the right of the overlaycolor field to bring up the color picker, and dragging the alpha opacity down. The grain in the viewport updates as you drag.

To add a vignette clip:

  1. On the timeline, in the track groups, expand Effect, right-click Overlay, click Add Clip to Track, click Overlay Material Effect, and click OK. (If you don't see track groups, on the Windows menu, click Layouts, and click Sound Editing.)
  2. Drag the clip's ends to make it last the entire sequence. (If you're creating a clip for a title card, you would leave the clip shorter.)
  3. Right-click the clip, and click Show in Element Viewer. Alternatively, if the Element Viewer is already open, you can drag the clip into it.
  4. In the Element Viewer, type a new name into the text field (for example, vignette). The clip's name updates on the timeline too.
  5. Next to the material field, click the browse button. In the resulting list, choose vignette_01.vmt. You can filter the list by typing vig in the Filter box.
  6. Adjust the opacity of the overlay color to the level you want (for example, 90%).

To add a fluorescent color correction:

  1. On the timeline, in the track groups, expand Effect, right-click Overlay, click Add Clip to Track, click Color Correction Effect, and click OK. (If you don't see track groups, on the Windows menu, click Layouts, and click Sound Editing.)
  2. Drag the clip's ends to make it last the entire sequence. (If you're creating a clip for a title card, you would leave the clip shorter.)
  3. Right-click the clip, and click Show in Element Viewer. Alternatively, if the Element Viewer is already open, you can drag the clip into it.
  4. In the Element Viewer, type a new name into the text field (for example, cc for color correction). The clip's name updates on the timeline too.
  5. Next to the filename field, click the browse button. Browse up through the directory structure until you're in the \game folder, and then browse to the \game\tf_movies\materials\correction folder. This is where the most commonly used color-correction files are located.
  6. Choose fluorescent.raw.
  7. Adjust the intensity of the color correction by typing .75 into the weight field in the Element Viewer. This adjust the intensity to 75% of the original.

To create a new effects clip by copying an existing effects clip:

  1. Select the existing clip.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy, and then Ctrl+V to paste.
  3. Rename and redefine your new clip in the Element Viewer.

Creating custom color correction:

  1. Go into game mode (or use the console in the viewport or your autoexec.cfg)
  2. Type "bind ANYKEY colorcorrectionui" (I prefer to use number 3.) Please use the shortcut as (unless you for some reason want to do it while the main menu is up... Though it will only make it harder to see your new color correction)
  3. When you open up you will see two windows. One with some colors in it called "lookup view" and one with some buttons called "color correction tools."
  4. Press "new" and a window should pop up called "untitled" with a drop down menu.
  5. Now select one and experiment with it. (Note that you need to tick the "enable" box before you can see the change.) If you want more in the same file then just press "new" again and choose a tool.
  6. When you are finished press "save as" (the button on the far right) and save it in "steam/steamapps/common/source filmmaker/game/tf_movies/materials/correction" It will create two files under the same name. A .vcc which you can use if you want to change something in the existing correction, and a .raw which is what we need.
  7. Follow the tutorial above or the source filmmaker lightning tutorial on youtube for how to use it.

Note that you do not have to use tf_movies if you are using a custom mod. Just place it somewhere you can find it in your custom mod.


Warning:The Element Viewer is a powerful tool without many safeguards. Using it incorrectly can corrupt your map irretrievably and can crash the SFM. Here be dragons.

See also