Valve (creators of half-life, team fortress, and left 4 dead) have been turning out interesting shorts for not only promotional purposes, but also for fun, for a long time now. Their most recognised work though are the "meet the team" videos for their free multiplayer game Team Fortress 2. Up until this week TF2 only had videos introducing eight of it's nine classes. Now though the final class "The Pyro" has his own video, which describes, in a hilariously violent way, why he loves fire so much. I laughed my ass off while watching this.
More importantly though the Pyro video débuts how Valve as been making it's animated video, with the source film maker. The Source Film Maker is a literal realtime 3D movie maker built around Valve's Source engine. They've apparently been working on this piece of software for some eight years, and I must say it looks good.
People have been making movies with valve resources for some time now, but they've largely lacked proper animations because of how much work it is to animate bipeds. I'm very interested to see how this will potentially change the machinima landscape.
What are your opinions on the Source Film Maker?
P.S. Hopefully people will figure out how to move characters and worlds like Skyrim into this move maker and make some truly epic videos!