Source filmmaker by valve has just been opened up in an open beta for everyone to try out and have fun with!
This video should explain what it is – a revolutionary way to create animations and shorts. Currently the assets are all from Team fortress 2, meaning you can jump in and edit using well established characters as well as great quality assets right away. I recommend you use the following link for an excellent collection of tutorials.
Following through these from start to finish will take about 4-5 hours, but there are plenty of breaks.
It has been in use before 2007 when a leaked version was found. Valve have mentioned on the record that this is the tool they’ve used for all of the Meet the … series, and also have used it for ingame cinematics for things such as Left for dead too. Exciting stuff!
Although it is Team Fortress 2 only at the moment, people are able to build their own models using Valves hammer SDK, as well as in the future any source engined game will eventually have it’s content available for use in it. Games such as Left for Dead and Portal will also have their content and charecters available as well.