Posted in Film Commentary

Review: Meet the Pyro and Introduction of the Source Filmmaker!

In lieu of a “real” film review today, I want to talk about the last of the “meet the class” shorts that have been coming out of Valve to describe the characters from their game Team Fortress 2. I can’t say I have much experience playing the game myself, but these films have gotten better every time they release a new one and today they finished the series with the release of “Meet the Pyro”.

While it is true that you have to have some understanding of the characters and the game in order for these videos to make sense, take my word for it when I say that this fits the character perfectly. I don’t think Valve could have done the characterization any better because it is flawless. For those who don’t know, the Pyro is notorious for not speaking because of his gas mask, so he normally just mumbles. Making his inner thoughts a mystery to the rest of the characters and revealing that his world is entirely different from reality finishes the series on a high note, and I must say it was worth the wait.

Before I get into “cinematography”, Valve also released a video revealing their Source Filmmaker, a film editing program that lets you make films in-game. Go ahead and take a look at what I mean:

Thus, anything within the shot including the lighting, posing and character placement, etc. is all done within the game, like this shot:

This is a visually impressive shot as it is, but knowing it was made within the game engine makes it even better. This is a 3D image, and not just in the sense that it is not a sketched cartoon. In the editor, the creator would be able to switch camera angles to reveal all sides of this image. Controlling all the details, such as the excellent use of lighting, within a 3D environment is impressive and innovative and I personally cannot wait to get my hands on the Source Filmmaker. Check out for more information!