What can Blender do that Source Filmmaker cannot?

I’m trying to figure out what advantages Blender has over Source Filmmaker (SFM). I’m looking for power features. This would exclude optimization and GUI features for the most part. Doing something better than SFM is nice to know but really the big focus of the question is for features that are simply impossible to do in SFM but able to be done in Blender.

I’m looking for power features
What feature are you talking about ?
What is SFM preventing you from doing ?
What do you want to do ? Maybe blender is also unsuitable. We don’t know give such a vague post

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Other Software”

It’s also worth mentioning that ‘versus’ threads are a violation of our forum rules since they frequently devolve into flamewars. That said, Blender and Source Filmmaker are really two different classes of software. In Blender you have the ability (and, on some level, the necessity) to build everything from the ground up and produce animation that can be rendered offline (the more typical workflow, using Cycles or Blender Internal renderers) or in real time (using the Blender Game Engine). AFAIK, Source Engine only works in real time and is kind of limited in the kind of assets you can produce directly in it. I know that there have been a few people with a combined workflow: they’ll produce assets in Blender (and/or other tools) and then pull them into Source Engine for real time playback.

I wasn’t trying to make a vs type thread. If it appears that way I apologize. I wish to find out how SFM and Blender are different in the way it counts. Finding out if there is something that SFM can do that Blender cannot is where I see it counting the most.

The only meaningful interpretation of such a question … depends on you. That is to say: “your” project, “your” constraints, how “your” customer is presently breathing down “your” neck. :spin:

Software products really don’t “compete with” one another. In each and every case, the designers first define “a target,” then endeavor to hit it. If they manage to satisfy their customers, then they are “happy.”

“Meanwhile … there’s someone like you.” :eyebrowlift: You seem to have a project-requirement that product-X “sort-of satisfies,” but with a few glaring holes that product-Y does much better … for you.

“There’s nothing too surprising about that, aye …” but nevertheless it is your problem, not any sort of generic one. You need to carefully sort-out the requirements of your project, then match them up case-by-case with the relative strengths and weaknesses of all products/tools available to you. In order to make … your “project-appropriate decision.”

I suspect the list of features of both programs is so extensive that it’s gonna be a little hard to do a full comparison; perhaps if you ask about specific things it might be a bit easier to get people to answer your question.

Hi, after a short view on the FAQ page of Source Filmmaker I think it is a complete different software.
It seams it is used to make movies from game assets based on Team Fortress world.
Blender is a software to create game assets for example.
If I understand correctly you need a 3D package like Blender or Maya if you like to make money with created movies with Source Filmmaker.
Also it is Windows only, for me also important.

Cheers, mib

I don’t have any particular project in mind that I asked this question for. There was simply no clear documentation on the subject that could pinpoint all of the hard limitations. The questions appear to need more clarifying. Eliminating things such as modeling, texturing, ect. What are the items related to animation that One program can do that the other cannot and vice versa?

The software used is not important, achieving the goal within the parameters set should be your focus. Without defining the goal or parameters, it is impossible to know what features of individual tools are important or relevant.

State the goal you want to achieve and the considerations involved, then ask if anyone has been down this path, maybe someone has already done the hard work, and willing to save you the effort.

I have actually been down this path before, as my goal was to make 3D parody animations, something both tools are capable of doing. However, like everyone else is saying, they are completely different tools. Don’t get me wrong, they are both amazing tools which do really cool things for their users, but hopefully I can clarify some of the differences specifically in “Parody animations”.

The number one difference you will find between the two packages from a capability standpoint is the render. SFM is a cutscene creation tool built off a well-established game engine. It’s like Mario Maker in the world of Mario Games. You can get really creative, and the tool is really powerful, but you are limited to the art assets available. Likewise, SFM limits you to the engine’s rendering capabilities. It looks great for a lot of cartoony series, such as TF2, Mario, Sonic, and Splatoon to name a few, but if you wanted to go beyond that, you might find the tool somewhat limiting (more on that later). The other key difference is the target workflow. SFM pretty much replaced machinimas, because it natively accomplished the same goals in a much more straightfoward fashion. One thing it does is allow you to build a rough animation by playing the game. While you can do the in Blender, it isn’t as intuitive because Blender targets a wider audience than just gamers. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think SFM’s lip-syncing tool is more automated than even the best of Blender’s plugins, as it doesn’t require someone to type in the script. However, I think that’s the limit, whereas you can get much more expressive lip syncs manually in Blender. Lastly, game art assets are much more readily available in SFM. So if what you see done in SFM videos accomplishes the visual quality you desire, SFM might be a faster approach to getting your videos finished.

However, if you are looking to expand beyond those videos, as was my case, Blender gives you an open canvas to work on. It takes more effort to get started on a blank canvas than an environment where most of the assets are readily available and much of the work is already done, but Blender has the tools to make it worth it. In my case, I wanted wind physics to blow realistic grass and cause reflections in a character’s fur. That is a lot of calculations for a real time game engine, but Blender was developed expecting those heavy scenes. Additionally, I have more flexibility in Blender for the types of rigs I build. I built a rig with bones, that moved a softbody curve which moved the actual deforming bones. This allows me to mix physics and animation for “relaxed” movement, which I find intuitive. I don’t think SFM has that kind of flexibility. And of course there are many other tools in Blender too. Corrective smooth saved a poor weight painting job. I can build a city with hair particles. I can simulate a little girl’s dress as she twirls around next to her furry friend. I can morph appendages into swords and animate custom particles to a very specific behavior. And while SFM might be able to do some of these things, it can’t do everything. And I haven’t even started on Cycles materials and shaders or even Freestyle.

Hopefully that breaks things down enough for you. They are both amazing tools. SFM is designed for gamers to get quicker results, but is restricted by the game engine. Blender is a general purpose, more powerful tool that can achieve better results at the expense of time and energy. Both are amazing tools developed by amazing developers, and both achieve the goals of their target users. But like everyone else said, what a person should use ultimately depends on what they want to do and what quality they want to achieve.

Great, that confirms everything I thought based on my own research but I didn’t see the info recorded online anywhere. I wanted to confirm this one more time and, at the same time, create a record for others to be able to use when they research online. Thanks.