Valve has announced Source Filmmaker, a free Steam application that will let users make their own Team Fortress 2 movies.
It's the same tech the studio uses to make its own cinematics, including the wonderful Meet the Team series. The application claims to reduce the work of an entire animation studio into a single gaming PC.
Source Filmmaker will only ship with support for making Team Fortress 2 movies, but Valve says that "users familiar with modding with the Source engine will be able to mod the SFM build of TF2 to create new worlds."
"The goal of the SFM was to develop a story telling tool that allowed us to create computer animated movies more efficiently, and with greater creative freedom," said Bay Raitt, designer at Valve. "Over the past five years, we've produced more than 50 animated shorts with the SFM. The Source Filmmaker will allow our community to create their own movies in Team Fortress 2 and in their own Source SDK-created mods."
Source Filmmaker is currently in closed beta (you can sign-up for a chance to get access) and is scheduled to be released for free later this year.
Here's a clip of the program in action: