Garry’s Mod is arguably the most advanced machinima platform of the Source games, and is able to load content from other Source games, with the exception of Left 4 Dead. There’s a huge number of addons available here.
What does Garry’s Mod offer over other Source games?
– Dynamic lighting.
– Dynamic props that can be easily moved.
– Quick to learn.
– Tons of addons to add additional features.
– All the map features of Episode 2 are supported including NPC entities.
Useful Addons for Machinima
Moving Camera [Download] – A basic and easy to use moving camera system.
Better Camera [Download] – Allows you to set the field of view quickly and easily.
NPC Scene [Download] – Allows you to easily select and play VCD files.
TF2 Machinima NPCs
I created some real basic TF2 NPCs for Garry’s Mod which you can download here. These are not NPCs in the traditional sense. All they do is stand in a basic t-pose. However, you can use them to play VCD files much like you would using bots in TF2.
– Set the launch options to use windowed mode (-sw paramater), otherwise alt tabbing may crash the program.
– Make binds to automate commonly used console commands.
– Force an NPC to loop a VCD: ent_fire !picker setexpressionoverride scenes\elfrun.vcd
– Alternate method of playing a VCD: actor_playscene engineer scenes/engie_test.vcd
– Change an NPC’s weapon: ent_fire engineer setbodygroup 1
– Disable an NPC’s shadow: ent_fire engineer disableshadow
– Turn off LOD: r_lod 0 (default is -1)
– Increase the ground detail distance: cl_detaildist 2400 (default is 1200)
– Turn off bloom: mat_bloomscale 0 (default is 1)
Using TF2 facial animations with Garry’s Mod
Copy a class phoneme files to the Gmod expressions directory (Steam\steamapps\username\garrysmod\garrysmod\expressions).
– This will override the default expressions so the the HL2 NPCs face movement will no longer work.
– Some TF2 classes seem to share phonemes. Heavy is unique.
– To use TF2 VCD files in Gmod, copy the VCD files, sound files, and animation files (if using custom animations) to the Gmod directories.
– TF2 class phoneme files are located in “team fortress 2 content.gcf” (example: root\tf\expressions\player\demo\phonemes\phonemes.txt)
Adding Garry’s Mod to the Source SDK
By default Garry’s Mod is not included in the Source SDK and will need to be manually added. This is a pretty simple process.
1) Make sure the Engine Version is set to “Source Engine MP”.
2) Select “Edit Game Configurations”.
3) Press the “Add” button.
4) Set the name to “Garry’s Mod” and enter your full Gmod path for the directory setting (it should end with \garrysmod\garrysmod).
In addition to changing the graphics settings to max (16x AF, 8x AA, ultra-high textures, etc), the visual quality can be increased even further with a few console commands. A number of configs with preset settings can be found here. Place in your Steam\steamapps\account name\garrysmod\garrysmod\cfg directory (or whatever game you’re using). While in game, open the console and type “exec configname.cfg”.