Team Fortress 2 has a unique visual style and a selection of original characters, which makes it a great choice for machinima. There are fewer command options than Half-Life 2, most noticeably the removal of NPC controls. TF2 content works well in Garry’s Mod, so if you’re looking for more functionality options you may want to consider using it for filming.
- Noclip – Typing “noclip” in the console will allow you to fly around the map.
- Demo Smoother – The Source engine has a recording feature which I wouldn’t recommend for machinima, but may be useful for certain situations.
- point_viewcontrol – Camera entities can be compiled into the map, however these are tricky to work with and require mapping knowledge to use.
TF2 has the ability to spawn bots, which can then play VCD files. However, the bots are very basic compared to HL2 NPCs. Movement can’t be scripted and multiple bots can’t be controlled at the same time. It’s more of a test feature, but still has it’s uses in machinima.
It’s a good idea to create binds for some of these frequently used commands.
- Remove the HUD and weapon: cl_drawhud 0; r_drawviewmodel 0
- Spawn a TF2 bot: sv_cheats 1;mp_teams_unbalance_limit 0;bot -team red -class soldier -name John
- Play a vcd file: tf_testvcd “scenes/toast.vcd”
- Use higher quality TF2 models: mat_picmip -10;mp_usehwmmodels 1;mp_usehwmvcds 1
- Change noclip speed: sv_noclipspeed 1
A few examples of TF2 maps with unique visual styles.