Help:Unusual renders

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This Unusual Renders tutorial will show you how to render images of Unusual effects in Source Filmmaker, for use in update or Unusual related pages. Only minimal Source Filmmaker knowledge is required.

Getting Started

The following process will provide you with all of the tools you need to open the original project file use for renders from late 2019 and onward. Vanilla SFM is missing a lot of files required for the project to work, and also uses incorrect versions of other files. Following these instructions should fix all of that.

  1. First off, download SFM if you haven't already. You'll also want GCFScape and VTFEdit.
  2. Once SFM is installed, you'll first want to download the original project file used for current renders. Place this file in \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\elements\sessions.
  3. Before you open the project file, you need to download all of the files it uses firsts. Currently, two SFM Workshop files are used to fix the Molten Mallard particle and fix Weapon Unusuals.
  4. Open \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk with GCFScape. Open the particles folder and extract every file ending in _unusuals.pcf to your desktop. As of the December 16, 2019 Patch, this should leave you with:
    • halloween2015_unusuals.pcf
    • halloween2016_unusuals.pcf
    • halloween2018_unusuals.pcf
    • halloween2019_unusuals.pcf
    • invasion_unusuals.pcf
    • smissmas2019_unusuals.pcf
  5. Move the particle files to \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\particles. If this filepath doesn't exist yet, create it.
  6. Open \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk again. Extract the materials\effects folder to your desktop.
  7. Open \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_textures_dir.vpk. Extract the materials\effects folder to your desktop. This should merge it with the already existing folder and there should now be an assortment of .vtf and .vmt files.
  8. Delete \SourceFilmmaker\game\tf\materials\effects and replace it with the effects folder from your desktop.
  9. In your new effects folder, find the following files and do as instructed:
    • Find diamond_glow.vmt and replace it with this.
    • Find debris_chunk_add.vmt and replace it with this.
    • Find wispy_smoke_add.vmt and replace it with this.
  10. Open \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk once more. Extract the materials\unusual folder to your desktop.
  11. Open \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_textures_dir.vpk. Extract the materials\unusual folder to your desktop. This will merge it with the existing folder.
  12. Place the unusual folder in \SourceFilmmaker\game\tf\materials

Congratulations! Your SFM files should be ready to go for rendering Unusual effects.

Rendering Unusual effects

Below are three tutorials on how to render the different Unusual types: Cosmetic, Taunt, and Weapon Unusual effects.

Cosmetic Unusuals

Using the following process, you can render Cosmetic Unusual effects in the current format. For this tutorial, we'll be rendering the Sparkling Lights Unusual effect.

Adding the particle

  1. If a new Unusual series has been added to the game, you'll first want to check the Unusual files by opening \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk with GCFScape and then opening the particles folder. If it's an existing particle, find item_fx.pcf instead.
    • New Unusual sets should normally be found with the suffix _unusuals.pcf.
    • If there is a new Unusual set, extract it from GCFScape into \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\particles.
  2. Switch over to SFM and set your camera to cam_cosmetic.
  3. Right click on the animation set editor. Create an animation set for a new particle system.
  4. There will be a few fields for you to fill out.
    • Set the definition file to the .pcf of your Unusual effect set.
    • We'll ignore the definition for now.
    • Set the start time to 0.
    • Set all other fields to 999.

Positioning the particle

  1. Switch to the motion editor in the timeline window.
  2. Find the "transform - pos" field of your particle system. In respective order, change each 0 to -3.32202 160.479 1.57848. It should now be in the same position as the particle system named REGULAR. If not, manually move your particle system to be as close to REGULAR as possible.
  3. In the timeline window, move your current time from 0 to anything below 0, and then to 10 in that exact order.
    • You can get to 10 on the exact frame by using your arrow keys to navigate frame-by-frame through the timeline.
    • 10 is the most used on Unusual effect images, but can be adjusted as needed if 10 isn't the best frame for your render.

Finalizing the particle

  1. Right click your particle in the animation set editor. Go to Show in Element Viewer > Particle System
  2. Replace the particleSystemType field with your particle's filename. In the case of Sparkling Lights, it would be unusual_sparkling_lights_parent02.
  3. Right click on your viewport window, and go to Render Settings. Your settings should match the picture's.
  4. Your particle should now be ready to export. Click on File at the top right, and export as a poster. The image size should be 1920x1080.
  5. When your render exports, it can be found in \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\elements\renders. Use your favorite image editing software to crop the width to 1080. The image will now be 1080x1080 and is ready for use on the Wiki!

Taunt Unusuals

Using the following process, you can render Taunt Unusual effects in the current TF Wiki format. For this tutorial, we'll be rendering the Arctic Aurora Unusual effect.

Adding the particle

  1. If a new Unusual series has been added to the game, you'll first want to check the Unusual files by opening \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk with GCFScape and then opening the particles folder. If it's an existing particle, find taunt_fx.pcf instead.
    • New Unusual sets should normally be found with the suffix _unusuals.pcf.
    • If there is a new Unusual set, extract it from GCFScape into \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\particles.
  2. Switch over to SFM and set your camera to cam_taunt.
  3. Right click on the animation set editor. Create an animation set for a new particle system.
  4. There will be a few fields for you to fill out.
    • Set the definition file to the .pcf of your Unusual effect set.
    • We'll ignore the definition for now.
    • Set the start time to 0.
    • Set all other fields to 999.

Positioning the particle

  1. Switch to the motion editor in the timeline window.
  2. Find the "transform - pos" field of your particle system. In respective order, change each 0 to 322.465 -3.76758 -64.2641. It should now be in the same position as the particle system named REGULAR_TAUNT. If not, manually move your particle system to be as close to REGULAR_TAUNT as possible.
  3. In the timeline window, move your current time from 0 to anything below 0, and then to 10 in that exact order.
    • You can get to 10 on the exact frame by using your arrow keys to navigate frame-by-frame through the timeline.
    • 10 is the most used on Unusual effect images, but can be adjusted as needed if 10 isn't the best frame for your render.

Finalizing the particle

  1. Right click your particle in the animation set editor. Go to Show in Element Viewer > Particle System
  2. Replace the particleSystemType field with your particle's filename. In the case of Arctic Aurora, it would be utaunt_snowring_space_parent.
  3. Right click on your viewport window, and go to Render Settings. Your settings should match the picture's.
  4. Your particle should now be ready to export. Click on File at the top right, and export as a poster. The image size should be 1920x1080.
  5. When your render exports, it can be found in \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\elements\renders. Use your favorite image editing software to crop the width to 1080. The image will now be 1080x1080 and is ready for use on the Wiki!

Normal Weapon Unusuals

Using the following process, you can render normal Weapon Unusual effects in the current TF Wiki format. Normal Weapon Unusuals only use 1 control point, and the effect does not "trail up" the weapon. For this tutorial, we'll be rendering the Cool Unusual effect.

Adding the particle

  1. If a new Unusual has been added to the game, you'll first want to check the Unusual files by opening \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk with GCFScape and then opening the particles folder.
    • New Unusual sets should normally be found with the prefix weapon_unusual_.
    • If there is a new Unusual, extract it from GCFScape into \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\particles.
  2. Switch over to SFM and set your camera to cam_weapon.
  3. Right click on the animation set editor. Create an animation set for a new particle system.
  4. There will be a few fields for you to fill out.
    • Set the definition file to the .pcf of your Unusual effect set.
    • We'll ignore the definition for now.
    • Set the start time to 0.
    • Set all other fields to 999.

Positioning the particle

  1. Switch to the motion editor in the timeline window.
  2. Find the "transform - pos" field of your particle system. In respective order, change each 0 to 49 20.5 -23.25. It should now be in the same position as the particle system named WEP_HOT. If not, manually move your particle system to be as close to WEP_HOT as possible.
  3. Find the "transform - rot" field of your particle system. In respective order, change each 0 to -2.63369 13.6412 -127.413. It should now be in the same angle as WEP_HOT. If not, manually move your particle system to be as close to WEP_HOT as possible.
  4. In the timeline window, move your current time from 0 to anything below 0, and then to 10 in that exact order.
    • You can get to 10 on the exact frame by using your arrow keys to navigate frame-by-frame through the timeline.
    • 10 is the most used on Unusual effect images, but can be adjusted as needed if 10 isn't the best frame for your render.

Finalizing the particle

  1. Right click your particle in the animation set editor. Go to Show in Element Viewer > Particle System
  2. Replace the particleSystemType field with your particle's filename. In the case of Cool, it would be weapon_unusual_cool_shotgun_vm.
  3. Right click on your viewport window, and go to Render Settings. Your settings should match the picture's.
  4. Your particle should now be ready to export. Click on File at the top right, and export as a poster. The image size should be 1920x1080.
  5. When your render exports, it can be found in \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\elements\renders. Use your favorite image editing software to crop the width to 1080. The image will now be 1080x1080 and is ready for use on the Wiki!

Dynamic Weapon Unusuals

Using the following process, you can render dynamic Weapon Unusual effects in the current TF Wiki format. Dynamic Weapon Unusuals normally use 4 control points, which allows the effect to "trail up" the weapon. For this tutorial, we'll be rendering the Isotope Unusual effect.

Adding the particle

  1. If a new Unusual has been added to the game, you'll first want to check the Unusual files by opening \Team Fortress 2\tf\tf2_misc_dir.vpk with GCFScape and then opening the particles folder.
    • New Unusual sets should normally be found with the prefix weapon_unusual_.
    • If there is a new Unusual, extract it from GCFScape into \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\particles.
  2. Switch over to SFM and set your camera to cam_weapon.
  3. Right click on the animation set editor. Create an animation set for a new particle system.
  4. There will be a few fields for you to fill out.
    • Set the definition file to the .pcf of your Unusual effect set.
    • Set the definition to weapon_unusual_(effect)_shotgun_vm. For this tutorial, we'll be doing weapon_unusual_isotope_shotgun_vm.
    • Set the start time to 0.
    • Set all other fields to 999.

Positioning the particle

  1. Switch to the motion editor in the timeline window.
  2. Find the "transform - pos" field of your particle system. In respective order, change each 0 to 49 20.5 -23.25. It should now be in the same position as the particle system named WEP_ENERGY. If not, manually move your particle system to be as close to WEP_ENERGY as possible.
  3. Find the "controlPoint4 - pos" field of your particle system. In respective order, change each 0 to 15 20 0. It should now be in the same trail position as WEP_ENERGY. If not, manually move your particle system to be as close to WEP_ENERGY as possible.
  4. In the timeline window, move your current time from 0 to anything below 0, and then to 10 in that exact order.
    • You can get to 10 on the exact frame by using your arrow keys to navigate frame-by-frame through the timeline.
    • 10 is the most used on Unusual effect images, but can be adjusted as needed if 10 isn't the best frame for your render.

Finalizing the particle

  1. Right click on your viewport window, and go to Render Settings. Your settings should match the picture's.
  2. Your particle should now be ready to export. Click on File at the top right, and export as a poster. The image size should be 1920x1080.
  3. When your render exports, it can be found in \SourceFilmmaker\game\usermod\elements\renders. Use your favorite image editing software to crop the width to 1080. The image will now be 1080x1080 and is ready for use on the Wiki!