GMod Machinima - Looking for Starter Tips

Hi there. I’m not new to the community but I’ve been a lurker mainly for the entirety of my time here. Ever since I got into GMod (GMod 8, before we had to pay for it) I have wanted to do videos or machinima of various things in GMod but I had no idea where to start and even now still don’t.

Obviously there’s a set of basics I probably need to know but I have a few specific questions as well…

First I’d like to know how it is that some machinima directors have NPCs or ragdolls with custom dialogues and perfectly synced mouth movements to go with them? Did they make a lip sync animation or script that read the audio and mimicked it in-game (a la Oblivion)? Are they just REALLY good at face morphing?

The second goes somewhat hand in hand with the above question. How do you make an NPC or ragdoll move in a pre-defined path, for example if you have a city 17 survivor and you want him to walk from point A to point B but do a zig-zag to get there?

I was also wondering what is the ideal base percentage for face morphing on TF2 and L4D/L4D2 ragdolls? The TF2 characters’ heads go all wonky if the percentage goes above 0.1%…

I am assuming these are more advanced things to know but I pretty much know how to use the phys gun, I know how to turn off the beam and all that. I know how to use Fraps and edit clips. Really what I am looking for are some good tips from experienced users regarding machinima.

Keep in mind I am not trying to copy any of the fantastic stuff out there (100 Ways To Die, 100 More Ways To Die, GMod Idiot Box, etc). I just want to tinker…

Any help is welcomed and greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance…

  1. Face Poser (Usually)
  2. npc_select + npc_go commands (No idea about sequencing a path)
  3. Not sure, just try to type in numbers in the box instead of the slider with those TF2 characters.

Thank you. I’m still thinking there’s another method besides posing the face for dialogues though… Ponders

Source SDK, Audacity, and a lot of free time.

Source SDK will become your best friend for any kind of machinima work in Garry’s Mod/Source. It will allow you to make NPCs perform all sorts of actions as well as speak with custom dialogue. The catch is you need Windows XP to make lip synchronization easier. Without it, Source SDK Faceposer won’t properly recognize phonetics in an audio clip, and you’ll have to put the phonemes of the audio clip in yourself.

Edit: If you really want to go the extra mile, look up tutorials on Demo Smoother. Using the Demo Smoother will practically eliminate any need for cameras in Garry’s Mod.

cl_drawhud 0


Alright I’ll look into it. Is any well choreographed machinima done inside of GMod or is it just with external tools and the SDK?

Most of them are done in their own maps running off of a barebones copy of Source. Take a look at Clear Skies or Select-Start (If that machinima even exists anymore.)


However, Garry’s Mod can be used. But it’s easier (I think) to construct your own maps and then work on getting choreographed scenes in that.