.DMX File Extension

Source Filmmaker Project

Developer Valve
3.8  |  22 Votes

What is a DMX file?

A DMX file is an animation project created by Source Filmmaker (SFM), a tool that allows users to create animated movies using Valve Source engine game assets. It contains an editable movie set within a Team Fortress 2 map. DMX files may also contain recorded Team Fortress 2 gameplay.

More Information

SFM is a free program that Team Fortress 2 enthusiasts can use to create animated movies and still images starring the game's characters. To do so, users first import a Team Fortress 2 map, which serves as the setting for their movie. The user can then import and animate Team Fortress 2 characters and items, add sounds to their movie, and add visual effects to their movie.

When a user saves an in-progress SFM movie project, the project is saved as a DMX file. DMX files are comprised of a sequence of shots, which are themselves comprised of the elements mentioned above. Each DMX file's shot sequence appears as an editable timeline in SFM.

After a user finishes creating their SFM movie, they can export the movie as an .AVI video, or they can export one or more scenes from the movie as .TGA still images (DMX files are also referred to as sessions in SFM's documentation; DMX files and SFM session are the same thing).

NOTE: Valve also uses the .dmx file extension to save other content, such as game characters and items, animations, sounds, and visual effects.

How to open a DMX file

You can open an SFM file in Source Filmmaker (Windows). To do so, select File → Open... from the program's menu bar. Then, navigate to and open your SFM file.

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Programs that open DMX files

Data Model Exchange Format

Developer Valve
2.0  |  1 Vote

A DMX file may also be a model saved in the Data Model Exchange (DMX) format developed by Valve for various Source Engine and Quake-based games, such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike. It contains a text header with encoding and format name and version metadata, followed by ASCII text or binary data that describes the model, including mesh and animation information, for characters and objects in the game. DMX files replaced Valve Studiomdl Data (.SMD) files.

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Valve develops the DMX format, releasing different versions throughout the years. The most prominent versions include 1 (appears in Source 2007 and 2009 and Half-Life 2), 15 (appears in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2), and 18 (appears in Alien Swarm and Portal 2).

Gamers playing Source Engine and Quake-based games may find DMX files in the game data directories of games that support the format. However, they will likely only encounter the files if they are attempting to modify files that comprise gameplay.

NOTE: Source also uses the .dmx file extension for different types of formats, including Source Filmmaker Project files.

How to open a DMX file

Various Source Engine and Quake-based games load DMX models, including Team Fortress 2, Portal, and Counter-Strike. You can also open DMX files and manipulate them with the Dmxedit command-line tool in the Source SDK.

Programs that open or reference DMX files

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