The Meet the Team videos are a series of computer-animated shorts starring the various classes of Team Fortress 2. Most of them were released alongside the PC-version's class updates, with the exception of Meet the Heavy, which was released alongside Team Fortress 2, and the unreleased video Meet the Pyro.
About the Meet the Team series Edit
The clips have their origins as audition scripts for the voice actors who played the likes of the Heavy, the Sniper and the rest of the characters in the game. The first video in the series, May 2007's Meet the Heavy, is almost word-for-word what Valve used to cast actor Gary Schwartz. The video was made on the heels of a Portal video used to promote the personality of that game. After the first short was released, viewers praised both the quality of the animation and the humour of the script, likening it to productions by professional animation studios such as Pixar. Only 'Meet the Pyro' has yet to be released. Robin Walker has stated that the videos "tie in to the strategy we have with TF2 of continually updating the service ... it makes a lot more sense." "What the videos do is give ways for people who don't even have Team Fortress 2 yet to get some entertainment from the game. And that may turn them into TF2 players and customers."  The videos were not released for promotional purposes and fan service alone but also influenced the game itself. Eric Wolpaw stated that "It helped everyone on the team get a little bit more in tune with who that particular character was, so we just kept knocking them out and they kept on being popular."
The videos also helped the game's technology. Valve used Meet the Heavy to test the facial animation system the studio was developing for Team Fortress 2. According to Walker, the new system, "allowed our characters to have a much greater range of expressions than we were able to do in Half-Life… We wanted a test case for that." Ultimately, what they got to work in the Meet the Team videos is what would display for players running the game itself at its highest settings. Walker recalled that team's pleasure about "the expression on the Heavy at the end when he's shooting and screaming." It was no fake. "It wasn't this thing that the coolest bit in [the movie] was something that would happen in the game."
Source Filmmaker Edit
The tool used to create Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Team" videos as well as Left 4 Dead's introduction video is the Source Filmmaker, an application that runs inside the engine. It allows users to record themselves many times over in the same scene, creating the illusion of many participants, as well as supporting a wide range of cinematographic effects and techniques such as motion blur and depth of field. (Motion blur has now been added to the games themselves, though only when the view is moving at high speeds - not per-object as in the film-maker). The tool also allows the use of extra-high quality textures for the classes as seen in the Meet the Team videos. This tool was leaked, being only possible to use with the public beta version of TF2. Valve have stated an intention to release the tool publicly at some point in the future. Many videos using the Source Filmmaker can be found on YouTube.