PFM - Getting Started

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Q: How do I enter the Pragma Filmmaker beta?
A: You need to have Pragma installed to enter the beta. If you do not have a Pragma key yet, check out the pinned messages on the Discord server (, there are usually some available. You can also download a stand-alone version (non-steam) here, but it does not include an auto-updater!
Once Pragma is installed, follow these steps to access the Filmmaker beta:
Filmmaker access instructions.png

NOTE: If you already had an older version of Pragma installed, you should also follow these steps, otherwise you may run into various issues:

  • Go to your Pragma installation directory ("/Steam/steamapps/common/Pragma")
  • Remove the "cache" directory
  • Open the "addons" directory
  • Remove both the "imported" and the "converted" directories

Q: I already have a Patreon preview-key, should I still enter the beta?
A: No, the preview-version is always the most up-to-date one, the beta does not include anything that isn't also part of the preview-version.

Q: How do I start the Filmmaker?
A: To start the Filmmaker, simply start Pragma, click "New Game" and select "Filmmaker" from the list of gamemodes, as well as the map you wish to load, then click "Start Game".

Q: What can you do with the Pragma Filmmaker so far?
A: The Filmmaker is currently in an early beta-stage. You can not create or edit projects yet and most of the interface is still just a placeholder. What you can do is import SFM projects, render raytraced images with Cycles and playback with VR, but these features are still heavily WIP as well.

Q: I found a bug/I have a feature request, where can I report it?
A: Please report any bugs you find on the Discord server.

Q: The performance on some maps/some SFM projects is really bad.
A: The beta currently has some of the optimizations disabled, which can cause poor performance on large/complex maps, or maps with water. Try to stick to small maps/projects for now.

Q: How do I load Source engine assets and where do I have to copy the asset files to?
A: If the Source engine assets are located within one of your installed Source engine games, Pragma should be able to locate them automatically and you don't have to copy any files at all. You can also specify custom Source game mount directories by editing the "mount_source_game_paths.txt"-file in "Pragma/cfg" and adding the paths relative to "steamapps/common" in that file, separated by new-lines. Example:

Team Fortress 2/tf
Half-Life 2/ep2

To load a Source engine map, enter the "New Game" menu from the main menu, type the name of the map into the "Map" field (e.g. "cs_italy") and press "Start Game". This will automatically convert the Source engine map into Pragma's own format, including all of the assets (models, materials, particles, etc.). This may take a long time the first time for every map you load (depending on the map's complexity and size), but should be much faster in the future once the conversion has been fully completed. After the map has been loaded, the game may still run very slowly for a few more minutes because some of the conversion processes may still be pending.

Q: The workshop addons don't work properly
A: Most of the workshop addons are currently not compatible with the beta-branch of the Engine, but they will be updated in the future.

Q: Can I use raytracing with Cycles outside of the Filmmaker?
A: You can take raytraced screenshots ingame using the following console command:

screenshot -mode raytracing -samples 1024 -denoise -format png

The higher the sample rate, the higher the quality (at the cost of rendering time). You can also change the resolution using the "-width" and "-height" parameters.