How Microsoft Open-Sourced 3D Movie Maker in 2022

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3D Movie Maker is a creativity program that allows users to create 3D animated movies through a simple user interface using a wide assortment of included scenes, 3D models, sounds and music. Released by Microsoft in 1995, this software was originally designed for kids, but it has also attracted a cult following of adult fans who use it to create surreal or ironic videos.


Logo of 3D Movie Maker with the text Open Source below it

In May 2022, Microsoft surprised everyone by releasing the original source code of 3D Movie Maker under the MIT license as open source. This means that anyone can access, modify and distribute the code for free, without any restrictions. This is a great opportunity for software preservationists, enthusiasts and developers who want to keep this software alive and improve it for future generations.


Why did Microsoft open-source 3D Movie Maker?


The idea of open-sourcing 3D Movie Maker came from Foone Turing, a self-described “hardware/software necromancer” who is known for their projects involving old and obscure technology. Foone asked Microsoft publicly on Twitter to release the code, and Microsoft agreed to do so after coordinating with their legal department and developer relations teams.


Collage of images showing the original CD cover of 3D Movie Maker, the GitHub logo, and the BRender logo


Foone explained that they wanted to open-source 3D Movie Maker because it uses BRender, a graphics engine developed by Argonaut Software that was also used in games like FX Fighter and Carmageddon. Foone hoped that by releasing the BRender code, it could lead to other games and applications becoming open-source too, or at least easier to port to newer platforms. Argonaut Software is probably best known as the developer behind Star Fox on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, as well as the Super FX graphics acceleration chip that was used in nearly every 3D SNES game.


What are the benefits of open-sourcing 3D Movie Maker?


By open-sourcing 3D Movie Maker, Microsoft has given a gift to the community of fans and developers who love this software. Some of the benefits of open-sourcing 3D Movie Maker are:


It allows anyone to study how the software works and learn from its design and implementation.


It enables anyone to fix bugs, add features, improve performance and compatibility, and customize the software according to their preferences and needs.


It fosters collaboration and innovation among people who share a common interest and passion for 3D animation and creativity.


It preserves the software for posterity and ensures that it can run on modern hardware and software without relying on emulation or virtualization.


It increases the visibility and popularity of the software and attracts new users and creators.


Screenshot of 3D Movie Maker showing a scene with some characters and models


What are some of the projects based on 3D Movie Maker?


Since Microsoft open-sourced 3D Movie Maker, several projects have emerged based on its code. Some of them are:


3DMMForever: A modernized version of 3D Movie Maker that aims to include the original feature set, UI, kidspace, and graphics, but also build with modern open source tools, run on multiple platforms including MacOS and Linux, ensure movie file compatibility with the original 3DMM, and integrate v3dmm (a tool that allows importing custom models into 3DMM).


3DMMPlus: A more ambitious version of 3D Movie Maker that aims to add new features and enhancements that go beyond the original scope of the software. Some of the planned features include higher resolution support, more scene types, more actions and effects, more sound options, more export formats, scripting support, multiplayer mode, VR support, etc.


Microsoft-3D-Movie-Maker: The original source code repository released by Microsoft. It is read-only and will not be updated or modified by Microsoft. It is meant for historical reference and anyone can fork it and experiment with it.


Photo of Foone Turing wearing a 3D Movie Maker t-shirt and holding a sign that says Thank you Microsoft


Conclusion


3D Movie Maker is a classic software that has inspired many people to express their creativity through 3D animation. Thanks to Microsoft’s generous decision to open-source it, this software can now be enjoyed by more people on more platforms, and can also be improved and enhanced by the community. This is a great example of how open source can benefit both the creators and the users of software, and how it can preserve the legacy and culture of software history.


FAQs


Is 3D Movie Maker free?


Yes, 3D Movie Maker is now free and open source. You can download the original source code from GitHub or one of the projects based on it. You can also find the original installation files online, but you may need to use an emulator or a virtual machine to run them on modern systems.


How do you make a movie 3D?


To make a movie 3D, you need to use a software that can create and render 3D graphics, such as 3D Movie Maker. With 3D Movie Maker, you can make a movie 3D by following these steps:


Launch the software and choose a scene type from the menu. You can choose from different genres, such as action, comedy, horror, etc.

Drag and drop 3D models from the library into the scene. You can choose from different characters, props, vehicles, etc.

Use the mouse to move, rotate, scale and animate the models. You can also use the keyboard to enter text or record your own voice.

Add music and sound effects from the library or import your own files.

Adjust the camera angle and lighting to create different perspectives and moods.

Preview your movie and edit it as you like. You can add transitions, effects, titles, credits, etc.

Save your movie as a file or export it as a video.


Who made 3D Movie Maker?


3D Movie Maker was made by Microsoft in 1995. It was developed in accordance with Microsoft’s broader ambitions towards multimedia software in conjunction with the release of its then-new Windows 95 home computer operating system. It was built on BRender, a software rasterized 3D graphics engine created by Argonaut Software.


What format is a 3D movie in?


A 3D movie is a movie that uses stereoscopic techniques to create the illusion of depth and perspective. There are different formats for 3D movies, such as anaglyph (red-cyan glasses), polarized (passive glasses), active shutter (active glasses), autostereoscopic (no glasses), etc. The format of a 3D movie depends on how it was filmed and how it is displayed.


A 3D movie made with 3D Movie Maker is not a stereoscopic movie, but a regular 2D movie that uses 3D graphics. It is saved as a .3mm file, which is a proprietary format that can only be played by 3D Movie Maker or compatible software. It can also be exported as an .avi file, which is a common video format that can be played by most media players.


3D Movie Maker Download?


You can download 3D Movie Maker from various sources online, such as GitHub, archive.org, or other websites that host old software. However, you should be careful about the legality and safety of these downloads, as they may not be authorized by Microsoft or may contain viruses or malware. You should also check the compatibility of the software with your system, as it may not run properly on modern hardware and software without emulation or virtualization.


3D Movie Maker GitHub?


GitHub is a platform that hosts open source projects and allows developers to collaborate and share code. Microsoft has released the original source code of 3D Movie Maker on GitHub under the MIT license as open source. This means that anyone can access, modify and distribute the code for free, without any restrictions. This is a great opportunity for software preservationists, enthusiasts and developers who want to keep this software alive and improve it for future generations.


There are also other projects based on 3D Movie Maker’s code on GitHub, such as 3DMMForever and 3DMMPlus. These projects aim to modernize and enhance 3D Movie Maker with new features and compatibility.


3D Movie Maker Windows 10?


3D Movie Maker was designed for Windows 95 and may not run properly on Windows 10 without emulation or virtualization. However, there are some ways to try to run it on Windows 10, such as:


Using compatibility mode: Right-click on the executable file of 3D Movie Maker and select Properties. Go to the Compatibility tab and check the box for “Run this program in compatibility mode for”. Choose Windows XP or an earlier version from the drop-down menu. Click OK and try to run the program.


Using DOSBox: DOSBox is an emulator that can run DOS-based programs on modern systems. You can download DOSBox from its official website and follow the instructions to install and configure it. You will need to mount the folder where you have installed or extracted 3D Movie Maker and run the program from there.


Using a virtual machine: A virtual machine is a software that can create and run a virtual computer with a different operating system inside your current system. You can use a virtual machine software like VirtualBox or VMware to create a virtual Windows 95 or Windows XP machine and install and run 3D Movie Maker on it.


Alternatively, you can use one of the projects based on 3D Movie Maker’s code that are compatible with Windows 10, such as 3DMMForever or 3DMMPlus.


3D Movie Maker Online?


There is no official online version of 3D Movie Maker, but there are some websites that claim to offer an online version or a similar service. However, you should be careful about the legality and safety of these websites, as they may not be authorized by Microsoft or may contain viruses or malware. You should also check the quality and functionality of these websites, as they may not have the same features and performance as the original software.


Some examples of websites that claim to offer an online version or a similar service of 3D Movie Maker are:


3dmm.com: This is a fan website that hosts a community of 3D Movie Maker users and creators. It offers downloads, tutorials, forums, movies, and other resources related to 3D Movie Maker. It also has an online movie player that can play .3mm files in your browser.


MakeWebVideo.com: This is a website that allows you to create animated videos online using templates and stock footage. It is not related to 3D Movie Maker, but it has some similar features, such as drag and drop interface, text and voice input, music and sound effects, etc. It is a paid service that charges per video.


Animaker.com: This is another website that allows you to create animated videos online using templates and stock footage. It is also not related to 3D Movie Maker, but it has some similar features, such as drag and drop interface, text and voice input, music and sound effects, etc. It has a free plan with limited features and a paid plan with more features.


3D Movie Maker Characters?


3D Movie Maker comes with a library of 40 pre-made characters that you can use in your movies. These characters are divided into four categories: humans, animals, monsters, and robots. Each character has its own name, personality, voice, and actions. You can also customize the appearance of the characters by changing their colors, clothes, accessories, etc.


Some examples of the characters included in 3D Movie Maker are:


Humans: Billy (a boy), Melissa (a girl), Nick (a teenager), Lisa (a teenager), Mike (a man), Jane (a woman), etc.


Animals: Doggy (a dog), Kitty (a cat), Bunny (a rabbit), Horsey (a horse), Birdy (a bird), Fishy (a fish), etc.


Monsters: Dracula (a vampire), Franky (a Frankenstein’s monster), Wolfy (a werewolf), Mummy (a mummy), Ghosty (a ghost), Zombi (a zombie), etc.


Robots: Robo (a robot), UFO (an alien spaceship), Rocket (a rocket), Tanky (a tank), Copter (a helicopter), Carro (a car), etc.


You can also import your own custom characters into 3D Movie Maker using v3dmm, a tool that allows you to convert 3D models into .v3d files that can be used by 3D Movie Maker.


3D Movie Maker Software?


3D Movie Maker is a software that allows users to create 3D animated movies through a simple user interface using a wide assortment of included scenes, 3D models, sounds and music. Released by Microsoft in 1995, this software was originally designed for kids, but it has also attracted a cult following of adult fans who use it to create surreal or ironic videos.


Some of the features of 3D Movie Maker are:


It has a drag and drop interface that lets you place, move, rotate, scale and animate 3D models with ease.


It has a library of over 800 scenes that cover different genres, such as action, comedy, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.


It has a library of over 40 pre-made characters that have their own names, personalities, voices and actions. You can also customize their appearance by changing their colors, clothes, accessories, etc.


It has a library of over 300 sounds and music tracks that you can use in your movies. You can also record and import your own sound files.


It has a camera tool that lets you adjust the angle and lighting of the scene. You can also use different camera effects, such as zoom, pan, tilt, etc.


It has an editing tool that lets you preview and edit your movie. You can add transitions, effects, titles, credits, etc.


It has a kidspace that lets you explore a movie theater where you can find tutorials, inspiration, and other fun activities.


It has a movie player that lets you play your movies or watch movies made by others.


3D Movie Maker is compatible with Windows 95 and later versions, but it may not run properly on modern systems without emulation or virtualization. However, there are some projects based on 3D Movie Maker’s code that are compatible with modern systems, such as 3DMMForever or 3DMMPlus.


3D Movie Maker Download Windows 10?


To download 3D Movie Maker for Windows 10, you can use one of the projects based on 3D Movie Maker’s code that are compatible with Windows 10, such as 3DMMForever or 3DMMPlus. These projects aim to modernize and enhance 3D Movie Maker with new features and compatibility.


You can also download the original source code of 3D Movie Maker from GitHub or one of the original installation files from online sources, but you may need to use an emulator or a virtual machine to run them on Windows 10.


3D Movie Maker Download Windows 11?


To download 3D Movie Maker for Windows 11, you can use the same methods as for Windows 10. You can use one of the projects based on 3D Movie Maker’s code that are compatible with Windows 11, such as 3DMMForever or 3DMMPlus. These projects aim to modernize and enhance 3D Movie Maker with new features and compatibility.


You can also download the original source code of 3D Movie Maker from GitHub or one of the original installation files from online sources, but you may need to use an emulator or a virtual machine to run them on Windows 11.


3D Movie Maker 2023?


There is no official announcement or confirmation of a new version of 3D Movie Maker for 2023. However, there are some fan-made projects that are based on the original source code of 3D Movie Maker and aim to improve and update it for modern systems and platforms. Some of these projects are:


3DMMForever: A modernized version of 3D Movie Maker that aims to include the original feature set, UI, kidspace, and graphics, but also build with modern open source tools, run on multiple platforms including MacOS and Linux, ensure movie file compatibility with the original 3DMM, and integrate v3dmm (a tool that allows importing custom models into 3DMM).


3DMMPlus: A more ambitious version of 3D Movie Maker that aims to add new features and enhancements that go beyond the original scope of the software. Some of the planned features include higher resolution support, more scene types, more actions and effects, more sound options, more export formats, scripting support, multiplayer mode, VR support, etc.


These projects are still in development and may not be released by 2023. However, they show the potential and interest of the community in keeping this software alive and relevant.


3D Movie Maker 2024?


There is no official announcement or confirmation of a new version of 3D Movie Maker for 2024. However, there are some fan-made projects that are based on the original source code of 3D Movie Maker and aim to improve and update it for modern systems and platforms. Some of these projects are:


3DMMForever: A modernized version of 3D Movie Maker that aims to include the original feature set, UI, kidspace, and graphics, but also build with modern open source tools, run on multiple platforms including MacOS and Linux, ensure movie file compatibility with the original 3DMM, and integrate v3dmm (a tool that allows importing custom models into 3DMM).


3DMMPlus: A more ambitious version of 3D Movie Maker that aims to add new features and enhancements that go beyond the original scope of the software. Some of the planned features include higher resolution support, more scene types, more actions and effects, more sound options, more export formats, scripting support, multiplayer mode, VR support, etc.


These projects are still in development and may not be released by 2024. However, they show the potential and interest of the community.

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