Animation maker

Microsoft makes 3D Movie Maker open-source 27 years later

Microsoft opened the code for 3D Movie Maker, an animation program it originally released in 1995. If you don’t remember 3D Movie Maker, that’s understandable, because it was a relatively short-lived.

3D Movie Maker was an animation studio aimed at children, and it gave users the ability to create animated movies. The program included a series of 3D character models, along with music and voice clips, and in tandem with pre-rendered backgrounds, it was possible to create a frame-by-frame video scene. It was also possible to record voice clips and import audio files for your creations. Also, 3D Movie Maker was the first appearance of the famous Comic Sans font (for better or for worse).

While the official releases of 3D Movie Maker didn’t go much further than the initial release, enthusiasts developed a number of expansion packs to make it more useful over the years. It was apparently in response to one of these enthusiasts that Microsoft decided to release the source code for the software, as Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman shared the news in response to Twitter user foone.

The source code is published on GitHub under the MIT license, and although Microsoft warns that you probably can’t build the app from this source code on modern hardware, developers can experiment with it and possibly update it for the modern era. Microsoft itself will not release any updated version of 3D Movie Maker as the official open source repository will be static, but users can fork it and modify it in their own repositories.

Microsoft has leaned more into open source software in recent years. PowerToys has been relaunched in recent years as open source software and enjoys frequent improvements thanks to the developer community. The Windows 10 Calculator app was also open-source a few years ago and has even been ported to smartphones.

Source Microsoft (GitHub)