Saturday May 28, 2022

Microsoft open sources the code for 3D Movie Maker


Microsoft has open sourced the code for the 27-year-old program 3D Movie Maker — and it’s all thanks to someone who asked on Twitter. Foone, whose Twitter profile says they’re a “hardware and software necromancer,” asked the tech giant for the source code to the program so they could expand and extend it. Microsoft doesn’t own the BRender engine it runs on, which potentially poses a problem, but the one who does own it told Foone that he would be happy to open source it if he can find a copy. Thankfully, someone kept a copy of the engine, and Microsoft was able to release the program’s code in its entirety.

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3D Movie Maker, which was released in 1995, gives users an easy way to create films by placing cartoony characters and props into pre-rendered environments. According to PCGamer, Foone plans to update the program so it can run on modern PCs, as well as add features to make it easier to share the resulting videos. “I’m expecting I’ll get the basic modernized version in the next month to a few months, depending on how many issues I run into,” they told PCGamer.

The original source code for the project is now on GitHub made available under the MIT license as open source. As RockPaperShotgun notes, the program’s BRender engine was also used for games such as Carmageddon 1 & 2so the code’s release could potentially lead to fan-updated versions that can run more smoothly on modern computers.

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