Microsoft open-sourced the code for 1995’s 3D Movie Maker because someone asked

You, too, can make PS1-caliber 3D movies using nothing but 3D Movie Maker and your Windows 95 PC.

You, too, can make PS1-caliber 3D movies using nothing but 3D Movie Maker and your Windows 95 PC. (credit: Microsoft)

Back in 1995, the Microsoft Kids division of the company released a program called Microsoft 3D Movie Maker. The same year that the original Toy Story proved that feature-length 3D computer animation was feasible, people could install software on their home computers that could spit out crude-but-creative 3D animated movies at 6 to 8 frames per second.

Aside from releasing Doraemon and Nickelodeon-specific versions of Movie Maker later on, Microsoft never really returned to this software… until now. Microsoft Developer Division Community Manager Scott Hanselman announced yesterday that Microsoft was open-sourcing the code for 3D Movie Maker, posting it to Github in a read-only repository under an MIT license.

The code was released not because Microsoft has grand plans for 3D Movie Maker but because someone asked. Self-described “hardware/software necromancer” Foone Turing asked Microsoft to release the 3D Movie Maker source code back in April because they wanted “to expand and extend it.” Hanselman and Microsoft Open Source Programs Office Manager Jeff Wilcox then worked with Microsoft’s legal department to make it happen.

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