Back in 1995, Microsoft released the Windows 3D Movie Maker app intended to help children learn the basics of 3D animation (also demonstrate the graphical capabilities of Windows 95). Twenty-seven years since the initial release, as requested by the Twitter user @Foone (via DrWindows), Microsoft open-sourced the app, making it available for everyone to download from GitHub.
Microsoft says the project is unlikely to build on modern hardware and software, which means enthusiasts and developers will have to tinker with the code to make it work in Windows 10 or 11. The company plans to archive the repository with Windows 3D Movie Maker, and it encourages everyone to fork it for all sorts of whacky experiments.
Open-sourcing the app, including third-party components, such as BRender, will tremendously help enthusiasts maintain Microsoft's legacy and make it work on modern computers without virtual machines and extensive hacking.
Windows 3D Movie Maker lets you place 40 different characters in pre-rendered scenes, assign them various actions, add objects and audio effects, and even record custom voice-overs using a microphone. The result will be a 1995-looking 3D movie with 6 FPS.
That is not something you can call impressive, but with some love from old-school enthusiasts and slight modernization, a resurrected version of Windows 3D Movie Maker might become an interesting piece of software to help kids get started with 3D animation.