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 posed 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.
Hey friends - we've open sourced the code to 1995's Microsoft 3D Movie Maker https://t.co/h4mYSKRrjK Thanks to @jeffwilcox and the Microsoft OSS office as well our friends in legal and those who continue to put up with me being a nudzh. Thanks to @foone for the idea! Enjoy. https://t.co/6wBAkjkeIP
— Scott Hanselman 🇺🇦 (@shanselman) May 4, 2022
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 & 2, so the code's release could potentially lead to fan-updated versions that can run more smoothly on modern computers.