3D Movie Maker

3D Movie Maker (often abbreviated as 3DMM) is a program created by Microsoft's "Microsoft Kids" subsidiary in 1995. Using this program, directors are able to place 3D characters in pre-made environments, add actions, sound effects, music, text, speech, and special effects then show these movies off to friends, family, and the world.

A Japanese expansion pack for 3DMM was released with characters from the popular children's manga and anime series Doraemon.

The last release of 3D Movie Maker was Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker, a spin-off using actors and scenes from Rocko's Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy and AAAHH!!! Real Monsters.

The program features two helper characters to guide users through the various features of the program. The character McZee provides help throughout the studio while his assistant Melanie provides various tutorials. In Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker, the user is guided by Stick Stickly.

3D Movie Maker is built on the BRender 3D graphics engine created by Argonaut Software. The models and prerendered backgrounds were created by Illumin8 Digital Pictures, a now defunct graphics studio, using Softimage modelling software. The cinematic introduction and help sequences were created by Productions Jarnigoine, a now inactive production company directed by Jean-Jacques Tremblay.

Making movies

Creating animation in 3D Movie Maker is a straightforward process, allowing younger users to create movies with ease. By default, 40 actors/actresses are available, each with 4 different costumes and a number of actions, as well as 20 different props. Eleven different scenes are available to the user, each containing several different camera angles. Many sample voice and MIDI music clips are included, but extra voices can be recorded using a microphone, and external wav and MIDI files can be imported.

The finished movie, however, can only be viewed inside 3D Movie Maker using the virtual auditorium or the studio, unless converted to a video file format with a third-party utility.

Expansions and utilities

3D Movie Maker has been discontinued for several years. Regardless, several user-made expansions and animation tools exist.

  • 3DMM Animation Pro: (2002) Binds mouse movements to the keyboard, allowing directors to create more fluid movements on screen.
  • Doraemon Expansion Pack: This pack, based on the Japanese character, was only released in Japan. An unofficial translation, however, was created by a member of the community in 2002, and has since been distributed to other 3DMM users.
  • 3DMM Expansion Pack: (2003) A user-created software patch, that introduced the first new textures, actors, and objects to the software since release.
  • Virtual 3D Movie Maker (V3DMM): (2004) An expansion management program allowing users to include their own customized expansions in their movies and allow them to be freely distributed.
  • 7gen: (2005) A GUI for creating V3DMM expansions.
  • 3DMM Pencil++ 2: A program for editing 3D Movie Maker datafiles, allowing users to edit expansions.
  • Nickelodeon Expansion pack: An unofficial expansion pack adds all the actors, props, textures, scenes, and sounds from Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker. Download Demo

See also

External links

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