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.
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.
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.