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Microsoft 3D Movie Maker

Released in 1995, this is the original source code to the Microsoft 3D Movie Maker project, now released under the MIT license as open source.

3D Movie Maker

Building instructions

This project is unlikely to build successfully under modern hardware/software, but you can get started with compilation and get partial completed binaries. Here's what will get you going. Thanks to Mac Sample for their work on getting this far!

  • Make sure this repo is checked out to a folder with a short name, ideally right on the root of a drive (i.e. C:\3d).
  • You will need Visual C++ 2.0's dev tools (located under MSVC20\BIN on its installer disk) on your path. Modern compilers dislike some of the pre C++98 conventions.
  • From the root of this repo, run setvars.bat you can change the values in this script to change what your build will target.
  • Locate and place font files (see
  • Run nmake and you'll begin building 3d Movie Maker.


The source files in this repo are for historical reference and will be kept static, and this repository will be archived. Feel free to fork this repo and experiment.

Code cleanup

This code was restored from the Microsoft corporate archives and cleared for release.

  • Developer names and aliases were removed, with the exception of current employees who worked on the original release who consented to keeping their names in place
  • The archive consisted of several CDs, some of which were for alternate builds or products, and have been excluded
  • The code does not build with today's engineering tools, and is released as-is.


This project may contain trademarks or logos for projects, products, or services. Authorized use of Microsoft trademarks or logos is subject to and must follow Microsoft's Trademark & Brand Guidelines. Use of Microsoft trademarks or logos in modified versions of this project must not cause confusion or imply Microsoft sponsorship. Any use of third-party trademarks or logos are subject to those third-party's policies.

This repo includes a build from 1995 of BRender from Argonaut software. Approval to open source BRender as MIT was given in an email from Jez San, former CEO of Argonaut. Other versions of BRender exist at and Thanks to Jez and the whole BRender team for their hard work on this amazing engine. A full historical list of BRender contributors is available at

This repo does NOT include the SoftImage SDK "./DKIT" from 1992.

Jez also offered this interesting BRender anecdote in an email:

When Sam Littlewood designed BRender, he didn’t write the code. And then document it.  
The way most things were built at the time.
First, he wrote the manual.  The full documentation
That served as the spec.  Then the coding started.


This is the source code for the original Microsoft 3D Movie Maker released in 1995. This is not supported software.



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