Nickelodeon’s 3D Movie Maker
Another creativity tool that works in the same vein as the Simpsons Cartoon Studio is Nickelodeon’s 3D Movie Maker (Microsoft Corp – ages 6-11). We looked at a beta of this program, but it ran fine and we have no complaints. Nick 3D is an entirely different program than Microsoft 3D Movie Maker, even though both are part of the Microsoftfamily; it is also the superior program. Homier, easier to use, and more immediately rewarding, Nick 3D takes the focus away from fancy 3D technology (which Microsoft 3D Movie Maker stressed to the exclusion of everything else) and puts it on simplicity. Use established Nickelodeon characters like Ren and Stimpy to make simple plays against a variety of different backgrounds. Sophisticated features like different camera angles and a sync function (making two characters arrive in the same place at the same time) never obscure the basic movie-making tools of action and dialogue. Dialogue, as with the Simpsons program, comes in prerecorded snippets (“You eediot!,” or “Happy, happy, joy, joy,” for example), but you can add text to your heart’s content. If you’ve got a Pentium, you’ll be pleased with the program’s speed as you skip around between various scenes and settings. Nick 3D strikes the best balance yet between really impressive visuals and ease of use. One drawback: although the program is fairly easy to use, it’s not quite easy enough for a child who would appreciate the host character (a Popsicle stick with a stammering delivery). We don’t suggest they simplify the program even more; we only suggest they find a host who is suitable for users above the age of five.
– October 1996, Creativity Tools