Skip to main content

Microsoft Paint Gets Full 3D Overhaul

Microsoft is putting 3D technology front and center in its Windows 10 Creators Update, and that means users need a way to make and share 3D content of their very own. Microsoft’s venerable Paint program will gain a whole new dimension in Microsoft Paint 3D, which will allow users to create and share their own creations as well as leverage those of the larger community.

Megan Saunders, a general manager at Microsoft, showed off the program firsthand, displaying how it works by itself and how users can interact with a whole community of 3D designers. First, Saunders used her phone to take an accurate 3D scan of a sandcastle. Then, she opened up Paint 3D on a touchscreen computer and used a stylus to manipulate the objects onscreen.

Saunders used a photo of her daughters and overlaid it against a beach background from a separate photo. Paint 3D appears to use image layers like Photoshop, as Saunders could drag and drop each part of the image, with neither one interfering with the other. She then dropped the sandcastle into the photo and resized, ordered and layered everything with a few simple taps.

At this point, Saunders decided that she also wanted a tree in the image. Paint 3D has a built-in attachment that ties into a new database called Remix3D. This library of 3D images allows users to use stock 3D images for themselves, as well as share their own creations freely. Microsoft will be joining forces with SketchUp, which already has a huge repository of 3D images from professionals and amateurs alike.

There’s even a bonus for gamers: Minecraft players can export their creations directly into Remix3D and 3D print them in real life.

After dragging and dropping a tree from the database right into her image, Saunders rotated each object to her exact specifications, then grabbed another image – a cloud – from Remix3D without ever closing the program. Saunders also demonstrated how she could “stamp” 3D images onto 2D backgrounds to create her own emoji. A simple smiley face quickly gained a beard and glasses, which she could then share with others online.

Paint 3D also connects directly to Facebook, meaning that users can share their creations to social media without ever leaving the program. The program will launch alongside Windows 10 Creators Update in early 2017.