If you have Office 365 (the subscription version) and the Creative edition of Windows 10, you can insert 3D objects into PowerPoint. I explained this feature in an earlier blog post, “How to Insert 3D in PowerPoint.”
Now, you can apply 5 special 3D animations to 3D models on your slides:
- Arrive: Fades in the object and turns it slightly
- Turntable: Turns the object around
- Swing: Rotates the object slightly back and forth
- Jump & Turn: Makes the object jump up, turn around, and then come back down. It’s great for grasshoppers!
- Leave: Fades out the object and turns it slightly
Before I go on, watch this video of a presentation using some of these animations. It uses the Arrive, Turntable, and Leave animations.
These new animations are specifically for 3D objects and they facilitate showing the objects at various angles to highlight their third dimension. Of course, you can still use other animations. In the video, I also used the Grow/Shrink animation, for example.
You have lots of options, as well. For any animation, click Effect Options to the right of the Animation Gallery to see them. Here you see the options for the Turntable animation. As you can see, you can change the direction, amount of turn, and the rotation axis.
You still have the usual animation options such as Start (On Click, With Previous, or After Previous), Duration, and Delay.
Morph transitions can be particularly effective with 3D objects.
Finding 3D objects
Finding 3D objects is still the biggest challenge. In “How to insert 3D into PowerPoint,” I explained how to create them in Paint 3D.
Microsoft maintains a community library of 3D objects, Remix 3D. Most of the 3D objects there seem silly to me. I recently sent Microsoft a list of objects I thought would be useful to use as metaphors in a wide variety of business situations, like the fence in the above video–I’m using it as a metaphor for an obstacle. I hope they will expand the 3D objects so they are useful in more situations.
When you upgrade to Windows 10 Creator Update and get Paint 3D, you get a small library of 3D objects in a new 3D Objects folder. You can see that here:
You can use these 3D models as building blocks for your creations in Paint 3D.
Here’s how I created the fence:
- I drew it as a 3D object in AutoCAD.
- I exported it as an STL file.
- I imported it into Paint 3D.
- I attached a wood grain sticker.
- I exported it as an OBJ file.
- I imported it into PowerPoint using Insert, 3D Models.
That’s a lot of steps! But methods like these are how many presenters will create the very specific models they need. Here’s a long list of 3D modeling software from Wikipedia.
Some presenters have had difficulty using 3D models that they bought from stock libraries because the models came into PowerPoint without the materials or sticker. As a result, the models were all white. This is apparently caused by the material being in a separate file from the model. Also, there are many file types and not all programs support all file types. Suffice it to say that the field of creating and displaying 3D models for non-professional modelers is still in flux.
Nevertheless, the ability to display and animate 3D objects in PowerPoint is an exciting opportunity!
Have you played around with 3D models in PowerPoint? Do you see a use for them? Please leave a comment and share this post using the social media buttons below.