Why is Windows 10 going 3D?



Everyone knows Microsoft Paint. Now it’s being overhauled in the name of 3D as part of an upcoming Windows 10 update. Prepare for the 3D revolution…

Why is Microsoft talking about 3D?

Put simply, because that’s how we see the world around us. Objects and buildings and people and mountains are all three-dimensional, but when we see them on a computer or a tablet or a television screen they’re two-dimensional, or flat. 

‘We’ve often been limited to a two-dimensional canvas and yet we live in a multi-dimensional world,’ says Megan Saunders of Windows.

She says it’s easier to communicate and express ideas when working in 3D because it’s ‘much more representative’ of life in the real world. So now Microsoft is putting 3D at the heart of the Windows 10 Creators Edition Update.Paint 3D

Credit: Microsoft

How Windows 10 is going to use 3D

The headline feature of 3D for Windows 10 is a reimagining of the iconic Microsoft Paint app.

Paint has been around since the mid-80s, and most people have some experience of using it. Believe it or not, over 100 million people use Paint every month.

Here are some great new features in Paint 3D… 

  • Doodle into Paint and it’ll transform your etchings automatically into 3D
  • Photograph an object on your phone and create a 3D image from it – Windows demoed it with a sandcastle
  • Import 3D art into Paint to tweak and edit – give an emoji a hat for example. Uses Windows Remix3D.com
  • Create grass, muddy earth or stained wood or that’s rich in texture and definition

Paint 3D

Credit: Microsoft

Beyond Paint? PowerPoint

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘death by PowerPoint’. An endless stream of slides can be enough to test the patience of the most patient. Windows hopes to bring presentations to life more with 3D – it showed an example of three-dimensional depth being added to an illustration of a fig tree to make it ‘pop’ from the slides.

Fig tree

Credit: Microsoft

What about 3D printing?

The idea for optimising the much-loved Paint software for 3D came from a question about 3D printing from a Windows executive’s daughter.

The girl ‘wanted a 3D printer to make ‘tiny soaps… little creatures and even a dishwasher,’ says a Windows blog. We first covered 3D printers at TechTalk way back in 2013. They do exactly what they say on the tin – printing objects in three-dimensions. Whether that’s a toy, an ornament or a technical model.

The number of 3D printers shipped around the world is expected to grow from 496,475 this year to 2.3million in 2018 

And if you have a 3D printer you’ll be able to bring your Paint 3D creations into the real world!

Being your 3D printing journey3D printing

Be ready for 3D with a Windows 10 laptop

Of course to do any of this you’ll need a computer that runs Windows 10.

The Dell XPS 13 is a great Windows 10 laptop. Creatives, whether working in Paint 3D or Adobe Illustrator, will find much to like. Projects will look excellent on the edge-to-edge screen with Quad HD resolution, anti-glare technology and LED backlighting. Controls are more intuitive with both touchscreen and keyboard – pinch and scroll away.

Power-wise it breezes through most software with its Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and solid state drive (SSD) storage.

Get the Dell XPS 13Dell XPS 13

How to get started with Paint 3D

Windows 10 Creators Edition launches early in 2017. If you can’t wait ‘til next year you can download the Paint 3D Preview

Begin your Windows 10 journey