3D Models in Office
Easily insert 3D models into PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Manipulate the model with built-in tools to rotate, flip, spin, pan, and zoom for ideal placement.
“3D objects and animations are AWESOME. LOVE that it works with the Morph transition. THANK YOU."
About 3D Models in Office
3D models in Office allows users to easily insert 3D models into any PowerPoint, Word, or Excel file. Along the top ribbon under the Insert tab is the 3D Models option – choose from an existing file or quickly search online via the Office 3D model gallery to find an object. Once the object is inserted, manipulate the model with built-in tools to rotate, flip, spin, pan, and zoom for ideal placement.
- 3D objects can be moved and resized, just like images, but they can also be rotated along 3 different axis with intuitive rotation UI.
- In PowerPoint, model aminations like Turntable, Swing and Jump & Turn can be applied from the Animations to see different views of the model.
- If the same 3D object is on two consecutive slides with a Morph transition, the shape is interpolated and animated in 3D.
Every year, The Garage organizes Microsoft’s annual Hackathon in locations around the world for employees, including in the Bay Area. In Summer 2016, the Silicon Valley campus cafeteria was turned into a Science Fair where employees from different teams could demo dozens of Hackathon projects to a curious audience and be inspired by the creativity of their peers.
From this culture of hacking grew projects small and large that became part of product, including 3D models in Office. It began as an idea first prototyped in December of 2015 as 3D in PowerPoint by Alexandre Gueniot in partnership with a team in London who were building a 3D viewer. Then, during the 2016 company-wide Hackathon, Gueniot built a fully functional prototype with Eric Gao and Onur Onder and showcased it to peers at the Science Fair. Employees visiting the Science Fair enjoyed playing with the project in new and creative ways to bring content to life. Some employees even brought their kids who enjoyed manipulating and animating 3D models of their favorite cartoon characters.
The hack project won ‘Best Hack’ in the Silicon Valley campus. The goal of the Hackathon project was to bring 3D content into PowerPoint and the usable prototype Gueniot and team built made it possible. They created a simple UI: an insert button and gallery for finding 3D objects. The 3D objects could be inserted, moved, resized, and rotated on 3 different axis with an intuitive UI. 3D models could also be animated with the Morph transition. The prototype was implemented as a real PowerPoint feature, natively in the code.
Feedback on the prototype was so positive, organizers from the October 2016 Microsoft event in New York City to introduce Windows 10 Creator Update included a demo of 3D in PowerPoint at the event. Heather Alekson demo’d it on stage, along with Paint 3D and other apps that would become part of the new 3D ecosystem.
Turning a hackathon project into a real feature can be a lot more work than it seems. The team needed to make further improvements and optimizations. They had to think through different scenarios and make sure they had the correct behavior, file formats, and UI. Gueniot shared the project code with the Office Graphics team in Redmond, and Stephanie Horn, Matt Kernek, Anca Zaharia and Jie Lie became the main drivers to help push it over the finish line and into the product as 3D models in Office.
(Pictured) Hackathon project team, 3D Objects in PowerPoint: Alexandre Gueniot, Onur Onder, Eric Gao
First 2015 prototype:
Natalia Kozyura, Paul Riga, Neil Clifford from the original Lift London team who contacted Gueniot to investigate how he could integrate their 3D renderer in Office and helped on the very first 2015 prototype.
2016 Hackathon and Oct 2016 Demo:
Alexandre Gueniot, Onur Onder and Eric Gao worked on the hack project integrating the 3D renderer in PowerPoint, adding new type of content, a 3D model gallery and manipulation UI.
Chris Welman, Heather Alekson, Ben Hanke, Wendy Deng, Chris Chenery and Craig Nelson from the Vancouver BigPark team provided support for the 3D renderer they inherited from the London team. Thomas Nhan, Blair Neumann, Tom Mignone and Tyler Adams worked on the early design from the Office Graphics team.
Additional people who worked on the feature:
Stephanie Horn, Matt Kernek, Anca Zaharia, Bharat Ahuja, Adam Le Doux, Jordan Krissi, Jie Li, Ramya Tridandapani, Garrett Brown, Ryan Saunders, Mike Gilmore, Constance Gervais, Michael Fuller from the Office Graphics team.
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