When Microsoft brought out 3D models support in PowerPoint, we were all a bit excited. From first experiments rotating objects with Morph to ambitious plans to recreate Star Wars in our favourite presentation software, we were determined to push boundaries.
However, there are only so many times you can play around with the animated 3D T-Rex to make it look like he’s about to eat your audience. (I know, I’ve tried).
There usually comes a point where you want to create your own 3D models in PowerPoint to add that little pinch of excitement to your presentation. If you don’t know where to begin, fear not.
We have just the guide for you! We decided to start with a cube. It’s easy to achieve, but we can guarantee it will raise your status amongst your friends and colleagues. (If they’re not that impressed, we recommend better friends. No one needs that kind of negativity in their life.) To see what you’ll be able to achieve once you’ve read this article, have a quick look at the video below.
Ready to give a go? For this tutorial, you’ll need two different pieces of software. The first one is PowerPoint, which you should already have.
Step 2: Create your 3D cube
You can get it from the Windows Store. Open PowerPoint and create a new presentation. Add a blank slide. Insert six squares. Make sure the squares are the same size using BrightSlide’s Match Size tool. BrightSlide is our brilliant, free PowerPoint design and productivity add-in with lots of helpful tools perfect for PowerPoint people!
You can download BrightSlide here. You can style your squares however you want to (colour fill, transparent, with or without outlines,…).
- Add text or pictures inside. We used a mix of illustrations and text.
- Once you’re happy with how your squares look, save them individually as pictures. Select one square (and all its content), right-click, and select Save as Picture.
- Select the destination and save as PNG. You should end up with six pictures like this:.
- Here comes the exciting bit. Once you’ve installed the 3D Builder, open it. On the welcome screen, click on New Scene. Once the scene is created, go to the top-left and click on Insert > Cube.
Step 1: Create your cube’s faces
Congratulations! You now have a 3D model of a cube. The next step is to add the designed faces you’ve already made. To do that, make sure your cube is selected, then go to Paint > Texture.
- This will open the painting options. From there, click on Selected > Load. It will open a browsing window and you can navigate to the folder where you saved the faces.
- Select the first one. If you now hover over the cube, your cursor will change to a little airbrush icon. Click on one face to apply it.
- It should now look like this (though, obviously, with your design instead):.
- Click in the grey area to rotate around the cube and repeat this process for each face. Remember, you’ll have to load the new surface every time. Once you’re happy with it, click the Apply button in the top left.
- Your model is ready. You just need to save it. Click on the Save icon in the top-right corner and select the destination folder. Make sure it is saved as a .3mf file. Just one final step left before you create literal magic.
Go back to PowerPoint. Either create a new file or use the one in which you created the faces. Go to the Insert tab, then 3D Models > From a File…. Find your cube and insert it. This will place your 3D cube on the slide.