Just when you thought you knew what you were doing in PowerPoint (and just a few months after it's 30th Birthday), it reinvents itself and changes how we communicate stories.
PowerPoint will shortly be supporting visual and motion 3D modelling capabilities beyond what you thought was previously possible. We're not talking about your cubes, bevel and embossing - we're talking advanced modelling up to (and including) entire city-scapes. See our short demonstration below...
Yes - this was entirely made in PowerPoint, utilising the new Import 3D Model feature and creating set positions with Camera features for 3D Models. We've then set a morph transition to move around the city, providing hightlights and information.
So, what does this mean as a presenter?
Like most new features in PowerPoint, I like to spend some time thinking about real-world appliations, primarily for you clients (corporations and business). So, what does this mean? Well, not a whole lot currently, but the future is very bright indeed. Applications for this feature open up an amazing scope of advanced storytelling and engagement, but unless you're actually demonstrating a product that will be launched to market, there isn't a whole lot of big business applications right now. The obvious applications are going to be in architecture, develpment and planning companies. Being able to take drafting 3D Models and use them in a PowerPoint to communicate scale and design of a building will be fantastic. I can see scope for consumer profiling taking on new levels, with the ability to dive into consumer homes. I can see scope for 3D models of org-structures and the ability to dive into levels of the organisation. I can see scope for product testing and similar examples. Within the next 6 months? Probably not, but definitely in the next 18 months.
What does this mean in the learning sphere?
Without a doubt, there is incredible scope in the learning and education sector, with the ability to bring conceptual models to life. This clear long-term investment, starting in the classroom will pay off for PowerPoint as these school-leavers (who already are creating 3D models) start in the workforce. In 5 years time, 3D modelling in 3D PowerPoint will almost certainly be normalised in business presentations, especially those I've listed above.
Whilst the examples we've put together run through some great features of the new addition, there is a lot of work to be done. At this stage, if you'd like any form of texture within your 3D models there is limited support for filetypes - currently limited to: .fbx, .obj, .3mf, .ply, .stl, .glb. Out of these, we've found the best support for what we wanted was only in .3mf and that's not a common filetype or standard in the 3D world (it is, however, founded by Microsoft, HP, GE, Siemens, Autodesk and others). The texture support for .obj currently doesn't exist, but can be worked-through by opening your .obj file in Microsoft's new 3D Builder, applying the textures and saving as a .3mf file.
Can you see an application for this in the PowerPoint design industry, either now or in the future?