Steal a bit of the excitement of 3D from the movies and the latest televisions by rendering your own 3D graphics on the computer screen in Microsoft PowerPoint. Although PowerPoint is not a modelling or graphics software program, it provides all the tools required to create simple shapes with a 3D appearance, as if they're floating or standing on the slides in the presentation. Drawing 3D shapes in PowerPoint requires just a couple of choices in terms of the actual shape itself, colour and shadowing, with no red and blue glasses required.
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Open Microsoft PowerPoint. Click the "Insert" tab. Click the "Shapes" button below the tab.
Choose a shape from the drop-down menu, such a star, arrow or sunburst. Note the cursor changes to a plus sign.
Click the PowerPoint slide, press and hold down the left mouse button, and drag to form the shape. The shape appears on the PowerPoint slide, but fills in with PowerPoint's default colours and is not 3D.
Click the new orange "Drawing Tools" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "Shape Fill" button on the ribbon. Choose a colour for the middle of the shape and click "OK." Click the "Shape Outline" button. Choose a colour for the border of the shape -- choosing the same colour as the fill will make the shape look solid -- and click "OK." This step is optional.
Click the "Text Effects" button on the ribbon. Click the "Shadow" button. Scroll through the options on the "Shadow" flyout menu and hover the cursor over each to see the 3D appearance each gives to the shape. Click a shadow to commit the change or click off onto the slide to close the drop-down menu.
Click the "Text Effects" button again. Click the "3-D Rotation" option and scroll through the flyout options. Hover over them to see how they change the shape and click one to commit the change.
Tips and warnings
- If none of PowerPoint's preset shapes appeal to you, draw your own and then render it in 3D. Click the "Squiggle" tool, the squiggly line under the "Line" section of the "Shapes" menu. Draw the shape, then follow the instructions as listed here.
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