As promised last week, Microsoft has thrown bits of its Creators Update into the latest preview build for Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. What is interesting is that the Creators Update bits actually began rolling out a while ago, but tossed in as behind-the-scenes components instead of updates participants can actually see and use. Call it a means of laying the foundation for what is to come in the latest build, 14959, released on Thursday. That means Microsoft’s Paint 3D application is available to install from the Windows Store.
For starters ,the site for uploading and downloading 3D objects for the new app is called Remix3D. After creating a free account via Microsoft, visitors are greeted with two tabs on the menu: Discover (Home) and My Stuff. The former section is broken down into four components: Staff picks, 3D essentials, Starter kits, and Community. There is a huge load under the Staff picks portion already including a smiling poop emoji, an Imperial AT-AT from Star Wars, a cute alien, and more.
As for starter kits, these provide a group of 3D objects to download and use. For instance, the Ocean Creatures group contains 47 objects created by Microsoft, the Paint 3D staff, and even the Xbox group. The chair we saw during Microsoft’s demonstration with HoloLens can be found in the Home Décor collection along with 12 other pieces of furniture and decorations.
What is great about the website is that users can check out the objects at any angle before downloading to the PC. For instance, click on the thumbnail of a model offered in the Clothes starter kit, and users are directed to a stand-alone listing. Place the mouse over the image, click and hold, and users can drag the mouse to rotate the virtual object in any direction, providing a full 360-degree preview.
Thus, after downloading and installing Paint 3D, there is an option to create a custom emoji as a way to get users familiar with the tool. Once users click the ‘Get Started’ button, they open the ‘Emoji’ board on the Remix3D website within the default web browser. There, users can grab a base emoji and download it to Paint 3D. For instance, Microsoft offers a happy face, a smiling face, an unamused face, and so on.
What is not immediately apparent is how to download items. Next to each listing’s sample view is a heart for ‘loving’ the item, an ‘Add To Board’ button, and a palate icon that opens the object in Paint 3D. There is no actual download button to click, thus users will not have to seek out the downloaded object’s location on the hard drive.
Once the emoji is firmly planted in Paint 3D, users are presented with a menu bar stretched out across the top that opens a toolbar on the right side. The menu bar consists of tools, 3D objects, stickers, text, backdrop, and effects options. These should be self-explanatory, but it is not apparent how users import additional objects into the scene to create the custom emoji. That is where the people-shaped Community button comes in, which is located on the far right end of the menu bar.
When users click on the Community button, the toolbar displayed underneath expands to provide the Remix3D site within the app. A search for ’emoji’ will bring up a ton of objects that can be inserted into the scene by hitting the ‘Place In Project’ button. Need to move the new object behind the emoji? Click on it, select the ‘layer’ icon to its left, and drag the object forward or backward in the scene. Coolness.
Ultimately, once everything is perfect, users can click on the ‘triple line’ icon on the left side of the menu bar and click ‘publish.’ This opens a panel for users to adjust the preview of the 3D image on the eventual listing by holding down the main mouse button to adjust the scene in 360 degrees and holding down both mouse buttons to drag/pan the scene into the right spot within the thumbnail border. There is also special lighting effects that can be added and a wheel to adjust the direction of light. The grid, originally shown in the edit window, does not appear in the published image.
Unfortunately, at this stage, Paint 3D is not exactly straightforward, requiring users to explore all the tools to see how to create, edit, and insert 3D objects into the scene. This is just the start of Creators Update, of course, with additional updates and features to roll out in future builds over the next couple of months.
The other big news with Build 14959 is the Unified Update Platform (UUP), which is a new update publishing system. This will essentially reduce the download size of preview builds for both PC and mobile, the latter of which is seeing the benefits now when downloading 14959. That means each time these platforms receive a new build, they will only be required to install the new bits rather than starting over from scratch each time a build is available.
“As we roll out UUP, this will eventually be impactful for PCs where users can expect their download size to decrease by approximately 35 percent when going from one major update of Windows to another,” said Microsoft’s Bill Karagounis in a separate blog. “We’re working on this now with the goal of supporting this for feature updates after the Windows 10 Creators Update; Insiders will see this sooner.”
Finally, Build 14959 now allows Windows 10 PC users to control the display scaling in virtual machines. More specifically, the team added a new zoom option in the ‘view’ menu due to complaints that Hyper-V virtual machines do not scale as expected. The default scaling can be modified as well to 100, 125, 150, or 200. The team even fixed a problem causing virtual machines to not display the remote desktop connection bar in full-screen mode.
As always, Microsoft provides a list of improvements and fixes for PC and mobile along with lists of known issues for each. The company also notes that its ‘bug bash’ begins on Monday at 12:01 a.m. (PT). The bug bash will be based on this specific build, so update your device before entering the event. Microsoft’s bug bash will conclude on November 13.
If you’re an Insider and want to test Paint 3D, Microsoft shows that it’s available for all builds in all rings using 14901 or higher.