How to Insert and Animate 3D Models in Microsoft PowerPoint

If you’re looking for a unique way to spruce up your slideshow, check out the 3D template feature in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can insert a 3D image and then resize it, rotate it and even animate it with a nifty effect.

If you have your own 3D model, this is a great way to present it to your client or show it off. But you can also pick one from the online library with plenty of categories to match your slideshow theme or mission.

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Insert a 3D model in PowerPoint

Open your presentation in PowerPoint and navigate to the slide where you want to add the template. Go to the Insert tab and click the drop-down arrow for 3D models in the Ribbon illustrations section.

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Choose either “This device” to upload your own model or “Store 3D models” to choose one from the library.

Options for inserting a 3D image in PowerPoint

If you want to browse the available online 3D models, you will see many categories. With everything from animals and avatars to cartoons and vintage vehicles, you’re sure to find one to enhance your show. You can also use the Search 3D Models field to find a specific one.

Online 3D models in PowerPoint

Once you have chosen the template(s) you want to use from your device or from the library, click “Insert” to make it appear on the slide.

Insert a 3D model

Customize a 3D model

After inserting the 3D model, you can move it anywhere on the slide by dragging it or resize it by dragging a corner in or out, just like an image. You can rotate it by dragging the icon in the center in any direction.

3D models on a slide

To further customize it, select the model and go to the 3D Model tab. You can choose a view for the model from a nice collection of options. Use the 3D Model Views section of the ribbon to choose the desired style.

3D model view selection

Another useful customization option is the Pan & Zoom feature on the right side of the ribbon. With it, you can focus on a specific part of the 3D model.

Pan and zoom in the ribbon

To use Pan & Zoom, select the model and click the button in the ribbon. You will see a magnifying glass appear on the right side of the image. Drag it up or down to zoom in or out. You can also move the image inside its border, which helps you get to the exact spot you want. Click the Pan & Zoom button when you’re done to deselect the tool and disable it.

Using pan and zoom for a 3D model

You can then use the additional tools on the ribbon of the 3D Model tab to add alt text, bring the template forward, send it back, or align it with other objects on the slide.

3D Model tab in PowerPoint

Animate a 3D model

You might like to add movement to your model. PowerPoint offers a handful of animations specifically for 3D models that make them shine.

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Select the model and go to the Animations tab. Choose an effect from the Animations section of the ribbon. You can choose from an entry effect (green), some emphasis effects (orange) and an exit effect (red) for the 3D model.

3D model animation options

After adding the effect, you can customize it like other animations in PowerPoint. Select the effect number, go to the Animations tab and choose the Synchronization or Advanced Animation options.

Animated 3D models in PowerPoint

Once you’ve finished inserting, customizing, and even animating your 3D model in PowerPoint, you’ll have an entertaining addition to your slideshow.

To learn more about improving your PowerPoint slideshows, find out how to add credits or how to insert a video.