3D Content Guidelines for Microsoft

Whether you are a Microsoft Office 365 user looking to acquire 3D assets for your documents or a 3D professional creating content for your clients, the 3D Content Guidelines for Microsoft are designed to help you be more successful with 3D in Office.

Office 3D asset requirements overview

Depending on the version of Office you are working with, there will be differences in the available 3D features. Office 365 receives regular updates and provides access to the latest features as they become available.

3D features are supported on:

  • Office for Mac

  • Office for Windows

  • Office Mobile for Windows 10

Office is using a real-time Rasterization renderer to create the resulting images you see when you insert a 3D model. glTF, or GL Transmission Format is the open source 3D file format used by Office to store and render all 3D models.

Many different 3D file formats can be imported and are automatically converted to glTF before rendering in Office. Because of this, it is important to understand the feature set of the glTF specification. GLB is the binary version of glTF , which allows you to store complex 3D assets in a single file for maximum portability.

GLB is recommended when exporting to the glTF format for Office.

Supported 3D File Formats

File Extension

Meshes

Material

UVs

Textures

Vertex Colors

Animation

GLB

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

FBX

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

OBJ

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

PLY

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

No

STL

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

3MF

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

The computer hardware (GPU) and the resolution of the screen used to view or present your 3D documents will have a direct impact on what fidelity of models you will be able to display while remaining performant.

This table defines some conservative targets to aim for when acquiring or authoring 3D content for a range of hardware. When in doubt, target models to the Mid-Range profile (the middle column in the table below) for a balance of fidelity and performance.

Low End

Mid-Range

High End

Triangle Count Maximum

25k

40k

60k

Texture Count Maximum

5

9

12

Texture Resolution Maximum

512×512

2048×2048

4096×4096

Texture Resolution Average

256×256

1024×1024

2048×2048

Draw Calls Maximum

4

6

8

Joint Count Maximum

40

100

180

Joint Count Mapped to Vertices Maximum

20

50

100

Multiple Texture Passes per Material

Not Recommended

Yes

Yes

3D file sizes should be kept below 50mb whenever possible. Large 3D file sizes will directly affect the size of your documents and make them less portable. Share large documents easily using a cloud service such as OneDrive or SharePoint.

Detailed guidance

The 3D Content Guidelines for Microsoft are split into four major sections and can be read in sequence or independently depending on what you would like to accomplish.

3D engine overview

Learn about the inner workings of the real-time 3D engine used in Office and how it compares to other methods of rendering 3D content.

Recommended reading for: Everyone

Screenshot from the 3D Engine Overview section of the 3D Content Guidelines

Sourcing assets

Learn tips and tricks for finding quality 3D content in online marketplaces and best practices when working with third party vendors to build custom 3D assets.

Recommended reading for:Office users looking to acquire 3D assets

Screenshot from the Sourcing Assets section of the 3D Content Guidelines

Content creation

Step through the process of creating custom 3D content for real-time rendering in Office. From modelling, surfacing and animation guidance for new content, to exporting, converting and optimizing existing 3D content, this section will help to ensure that 3D assets targeted for Office will render optimally.

Recommended reading for: 3D Professionals

Screenshot from the Content Creation section of the 3D Content Guidelines

Screenshot from the Content Creation section of the 3D Content Guidelines

Additional Resources

Discover tools for viewing, analyzing and validating your 3D content as well as links to other valuable resources.

Recommended reading for: 3D Professionals & Office users reviewing 3D content

Screenshot from the Additional Resources section of the 3D Content Guidelines

Where to download the 3D Content Guidelines

We're listening

This article was last updated on March 26, 2019. If you found it useful, or if you have feedback on how to improve it, please use the feedback controls below and let us know how we can make it better

See Also

glTF Specification

Babylon.JS

Create 3D models for Windows Mixed Reality

HoloLens 2

Get Creative with 3D models

3D animations effects in PowerPoint

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