In a world of constant updates to software and software applications, one program has remained weirdly the same: Microsoft Paint. It’s barely changed since it was first introduced, and there’s been something comforting about that – it’s still, for the most part, the same program it was back in the ’90s, when it was my favorite thing on the computer (other than Pong). A program that lets you make pictures on the computer! How cool is that? You can draw with different colors and everything!
It looks as though Paint may finally be about to join us in the 21st century, however. A leaked video (the happiest media leak we’ve seen around here in quite some time) reveals that some major updates are coming to the program – including 3D design capabilities.
The video was leaked by a Twitter user named WalkingCat, who has been known to release information about upcoming Microsoft and Windows products ahead of time in the past. The new version of Paint contains several updated features, including touchscreen and stylus capabilities – no more awkwardly drawing squiggly lines with a mouse. The interface is much more intuitive, and while “the Paint you know and love is still there,” according to the video, you can now do a lot more than just scribble and fill geometric shapes with blotches of color.
The biggest change, besides the touch capabilities, is the ability to create in 3D. The program still includes the classic menu of drag-and-drop 2D shapes, but has added a selection of 3D shapes that users can easily drag onto the screen from a sidebar. Users can still create freehand in both 2D and 3D, and with the familiar variety of paintbrushes, although those too have been updated to include new brushes and pens that appear to create more realistic strokes.
The new Paint also includes a selection of stickers that can be dragged and dropped onto images, as well as a community feature where you can access much more 3D content and share images. Images can be viewed from multiple angles, giving it a virtual reality feel and hinting that it could go nicely with the new HoloLens. It’s not incredibly sophisticated – it is, after all, Paint – but as a basic, entry-level 3D creation app, it looks like it should be a nice program.
No word as to when Microsoft plans to release the new Paint, but many have speculated that it may be officially unveiled at an event on October 26 where it’s also expected to reveal new Surface hardware – namely, an all-in-one Surface PC geared towards designers and including several new creative apps. It’s also possible that the new Paint could be included with next year’s Redstone 2 update.
You can try out the new Paint for yourself ahead of time, though. Two days ago, WindowsBlogItalia leaked the app itself for free download; it’s an early version and thus not perfect, but you can get a pretty good feel for it. Welcome to the modern era, Paint – we’re happy to have you join us. Discuss further in the 3D Paint forum at 3DPB.com.