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Apply 3-D Rotation Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to apply the 3-D Rotation effect to selected shapes in PowerPoint 2016.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






Among all the Shape Effects in PowerPoint, the 3-D ones stand apart. For any of the 3-D effects to work, you must understand two important 3-D parameters. These two parameters are 3-D Rotation and 3-D Depth. Although you can rotate any shape that has a Depth of zero, you really cannot see any Depth within a flat object. Thus you must first rotate your object and then add Depth. Figure 1 below shows a shape that has a Bevel, thereafter you see a shape that adds a 3-D Rotation attribute followed by another shape that adds some 3-D Depth. We already covered the Bevel effect in a previous tutorial. In this tutorial, we will cover 3-D Rotation, and in the next tutorial, we will explore 3-D Depth.

Adding Rotation and Depth to a 3-D object
Figure 1: Adding Rotation and Depth to a 3-D object

Additionally, Figure 2 below shows some shapes to which we have added 3-D Rotation attributes.

Sample 3-D Rotation attributes
Figure 2: Sample 3-D Rotation attributes

To see a sample presentation containing 3-D Rotation effects in PowerPoint, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Follow these steps to apply a 3-D Rotation effect to a shape which already has a Bevel effect applied:

  1. Select the shape so that the Ribbon area shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Shape Effects button (highlighted in red within Figure 3).

    Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 3: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon

    Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time They only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
  2. This brings up the Shape Effects drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 4. From this gallery, choose the 3-D Rotation option. This bring up the 3-D Rotation sub-gallery (refer to Figure 4 again).

    3-D Rotation sub-gallery within the Shape Effects drop-down gallery
    Figure 4: 3-D Rotation sub-gallery within the Shape Effects drop-down gallery

    The options within the 3-D Rotation sub-gallery are explained below, as marked in Figure 4, above.

    A. No Rotation:

    Use this option to remove 3-D Rotation from the selected shape.

    B. Parallel:

    Includes ten variants that rotate the shape in different angles.

    C. Perspective:

    Provides eleven variants that rotate the shape, and alter its rotation angle (perspective) from where you view the shape, so that farther edges appear smaller than nearer edges.

    D. Oblique:

    There are four variants that apply a very subtle rotation, almost as if a 2-D object is in a semi-3-D space.

    E. 3-D Rotation Options:

    Brings up 3-D Rotation section within the Format Shape pane where you can customize 3-D Rotation Options further. This has been explained in detail in our 3-D Rotation Options For Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.
  3. Move the cursor over any of the effects within the 3-D Rotation sub-gallery to see a Live Preview of the effect, as shown in Figure 5.

    3-D Rotation effect applied to a Rectangle shpae with previously applied 3-D effects
    Figure 5: 3-D Rotation effect applied to a Rectangle with previously applied 3-D effects

    Tip: Place your shape in the area that is not covered by the Shape Effects drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 5 above, so that you can see the Live Preview.
  4. Click on any effect to apply to the selected shape. In Figure 6 you can see that a 3-D rotation effect has been applied to the previously selected shape.

    3-D Rotation effect applied to a Rectangle with previously applied 3-D effects
    Figure 6: 3-D Rotation effect applied to a Rectangle with previously applied 3-D effects
  5. Remember to save your presentation often.

Click below to view on SlideShare

Click below to view on YouTube

See Also:

Apply 3-D Rotation Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Apply 3-D Rotation Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Apply 3-D Rotation Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Apply 3-D Rotation Effects to Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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