The Windows 10 Creators Update, which starts rolling out on April 11th, is more than just a mere operating system upgrade. Microsoft wants to make it clear that Windows isn't just a platform for productivity apps, it's also an OS where you can produce all sorts of creative things. That could mean building a 3D model with the new Paint 3D app, or kicking off a livestream of your favorite PC game. It's not like you couldn't do these things in Windows before, but now it's easier than ever. And that's an ideal way for Microsoft to encourage kids and traditional creative types -- or, in other words, the people who typically use Macs.
Aside from the setup process, which is now narrated helpfully by Cortana, there aren't many surprises with the Creators Update. Your desktop and apps will still look the same, so don't go in expecting a major facelift from last year's Anniversary Update. But given that Windows 10 already looked fairly refined, I don't think that's a huge issue.
Instead, you can look forward to the many small improvements. The built-in Night Light mode will make it easier to work after dark by reducing the amount of blue light on your monitor (similar to the popular app Flux and the Night Shift feature on iOS and Mac OS). You can now use Windows Ink to mark up your photos and videos. And you can also upload music to OneDrive and listen to it in the Groove app, which could serve as an easy way to jam out out to your music library on the Xbox One.
The real reason this update is interesting, though, is because of the bigger additions.
Paint 3D, an evolution of the classic Paint app in three dimensions, is the highlight of the Creators Update. Just like the original version (which is still available in Windows 10), it's basically just a blank canvas for doodling. But it's also much more fully featured, since creating 3D objects isn't as simple as 2D drawings.
The app's interface is pure minimalism. Along the top, you can choose between brush tools, 3D objects, 2D stickers, text, canvas effects and Remix 3D. The latter is particularly interesting, as it's being positioned as a community for uploading and sharing 3D creations. On the right side of the screen, you've got different options for all of those tools. If you've used Paint before, you'll be familiar with some of them: The brushes include markers, pencils and crayons. This time around, though, you can also give them matte and metal sheens.
Things get more interesting with the newer tools. The 3D models include a man, woman, dog and cat by default, but you can also add more from Remix 3D. There are also geometric 3D objects, and you can turn doodles into sharp and soft-edged 3D objects. While the initial assortment of objects feels a bit generic, I have a feeling kids will enjoy drawing their own, as well as collecting new figures from Remix 3D. As for the stickers, those serve as both 2D objects for your canvas as well as textures for 3D objects. Perhaps the most useful new addition: There's now a history bar for reversing bad decisions, and it can also generate a video of your creation process.
I didn't think much of Paint 3D at first, but my mind changed the instant I overlayed a leafy texture on top of a 3D cat. That's the sort of thing you previously needed pricey and complex 3D modeling software to do -- now it's a free part of Windows 10 that's simple enough for kids to use. Even manipulating the 3D objects blew my mind a bit. You can rotate any model using the buttons displayed around them, and you can even change their position in relation to other objects on the 3D canvas without much fuss. Paint 3D offers plenty of helpful hints for using these features, but they're also laid out easy enough for anyone to figure out with a bit of experimenting. That's simply good software design.Read More...
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