How to Create a 3D Drawing in Microsoft Paint 3D

Microsoft's free 3D painting tool offers great functionality for 3D doodling

Screenshot of a new, blank canvas in Paint 3D

Microsoft's Paint 3D program offers a free and easy-to-use tool for creating three-dimensional drawings and art. Use the hard and soft doodle tools to fine-tune your pictures.

Paint 3D works for Windows 10. It was introduced in the Windows 10 Creators Update and installs by default for that and newer versions.

Set Your Canvas

Paint 3D canvas

Set up the canvas that you'll draw on. Choose Canvas from the top of the program to get started.

Activate a transparent canvas so that the background blends in with the colors around it with the Transparent canvas option. This toggle is optional, but it avoids a final product with a white background.

Resize the Paint 3D canvas. By default, the canvas is measured in percentage form and is set at 100% by 100%. Change those values to whatever you like or select Percent to change the values to Pixels like what's shown above.

The small lock icon below the values can toggle an option that locks the aspect ratio. When locked, the two values will always be the same.

Use a 3D Doodle Tool

3D shapes menu

The 3D-doodle tools are located in the 3D Shapes menu accessed from the top of the Paint 3D program.

Two of the 3D-doodle tools include a sharp edge and soft edge tool. The sharp edge doodle adds depth to a flat object, which means you can use it to literally "pull out" 3D space from 2D space. The soft edge doodle makes 3D objects by inflating 2D objects, something that might be useful for drawing objects like clouds.

A third tool, 3D Tube, was introduced into Paint 3D in a subsequent feature update.

How to Use the Sharp Edge 3D Doodle in Paint 3D

Screenshot showing how to use the Paint 3D sharp edge 3D doodle tool

Select the sharp edge 3D doodle tool. Pick a color for the 3D object.

Draw a simple circle to start with. As you draw, your starting point illuminates with a small blue circle. Click and drag for freehand or click once and then move to a different location and click again to make a straight line. Combine both techniques into one as you're drawing the model. No matter how you do it, always end up back where you started — at the blue circle — to complete the drawing.

When the object is finished, it will remain only slightly 3D until you begin using the tools that automatically show up around the object when you click it. Every tool moves the object in a different way. One will push it back and forth against the background canvas. The others will rotate or spin the model in whichever direction you need. The eight small boxes surrounding the object are useful too. Hold and drag one of those to see how it affects the model. The four corners resize the object, making it larger or smaller depending on if you pull the box in or out. The top and bottom squares affect the size in that direction, letting you flatten the object. The left and right squares can make a small object much longer or shorter, which is useful when making true 3D effects. If you click and drag on the object itself without using those buttons, you're able to move it around the canvas in a conventional 2D manner.

The sharp edge 3D doodle is great for objects that need to be extended, but not so ideal for rounded effects. That's when the soft edge tool comes into play.

How to Use the Soft Edge 3D Doodle in Paint 3D

Screenshot showing how to use the Paint 3D soft edge 3D doodle tool

Local and select the soft edge 3D doodle from the 3D doodle area of the 3D Shapes > Select menu. Choose a color for the model.

Just as with the sharp edge 3D doodle, you must complete the drawing by starting and ending in the same place.

When the object is selected, use the controls located on the selection box to rotate the model around every axis possible, including pushing it back and forth toward and away from the 2D canvas and other 3D models.

When you create objects with the soft edge 3D doodle, rotate it to face a particular direction to alert the manipulation buttons about how you want to edit the model.

Download Models

Use these 3D drawing tools to make models from scratch as well as convert 2D images into 3D models. However, if you'd rather not make your own 3D art in Paint 3D, download models created by other users through the Remix 3D website.