The Microsoft Garage, Microsoft's home for experimental apps from its employees, has produced a number of interesting and useful apps over the years. The latest, called Sketch 360 (opens in new tab), continues that trend by putting tools to create 360-degree and VR scenes in the hands of designers using nothing more than Windows ink.
Sketch 360 was crafted by Microsoft Creative Experience Engineer Michael Scherotter as a way to lower the barriers for freehand drawing 360-degree scenes. "It's very difficult to freehand draw in 360. You need to draw straight lines curved and you can't see how your creation turns out until you've finished the whole thing," Sherotter says. Sketch 360 attempts to solve these issues by giving designers a quick way to prototype ideas and see them rendered in 360-degree scenes before diving into the hard work of 3D modeling.
Here's a quick rundown of the features included in Sketch 360:
- Draw 360 Sketches with Windows Ink.
- Export to JPEG files at various resolutions with 360 metadata that websites like Facebook and Kuula recognize by providing immersive experiences.
- Export to a full website (HTML,CSS,JS,JPEG) to view the page on your computer or upload to the web.
- Cut, copy and paste Windows Ink to/from other apps and move ink around the sketch.
- Pick the background color of your choice and enable a textured background.
- Sketch in full-screen mode.
- Display the full sketch and the 360 view in separate windows or displays.
- Export to various image resolutions
Since it's a Microsoft Garage app, Sketch 360 is still very much an experiment. Still, it looks like it could prove to be an interesting tool for everyone from architects to game designers, who need a quick qay to prototype on the fly.
Sketch 360 is available on the Microsoft Store now for free.
See at Microsoft (opens in new tab)
I find it interesting that it says the app will run on mobile but the requirements list Windows 10 version 17134.0. That's well beyond the last version of Windows 10 Mobile that was released. I could jump to the conclusion that it's proof that Andromeda is coming but instead I'll chalk it up to an oversight.
Great initiative. When will Msft support 360 in its Photos app?
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