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3D rendering a couch using Simplygon Cloud. (Microsoft Photo)

Microsoft today debuted a new way to make 3D developers’ lives easier, taking advantage of an acquisition it made earlier this year.

In January, Microsoft acquired Simplygon, a Swedish company that focused on 3D game optimization. Microsoft is putting that acquisition into action through the new Simplygon Cloud on Azure Marketplace.

Optimizing 3D images and other assets for a variety of platforms is a costly and time-consuming process. That’s the problem Simplygon Cloud wants to solve.

“With Simplygon, you can create 3D assets once – at full visual fidelity – and automatically optimize them to render smoothly on any platform – within minutes, saving valuable time and money,” Lorraine Bardeen, general manager for Windows Mixed Reality experiences at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

A 3D image using Microsoft Paint 3D. (Microsoft Photo)

Microsoft has been a big proponent of 3D in recent years, and the current push began at an event in New York City more than a year ago, when it introduced an initiative it called “3D for everyone.” And in attempt to live up to that goal, Simplygon Cloud supports all major platforms, including its own Windows Mixed Reality, as well as iOS and Android. It also supports a variety of different file types and rendering engines.

Microsoft has sought on other occasions to create marketplaces for 3D assets. The announcement of the 3D for everyone initiative last year also included the introduction of Paint 3D. In reimagining one of its oldest programs, Microsoft also built a creative marketplace called Remix, where people could upload 3D assets for others to use in their designs and projects.

In recent Windows 10 updates, Microsoft has steadily advanced 3D capabilities. Last spring, updates added more capabilities for enterprises as well as integration with maps. Then in the fall, Microsoft expanded its 3D tech to other programs, such as PowerPoint, where users can now insert 3D objects that are linked to multiple slides and can be rotated to create from slide to slide, to create a seamless presentation.

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