Microsoft still seems to be working on true 3D emoji for Windows after it was first teased last year and then only released 2D versions in Windows 11. Nando Costa, a leading designer at Microsoft, recently revealed that the company is still working on making Windows 11’s emoji look more 3D.
On Friday, Costa wrote a blog post about Microsoft’s new direction for its emoji system, detailing the company’s push to 3D after a 2020 hackathon. Responding to a tweet from someone who wants 3D emoji in Windows 11, he says Costa: “We are working on that”, with a grinning sweat emoji face. We still don’t know when 3D emoji will appear in Windows 11, but at least Microsoft is still working on bringing its original vision to life.
While Microsoft unveiled impressive 3D emoji and promised that they would be part of Windows 11, the company surprisingly reverted to a flat 2D design with no explanation. It was probably because a flatter 2D design works better in multiple applications. There may also be some technical limitations in Windows that Microsoft needs to work on before 3D emoji becomes a reality.
Costa’s blog also describes how Microsoft chose to portray human features such as wrinkles and hairstyles in its emoji, how the team makes these emoji pop up in apps like Microsoft Teams, and how some of its custom designs were inspired by “the new reality of a hybrid workplace.” Microsoft used tools like Adobe Illustrator, Maxon’s Cinema 4D, Figma, Font Lab, and others to create its 3D emoji.