We love to highlight unique and interesting uses for Sketchfab Store content, and today we’re excited to share Zoilo’s story. Zoilo Perrino Diez is based in Spain and has been a Sketchfab member since 2014 and a seller on the Sketchfab Store since 2018. Earlier this year, his 3D scan of Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln Memorial was purchased from the Sketchfab Store for March Through Time, a new historical experience presented by TIME Studios in Fortnite Creative.
Read on to learn more about March Through Time, how the Fortnite team came to use the Sketchfab Store, and how Zoilo worked closely with them to optimize his model for the event.
March Through Time
The March Through Time project was a year in the making. Working with TIME Studios, the team at Fortnite wanted to share the full context of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. They wanted to create an engaging space where participants could explore, learn, play, and spend time.
In order to achieve their goals, they embarked upon a reimagining of the Lincoln Memorial and its surrounding area. This memorial had been the site of Dr. King’s speech back in 1963 and the reimagined spaces were intended to highlight different aspects of the speech’s themes: freedom, racial justice, and collective effort.
Abraham Lincoln statue
Nearing the end of March Through Time’s development, it was determined that The Lincoln Memorial should not be a reimagined space, but should instead hold the statue of Abraham Lincoln, as it does in real life. This approach reinforced the message of Dr. King’s speech and served as a reminder for why Dr. King had chosen that location to address the gathered crowd. With a short timeline and limited bandwidth, the team sought a straightforward solution. They jumped onto the Sketchfab Store and were able to quickly find a realistic 3D scan of that statue.
Having purchased the model, they then reached out to its creator, Zoilo, to discuss optimizing the model for display in Fortnite. Zoilo had originally captured the statue during a holiday vacation. In a crowded space, he managed to take 236 photos of the 9-meter-tall statue with a Sony Alpha a7 II camera and Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE 16-35mm lens. After processing the images in Adobe Lightroom and RealityCapture, he had a 41.5 million triangle model. The model that was for sale on Sketchfab had been simplified to 1.4M triangles and tidied up in Blender before being imported back into RealityCapture for texturing. A beautiful model, but not ideally sized for placement in Fortnite.
When Zoilo was contacted by Beñat Miranda, Marketing Operations Manager at Epic Games, he didn’t believe it, thinking it was some sort of prank. Quickly he realized that it was no joke and he had a chance to get his model into Fortnite. It would just have to be optimized—and fast. Zoilo worked late into the night to create versions of his model that had lower and lower triangle counts. Each iteration he retextured in RealityCapture using the same photographs that he had used to texture the original model.
March Through Time was launched on August 26, 2021, right before the 58th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech. With the project’s many stakeholders and tight deadlines, the Sketchfab Store came through in a pinch. Deepak Nair, the Senior Manager of Developer Relations at Fortnite, remarked that, “It would not have been possible for us to solve this without Sketchfab. I looked at a lot of mesh sites and theirs was the most professional-looking site to me.”
And Zoilo was pleased to have his work included in March Through Time. “I’m very happy that I can participate a little in something like this and I hope that, little by little, we can see more initiatives of this type, with video games participating more intricately in our society, in all its aspects,” he said.
Big thanks to Zoilo Perrino Diez and the Fortnite Creative team for their time and assistance in preparing this article.