Our new 3D rendering feature: Ground shadows

Back to overview

We’re very excited to share a fantastic new rendering feature that, starting today, will be available to our entire community, at every plan level. We’ve been working on this for several months and we’re confident you’re going to love it.

Create automatic ground shadows

Many Sketchfab artists have already come up with clever ways to add a ground shadow to their model so that it doesn’t appear to be floating in space. Typically this is done by adding a plane, and adding a partially transparent texture to it. Now, thanks to our new “Ground Shadows” feature, this can be added automatically to any model!

Here’s an example of the results you get with the “Baked AO”option:

You can learn more by watching the video below, but in short, you can use our “Shadow Catcher” to immediately render real-time shadows from the environment lighting the scene, or if you prefer you can use our “Baked AO” to automatically bake a nice soft shadow texture map based on your lighting set up. In either case you can adjust the floor so if you want your model to float above the ground but still cast a shadow, you can do that too!

And here’s an example of the real-time “Shadow Catcher” in action:

Please note that this feature does require lights of some kind in the scene, so it’s not compatible with our Matcap renderer. As always, for more information on how to use the new feature, check out our documentation in the Help Center.

Featured model credit: New Balance 997 by aizaisia

About the author

Paul Chambers

Paul Chambers

Artist Evangelist & Community outreach at Sketchfab, freelance CG Generalist, render-farm tinkerer. Zelda worshipper.


  • Now I understand better why the wireframe of the shadow sprite of Mieke Roth’s baby Rhino was invisible… It puzzled me !
    Great addition, thank you !

  • Avatar Pete says:

    Wow, this is an awesome feature, and so simple to use!

  • Avatar F3ather says:

    Damn I want these new balance shoes

  • Avatar Jer Bot says:


  • Avatar ckatuh says:


  • Avatar GiorgioN says:

    Thank you! It was time consuming to create this pseudo ground shadow and add it to the texture space. Very smart move to add such option, especially liked — “Baked AO”.

  • Great work Sketchfab! Thanks for the awesome update. I look forward to using this feature! I found that this is something that is really good in keyshot- having the ground. It will make the process for editing on Sketchfab even better.

  • Avatar Fabio says:

    È fantastico! L’ho provata e devo dire che sono veramente siddisfatto!

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    Love it! It can be used in a very subtle way as well!

  • Avatar Peter Legg says:

    excellent and intuitive feature. However a lot of our models are hung from the ceiling and the shadow is experienced the other way, whilst we can move the shadow plane above the model the shadow is only visible from the top. If there was a button to reverse the direction of this plane that would be great.

    Secondly occasionally some of our models are mounted on a wall and so if a front or right orientation option could also be added as well.

  • That’s great feedback Peter thank you. Just goes to show there are so many use cases on Sketchfab we’re not aware of. I’ll be sure the team hears your thoughts.

  • Avatar YB says:

    Thank you! very nice)

  • Avatar Ana says:

    marvelous feature !! We are an enthusiastic and dedicated team of experienced web designers, graphic designers, 3D artists, QA engineers, web developers, programmers and support staffs. We are also a leading outsourcing company of IT enabled services.
    Our web site :- https://www.nbyit.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related articles