Sketchfab Mashup Video

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Erik Varvel downloaded several Sketchfab models and combined them into a ‘mashup video’ – the first of its kind that we’ve spotted so far. The result is a mesmerising trip through their environments and models.

Hi Erik! Can you introduce yourself?

I previously worked for a large Architectural & Engineering firm for 10 years, gaining experience on all facets of the design and construction industry.  Then two years ago, I  decided to start up my own 3D Modeling and Visualization Service.  That is when I created Virtual Eyes Design.

I have a keen interest in the development of the 3D modeling industry and its relation to render scene creation and views in still and animated forms, as well as more recently the ability to create both panoramic views Panoramic Views of Kepp Gallery and virtual reality environments, and how that new technology can advance the design industries efficiency.

View of Kepp Gallery

View of Kepp Gallery

3D modeling and rendering work has been my passion.  And this drive helps to promote my desire to continuously experiment with a variety of software packages I use, and to think out of the box on how they might be used in different ways to create new results by pushing their envelopes beyond typical expectations.  

Shire Scene created in Lumion

Shire Scene created in Lumion

This can produce unexpected and interesting results, and also provide new insight or ideas on how better to incorporate some of these technologies together and to create objects in new ways and increase the quality of what we currently create today.

While most of my work pertains to the Architectural Visualization end of this industry, I have created many little parts of experiments that I like to render in animations or put out for others to enjoy. 

Artistic View - Wolf on Waterfall

Artistic View – Wolf on Waterfall

I consider these “off’ projects as my medium of digital art.  To create something new and fantastical that can take the viewer away for a few minutes, well, that is what I really enjoy doing when time permits. I currently have close to 50 animations of varying scope and completion, some related to work and some just for fun. These are hosted on my Vimeo page and show the variety of things I like to create and come up with when time permits.

Fictional Studio Space showcasing many of the Larger Projects I’ve worked on

Fictional Studio Space showcasing many of the Larger Projects I’ve worked on

How did you create this video?

The great thing about the SketchFab site, is the variety of types of models that are shared on this site.  It is kind of a central stew pot for all modelers to gather at, no matter what software package you use to create your models, or the format type of your model files you create.  This allows for a ripe opportunity to create a cross platform interchange environment.

While I generally work on Architectural Projects, I find the need to replicate certain detailed items or objects that may currently exist on site or may be installed as part of the project.  And some objects tend to be fairly simple to recreate and are easily done.  But some can get very detailed, so modeling them can become cost ineffective.

While browsing through models on the SketchFab site, I saw several of these meshes created using software like Agisoft to stitch photos into a mesh that is textured from the photos themselves.

Agisoft example - Craigside Steps by SketchFab User Paul

Agisoft example – Craigside Steps by SketchFab User Paul

Well this seemed to be an effective solution to creating certain detailed objects without having to actually create a model of the object.

Thus the initial thoughts of putting an animation together, to test out these models, was conceived. And as I started with a couple models (the stairs and the tomb), I began to browse through models on SketchFab that were available for download and that also spoke to me in developing this unknown scene I was starting to create into some sort of “story”.

I ended up using 11 SketchFab models, downloaded from from 4 users, to create this current animation.

Mashup Animation 1 – Model Collection by evarvel on Sketchfab

My scene was created using Lumion3D, a software package geared towards architectural visualization, that allows for the surrounding scene (landscape/plantings/environment/etc) to be created and models to be imported into the scene, so then animations or stills can be rendered from those scenes.  

I spent a little time importing/scaling/rotating these models in the scene and then blending the scene around the objects.  After which I created some animations using Lumion’s ability to create animation clips.  And finally took the clips and some sound effects and a music track and blended it all together in Adobe Premier.  With a couple Adobe After Effects created for both an intro and a closing credits reel the project was done.

Thus the creation of my first Sketchfab Mashup. A fictional scene using several users models. It was fun for me but I would hope it also gives a few modelers on SketchFab an opportunity to let people see their models in “action” so to speak.

Will you be creating more of these?

I think the response from the users whose models I used on this has been positive. It would be interesting to see if others are interested in creating new Mashups with the technology they currently use and models that users on the SketchFab site are willing to submit for use on a project like this.  Or possibly have a request section from the modelers as an opportunity to have their models used in a future Mashup. I see this as being a good opportunity for exposure for both the animators and the modelers.  And this process of more Mashups created may make some users more apt to share their models for others to download and use as well.  I know I enjoyed putting this one together and have already worked on a second one.

For Mashup 2, 16 SketchFab models were used, downloaded from from 12 users.

Mashup Animation 2 – Search for Sméagol by evarvel on Sketchfab

Thanks, Erik!

About the author

Seori Sachs

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