What is Sketchfab?Your 3D models belong here
Sketchfab is a web service to publish, share and embed interactive 3D models online in real-time without plugin. The world around us is in 3D, but the web is still in 2D, and we want to change that. We think your 3D models deserve something better than screenshots or "showreel" videos. That's why we created Sketchfab. We understand 3D and bring it to the web. Take a look at our intro video below to learn more.
Who is it for?
Sketchfab is for everyone! For folks who make 3D content and want to show and share it: artists, designers, engineers, brands, architects, 3D scanners, etc. And for people who just want to browse an awesome new media and dive into incredible environments.
How does it work?
Sketchfab doesn't require any third application installation to work, you just need a WebGL compatible browser. Create a free account and upload a 3D model in one of our 27 supported formats. Our server will process it, and we use standard technology (WebGL and HTML5) to display it in real-time in the browser. You can add meta information and share your model on the web. You can remove the models you uploaded at anytime from your dashboard. And you can embed our viewer on any web page. It's just like youtube, but for 3D files. Awesome, right?!
Sketchfab supports textures, normal maps, specular, diffuse, transparency, lights... If you have textures to upload, you can zip together in a folder your texture files (.jpg or .png, not supported yet: .tiff), your material file (.mtl) and your model file and directly upload the .zip file. If you use blender you can just pack your textures into the blender file. If you face difficulties uploading correctly your model, feel free to contact the support.
You can also upload directly from your 3D software with one of our exporters.
Which formats are supported?
A lot :) Namely:
> Blender (.blend),
> Collada (.dae),
> Wavefront (.obj),
> FBX (.fbx),
> Design Web Format (.dwf),
> OpenSceneGraph (.osg, osgt, osgb, ive),
> 3DS (.3ds),
> Lightwave (.lwo, .lws),
> Polygon File Format (.ply),
> Virtual Reality Modeling Language (.wrl),
> Open Inventor (.iv),
> Shape (.shp),
> Standard Tessellation Language (.stl),
> Biovision Hierarchy (.bvh),
> Open Flight (.flt),
> ac3d (.ac),
> DirectX (.x),
> Designer Workbench (.dw),
> 3DC point cloud (.3dc),
> carbon graphics Inc (.geo),
> Generic Tagged Arrays (.gta),
> Keyhole Markup Language (.kmz).
Material shader: diffuse (toon, lambert, fresnel, Oren Nayar, mineart) and specular (cooktorrence, phong, blinn toon, wardiso) are supported.
Texture Material: image and need UV channels are supported. Operations between texture channel are handled with the Mix and Multiply operator. Channel diffuse (color, intensity, alpha), specular channel (color, intensity, hardness), geometry normal map (in tangent space) are supported as well.
Light: Lamp, Sun, Spot and Hemi are suported. If there is area light in your scene it will be converted to Hemi light.
Hidden elements: The model can be empty because of hidden items. Make sure the layer you want to export is visible and your nodes are not hidden or the mesh will not be exported. This happens for example with hidden armatures used by a model.
Encoding: There are some issues with string encoding for names. It's better to name your stuff in with ASCII / UTF-8 characters.
Diffuse, Specular, Bitmap-textures and Transparency are supported. Normal maps and normal-bump texturemap in the bump-slot are supported. Make sure you give the normal-bump a unique name in the scene.
Some community members have experimented with some of the VRML upload issues. If you have a vrml file that does not work, then try to check and be sure your color values are in the range [0-1]. Values such as 1.35 are outside the range and return an invalid vrml file.
Which browsers are compatible?
Sketchfab is based on WebGL, which is available on Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari (to enable it on Safari: 1/ go to Preferences > Advanced > Show Developer menu in menu bar 2/ Go to header Develop > Enable WebGL). WebGL is reportedly coming into IE11 as well. You can check here if your browser is compatible. On non modern browsers, you can install chrome frame. We also have an image-based fallback displaying a 360° view of your model if WebGL isn't available.
There are two ways to observe and manipulate your models: orbit (known as turntable) or like you do in a first person shooter.
You can also navigate in Sketchfab with the space navigator by 3dconnexion.
How to embed a model?
Embedding a model on your website is really easy. Go to a model's page, find the share link on the footer of the model. Mouse over the share link and click on EMBED. Now you simply copy and paste the code into the destination page.
Here is an example:
autostart: set this to 1 or 0. If set to 0, the viewer will display the screenshot of the model with a “play” button, and will only launch when the user clicks on it. If set to 1, the viewer will launch as soon as the page is loaded. This option can be useful if your page is full of embedded models from sketchfab: you'd better set it to '0' in order to stop the autostart and not overload the user's browser.
autospin: any number. You want to make your model spin on itself, now you can! The number you will set here is the speed of the rotation made by the 3D model. Set a negative value and your model will spin in the other direction.
controls: set this to 1 or 0. If set to 0, the controls in the embed will not be shown.
transparent: set this to 1 or 0. If set to 1, the background of the embedded viewer will be transparent. If left to 0, it will be a grid as on Sketchfab.
Embed on Facebook
Embed on Wordpress
Embed on Behance
You can easily embed your models in your Behance portfolio, just grab the embed code and paste it in the "embed media" section of a new project on Behance. Embed on Behance tutorial.
Embed on Kickstarter
You can easily embed your models in your Kickstarter campaign, just grab the url of your model and paste it in the YouTube slot as if it was a video. Embed on Kickstarter tutorial.
Embed on web platforms:
Embed in forums
Some forums accept Sketchfab iframes, including:
For other forums, you can use the bbCode provided in the embed options, it will display the thumbnail of your model with a link to view it in 3D. Here is an example on CG Society.
If you are a forum and want to add a native Sketchfab embed feature for your users, we have a set of ready-made plugins for the following platforms:
> Simple Machines Forum (SMF)
> CKeditor-based text editors: vBulletin, IPB (Invision Power Board)
Sketchfab supports textures, normal maps, specular, diffuse, transparency, lights... If you have textures to upload, you can zip your texture files together in a folder (.jpg or .png, not supported yet: .tiff) together with your material file (.mtl) and your model file and directly upload the .zip file. Make sure not to exceed 16 texture units.
The thumbnail of your model is automatically generated just after your upload. You can take a new screenshot of your model by clicking on the little camera next to the title. You need to wait until the end of the spining blue wheel for it to be used as thumbnail. The screenshot also sets the inital camera view.
You need to avoid special characters in the name of your files and materials. If you use special characters (like é or à), your upload will fail.
I can't see vertex color on my .obj file
The specification of the .obj file format does not support vertex color, meaning your 3d software can't export with vertex color or if it does it's a hack.
You can delete your models at anytime by going to your dashboard, then when your mouse is over one of the thumbnails you will see a little edit wheel. Click on it, and you will see the delete option.
You can re-upload a model from the model's settings panel. It will replace the old model with the new one, but keep the same url and stats (view counts, likes...).
Environments offer a 360° panorama background for your models, and reflections will be made using this background. Models can also be illuminated by the environment using an High Dynamic Range model which should provide interresting and nice warm lighting scenes.
Environment are provided by HDRLabs thanks to Christian Bloch. Process for creating your own HDR environment is explained in details in The HDRI Handbook 2.0.
We support transparency but in order to have a good rendering, you should separate the transparent materials and non transparent materials. For example imagine you have a character with hair transparency. The hair geometry should be separated from the body that is not transparent, because the engine will sort all transparent geometry and will draw them after solid geometry.
Your transparency texture can be either a .png or a .jpg. If it's a png, you will need an alpha channel to make it work. If it's a jpg, greyscale will do. You can also adjust the transparency of your materials using the "opacity" slider of the material editor, available from the edit panel of the viewer. Here is a blog post on how to deal with transparency.
If your scene contains lights we will use it to light your models, but if not we provide two default directional lights on the camera.
The material editor is a tool to fine-tune the rendering of each material of your scene in real-time in the Sketchfab viewer. It is available from the edit panel, in the right side of the viewer. It lists all your materials with the names you gave them. Picking a material will center the camera view on it and select its area on the model. All your textures are listed there too, you can swap them or upload new ones, as well as pick a color with our color picker. Check this blog post on how to use it in detail.
You can find many tutorials on how to make beautiful models and how to publish them easily on Sketchfab on our blog. Here are some of them:
> 3dsMax to Sketchfab
> Zbrush to Sketchfab
> Blender to Sketchfab
> C4D to Sketchfab
Plans & pricing
You can join Sketchfab for free! You will be able to upload an unlimited number of public models of 50 MB each! You can also enjoy unlimited views and embeds.
If you want to share your models privately or need bigger uploads you can upgrade to the Pro version. If you want to use Sketchfab for commercial purposes, you need to upgrade to our business version. If you are a school, a cultural institution or a non-profit organization, contact us to get a discount.
Your subscription will be automatically renewed every month or every year, according to the plan you subscribed to. You can cancel your subscription whenever you want to. If you do so, don't worry: we will not delete anything. The latest uploads exceeding the limits of the free account will be frozen though, you will only be able to delete them. All your stats will be saved so that whenever you choose to re-upgrade, everything will be in place.
sketchfab.me is the first service to create your own professional 3D portfolio website, powered by Sketchfab. It allows you to host and display an unlimited number of models, to organise them in folders, to present yourself and your work, and to get contacted through your public profile or the portfolio interface.
To get started, you need to upgrade to sketchfab.me, create folders from your dashboard and add models to them, update your logo and profile picture, choose a landing model, and you will be all set! sketchfab.me is free for students, just register with your student email address or drop us a line if you want to check if your school is on our list.
Your portfolio is fully responsive, and 100% compatible with any device and browser.
How to make a 3D model?
There are hundreds of great software packages that you can use to design a 3D model, including free ones such as Blender or SketchUp. You can also use 3D reconstruction tools such as 123D Catch or Skanect.
If you need a 3D model, we can ask our community to make it for you. Simply reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your needs and budget.
Where can I check for new features?
Today, Sketchfab works on Android 4.0 with Firefox beta or Chrome beta. It is good to know that WebGL is also running on IOS (iPad, iPhone), but is only enabled for ads at the moment. When WebGL isn't available, we have an image-based fallback displaying a 360° view of your model.
As soon as you want to publish something online, and display it on someone else's computer, you have to give it to them in some way or another, and an evil-minded hacker can get parts of it. You have the same concern with ANY online industry: movies, music, etc... and any service to publish content: YouTube, Soundcloud.... You can try to hide the data as much as possible, but someone will still be able to take it.
However, you should keep in mind that 3D is complex, even more than video or music are. Every digital input has an inside structure you can't see, and the outside face you can see. It's the very same thing for a 3D file: a hacker could get the overall look, but not the parts composing the model, and he wouldn't be able to edit the original file on a 3D software in the end.
What one can get is what one can see. Yes, someone could get one big triangulated mesh, but it would need to be retopologized, and a 3D artist could remake the same model from scratch in less time.
No one can completely secure data published online, that's the reality. At sketchfab, we take this matter very seriously, and are working on several options to protect models, including private features with password protection.
And regarding Microsoft's concern that WebGL raises too many security risks, we suggest you read Mozilla's answer.
Models uploaded to Sketchfab are not available for download. If you want to put some of your models available for free download, under the Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license, let us know and we'll add a download button in the caption of your model.
It does not work, what can I do ?
Make sure you have your gfx driver and your browser up to date. If it does not help, try different browsers listed above. If it's still does not work, contact support and we will help you.
sketchfab.me, our service to create your 3D portfolio website, is free for 3D students. Drop us a line if you want to check if your school is on our list of partners.
We are always looking for new talented people to join our team. If you are passionate with 3D and want to be part of a great adventure, drop us a line explaining what would you like to do with us, and why you are the best person to do it.
A few articles to know more about us:
> "A unique way to show 3D content" (TechCrunch - Aug 16th, 2012)
> "Explore embedded CAD objects in your browser with Sketchfab" (WIRED - Oct 5th, 2012)
> "Sketchfab’s new portfolio tool finally lets 3D designers ditch the demo reel" (VentureBeat - March 26th, 2013)
> "Sketchfab brings smooth simple model viewing to the web" (solidsmack - Oct 15th, 2012)
> "A godsend for 3D designers" (Smashing Magazine - Oct 23rd, 2012)
> "The promise of WebGL realized" (GraphicSpeak - May 17th, 2012)
> "The YouTube of 3D content" (The Rude Baguette - Aug 21st, 2012)
Sketchfab was launched in France in March 2012 and has offices in NYC and Paris. Sketchfab is a TechStars company, alumni of Le Camping and Mozilla WebFWD accelerator programs, best lightweight startup of the Europas Awards 2013, and in the top 8 startups of the Pioneers Festival 2012.
> Alban, CEO
> Cédric, CTO
> Pierre-Antoine, CPO
> Paul, 3D developer
> Mael, frontend developer
> Ron, business development