More web-based model viewers?! Say it isn’t so. Yes, yes it is so. Sketchfab has actually been around for a bit, but there’s more to upload-n-go site than meets the eye. While many of the 3D web viewers are focused on building in a high level of collaboration, battling back and forth with each other on features and funding, Sketchfab has one very simple focus.
Embed example of the Sketchfab viewer (Click to view!)
I heard of the Sketchfab model publishing platform back in April of 2012. They launched their redesigned site and Pro service ($12/£7/9€/month) this past August which introduced private sharing, password protection, unbranded viewer and storage up to 100 models. Based on models views alone, they have quite an active community. However, they’re not focused on the editing, annotating collaborative aspects of a model-sharing community. Alban Denoyel, Co-founder & COO tells us, “our focus is perfect display and super easy interface.”
And it is. The only thing you’ll wonder about is what the buttons on the lower toolbar do and how to get the Disqus comment box to go away when you try to make a comment. Along with the Pro options, thy also have a Business option ($167/£104/129€/month) that ups the storage, plus gives you analytics and domain control. Looking at the site layout and the toolbox tucked over to the right sidebar, my bet is they’re planning to bring more shop aspects to it as well.
There are a few features of Sketchfab I like above the other competing model share sites.
- Responsive site layout
- Awesome fullscreen viewer
- Clean, simple interface
- High quality, smooth viewing
- Maya, 3ds Max, SketchUp, Blender export
- API available on Github
- WordPress plugin
I’m excited to see more development in this area from smaller start-ups. It’s surprising that the larger 3D software companies haven’t come out with their own take on web-based collaboration or model viewing. Are these actually that useful to you though? Do you just want to share your models? or do you want to collaborate on projects as well?