Sketchfab Forum

Exploded view product

(Camille1) #1


First, I would like to thank you for your amazing tool, I just start using it and I already feel the power of it! Congrats!
I discovered it thanks to a formlabs exploded view of product:
I am very interested in creating a similar exploded view of a product and I am currently wandering how to create the animation? Is it something I can do using timeframe text file as I saw in the animation help page? Do I need to use a software like blender or maya to create a fbx or blend file?

Best regards,

(Bart) #2

Hi Camille,

it would depend on the effect you're trying to achieve. Timeframe animation is best for 'stop motion' style animation, while if you need smooth movements I'd recommend creating a keyframed animation in tools like Blender, 3DS Max or Maya yes.


We recently added transforms to our Timeframe feature, so you could create a timeframe that uses translations to create an exploded view animation.

(Camille1) #4


Thank you very much for the support ! I finally tried the evalution version of 3ds max and get something pretty good so far:

I still have some issue exporting the material, it seems like only standard material mapped with bipmap images and embedded during the FBX export are well imported into sketchfab.
Is there any guideline for material / texture import?

Again thank you !


Are you using 3rd party rendering tools like Vray, etc.?

FBX will only support regular materials and textures.

(Misan) #6

Hi James.

I am trying the timeframe feature and I am hitting a wall. While I get simple scenes to work, it appears that as soon as I have more than about 10 objects things get out of control.

Same scene will give an error 31 (maybe excess processing time on the backend?) or will work ok if I cut the last half of my skectfab.timeframe file.

Are there any limits on the number of meshes, lines of timeframe file or number of totations, transltions? If it is we'd like to know.

Second problem in the same scenario is that some meshes are not shown at all, not sure why. Total size of meshes is 36MB and there are about 40 of them (each one smaller than 1M).


Happy to take a closer look if you send me the model URL or the files. I think we're having an email conversation through support@ too, so feel free to send it there instead.

(Misan) #8

@james My sketchfab.timeframe looks like this:
1 n1.ply+b1.ply
1 n1.ply+b1.ply+n2.ply+b2.ply
1 n1.ply+b1.ply+n2.ply+b2.ply+n3.ply+b3.ply
1 n1.ply+b1.ply+n2.ply+b2.ply+n3.ply+b3.ply+n4.ply+b4.ply
1 n1.ply+b1.ply+n2.ply+b2.ply+n3.ply+b3.ply+n4.ply+b4.ply+n5.ply+b5.ply
1 n1.ply+b1.ply+n2.ply+b2.ply+n3.ply+b3.ply+n4.ply+b4.ply+n5.ply+b5.ply+n6.ply+b6.ply
... and so on

Where each n?.ply is the shape of a number and b?.ply is a 3D shape of a part. The sample animation can be seen at

A by misan on Sketchfab

What I am missing are the numbers that should appear as the same time each new part appears.

I have no clue why the numbers are not shown but the parts are.

By reducing the sketchfab.timeframe file to the two first lines I got something working as this other example shows:

But I fail to see why a longer timeframe file is causing trouble.

Same idea but using STL files instead of PLY seems to work ok:

(Misan) #9

Ok, I answer to myself: It turns out you should use obj files only if you want to get it right. Doing the same job with OBJ file does in fact render the desired result

A by misan on Sketchfab

Given the intructions only mentioned obj files on the timeframe feature I guess I am the one at fault here. However, I would then recommend you stress that on the instructions of the timeframe animation feature.

Why the parts orientation has changed in this case I do not know.