How should we improve our 3D Scanning Thursday?

(Bart) #1

Hey all,

I spent some time this morning thinking about our weekly 3D Scanning Thursday (3DST) challenge. It has generated awesome 3D scans, but it seems like the enthusiasm is slowly decreasing. I'd like to take a moment to pick your brain and learn what you think we should change!

Some of the things that are on my mind are:

  • Maybe the topics don't 'work' for you?
  • There's not enough time to submit an entry.
  • The Sketchfab team tends to submit a lot of entries - does that put you off?

I'd love to hear your suggestions, and of course there will be a new 3DST coming up later today smile


3DST35 - "New and Improved!"
3DST36 - Romance
(Crlnvl) #2


Maybe the schedule isn't the best. I think if we knew the subject of the 3DST before the week-end, we would have time to take photos during the week-end. Currently we don't have a lot of time to take pictures/scan something -- most of us are working during the week I think. So maybe reveal the theme of the 3DST on Thursday or Friday and allow submission until Tuesday.

(R0m1 R) #3

Hi there,
I'm totally agree with crlnvl, timing is short and the challenge could be to use a specific software:
-123d catch
-smart3Dcapture free edition
-agisoft demo

like that, there won't be too much differences in the scans and we will juge people on their ability to understand how to shoot a model to get the best of photogrammetry.


(Sofa Arte) #4

For me not having enough time is the major inconvenient. Often when i read the email reminder i've already planned my weekend and during the week i'm busy with the university and work. Maybe a 2 week time frame would work better.

(Jks Rnr) #5

Hi there,

I agree with Crlnvl regarding the timing.
I also think that the prize is not attractive enough. The greatest thing would be to get our winning model 3D printed. (I understand that it is quite complicated to do as lots of our submisssions are not 3D printable as is).
Maybe a little bit more visibility for the winner could be a good motivation as well.

Best regards,
JK's R'n'R

(Bart) #6

Hey guys,

yeah I can understand about the timing. I think we'd still like to keep this a weekly thing, but I can understand the need for a little more time and including a weekend might be a good idea.

@R0m1R - I've considered limiting the software too, but it might exclude groups of people due to system requirements, wouldn't you think?

(Gerrit Schulze) #7

Hi Bart,

Mostly the timeframe is too short, to get a good idea realized, between the usual CG work.

I mean an idea good enough to be worth to spend so much time for.

Given that it is quite some work - not to scan something within a few ours - but to output a decent, well textured, relatively flawless and advanced model, I mostly decide not to take part in the competition.

And yes, I expect my model to be sunk in the mass of entries, if I may say that.

Best regards,

(Bart) #8

Hi @gerritschulze - understood! Would including a weekend give you enough time, or would you need more?

(Bart) #9

Oh, another one: what about prizes? Are the $25 3D Hubs coupons interesting enough?

(Gerrit Schulze) #10

Yes, to have an additional weekend would help to decide if taking part is worth the effort and to get something done.

On the other hand I only would start a scan project for #3DST, which I will be able to use for anything else afterwards.

So, for me, it is not only a question of having fun or the value of the reward.

(Chaitanyak) #11

the prizes are fine.. the timing i guess is the thing..
my partner has an online comic ( ) she's figured out that launching a new comic on friday gives it the maximum visibility, likes, hits across all social media ..

so to give it more traction maybe we need to work something around that day? either announce the theme on a Friday.. or announce the winners on Friday..

i don't know if that logic makes sense?

the software categorization may not be thaat necessary.. i see @R0m1R 's point though..

but i have seen some people achieving really good results with the more "humble" applications smile so i guess it does come down to skill and patience.. and subject matter

also some of the themes.. eg: winter .. make no sense to someone like me.. since the winter here is just a few degrees colder.. theres no snowy stuff etc to scan wink or maybe am not being creative enough.

(Abby Crawford) #12

For me, the only issue is whether I can create a scan that I think is of high enough quality to submit. With this last theme I tried a few things and none of them worked, so I didn't end up participating.

The scheduling is fine for me, but I do think that there would be more participation if submission were to run over the weekend and then voting occurred during the week. I like that it's a weekly contest and I think that the prize is good.

(Tauricity) #13

Also agree - having more time, would be helpful. Having the weekend, perhaps?
I don't think limiting by hardware or software will make more people participate.

How about this: instead of the winner picking the next topic, you pick the topics, Bart.
Then, the winner gets to decide which scan wins the next week (they pick their favorite), instead of relying on votes. It'd also be nice if they could tell us why they liked that scan the best.

That way you can have the week's topic out on a very regular schedule, and instead of a fan favorite we'll get a unique perspective on 3d scanning every week. I know I'd have picked a scan that did not win, several times, for reasons other than asthetics.

I understand that having people vote is a draw to the site, but having the winner pick might make people more likely to enter. (Everyone loves to tell other people why their opinion is better!)

Also, having a direct link on the front page of Sketchfab would help. Right now I go to
and I'd have no idea that there are different contests going on. Even just a text link at the top would be sufficient, instead of making me find it through dropdown menus or google searches, which is usually how I find the page for 3dst because it's fastest.


(Juang3d) #14

Hi, guys!
In my side, I haven't been able to join these last 3DST events due to time (too much work on December-January). Some times I didn't join it due to a difficult topic, but I don't think that's a general problem.
Maybe I would change the time that the people have to submit entries.
One "weird" thing that I've noticed in the contest is that not always wins the best entry, but the most voted... I mean, if you see all the entries and you vote for the best one, that would be great, but usually there is a huge difference among viewed models. Maybe you don't have to use the most voted entry, but using a kind of questionnaire (yes, I know it has some disadvantages aswell). Well, it was just a curious thing that I noticed, but, sure, it doesn't have to do with the point of this topic ("decreasing of the people joining 3DST").
But I'm sure the Sketchfab team's submits have nothing to do with the total amount of entries submitted. Moreover, in my opinion, the entries of Sketchfab team inspire the people to make 3D scans.You know, the more entries, the better! smile
And last but not least... what about a 3DST award? stuck_out_tongue

(Gerpho) #15

Right now this challenge is mainly a challenge in terms of how fast a scan can be done . It doesn't leave much time for trial and error.
My feeling is these challenges should stimulate the participants to try and go beyond their usual limits.

I agree with Gerrit and Abby : I'd only participate if I feel the challenge is worth the time spent on it, and if I find something worth posting.

Why not vary the challenges : some on speed only, others quality, others beauty... so that everyone can participate depending on his/her preference and skills. And leave plenty of time too (a couple of week), so that it can be squeezed into our schedules.

(Luis Rodriguez) #16


I have taken part in some 3D Scanning Thursday "contest" and, to me, it has been a nice excuse for capturing reality and publishing it according to the suggestive titles chain. I think that it is nice that to be that way.

Regarding timing, well, I cannot compromise to be there every week, but try to keep an aye on subjects and -when possible- bring up a model. Indeed there is "time availability" issue that we all deal with in our lives.

What I rather not like at all is the voting system. Please do not misunderstand me. I think that it is a great idea that "the community" gets to "vote" the most liked model. But then who is exactly the jury?. My user experience: I publish a model, check out if there are more under the tag, and star my favourite... and the ones submitted later?... oh did´t get time to check them out... or I may -why not- start 2, or 3 or more models... yes, only one time but...

I am just joking, do not take it bad but I believe that maybe it would be nice that only participants on the even where able to vote, that all participants acceded a "final list of entries" and thus could vote "with knowledge". And well, how to say it: one vote one person, as it has been "long time ago". That would grant that the award was to consider all subjective and individualistic likes and approaches to the 3D scanning art were represented equally, or at least the ones that were to participate that good Thursday.

And the coupon price... I live in Canary Island. Shipping from anywhere is more that that. Taxation apart. Price is not my main motivation I could say. I would rather a bitcoin tip!



(Jtressle) #17


I agree with the others on including the weekend.

Adding to the idea @tauricity had regarding linking on the front page, I'd like to see an activity feed of which models are being entered into the latest contest. Right now, I need to enter #3DST.. into the search bar. Having the feed will also be a gentle nudge I need to get my scan in. The new newsfeed has increased my engagement in Sketchfab so it could work for the contest.

Secondly, putting a timer next to the 3DST link stating "2 days and 21hours left" wouldn't hurt:)


(Bart) #18

Hey all,

wow, such great responses here! Thanks so much for taking the time to think along with us.

I won't answer every message in detail, but I did read and think about each one, and discussed them in the team.

Here's what I would like to propose to try for the next few weeks:

  • We announce the new topic on Friday. I like @chaitanyak's suggestion there, especially if people are looking for a weekend activity.
  • You have until Thursday to submit your entry, so we're including a weekend and extending the total time from 4 days to 6.
  • We pick a weekly topic ourselves, or even better: we keep this conversation going and let you guys post suggestions too. It's true that sometimes topics aren't suitable for everyone (Snow in India is hard to find, I'm sure wink, but maybe that can't be entirely avoided.
  • People can still vote for their favorites (of course), but we'll let the winner of the previous round select his favorite scan, I'll ask him to write a few lines about why he feels this is this week's best work. The winner will be announced on Friday too.
  • I'll ask around about what we can do to deliver an actual 3D Print of your model as a prize- maybe I can call in the help of the 3D Hubs community to make these models printable for us.
  • I'll pin the contest to the forum for more visibility.

How's that?



(Andy lewis) #19

Woa! How did I miss this thread?!

Well, speaking as a past winner on two occasions ( smiley ) heheh

I think all of your changes are just what we need, Bart. It would be lovely to see our work show-cased somewhere for a while, just to give it ( us?) a little extra profile. I spent both of my prizes at the same time on one print at Shapeways, so it would be handy if the voucher value was a tad higher. As I've got a 3D printer, and I'm on 3DHubs I'd probably end up sending myself an order! Never quite got to the bottom of that one, did we? smile

Aaaaannnddd! If it's printable and I have the time, I'd be happy to print it. I've only got one printer right now but I've got 2 more on their way ( Via Kickstarter, so who knows when they'll arrive! ). And NO, Phillippe, I won't print it out full-size!




(Tauricity) #20

Those all sound like great ideas, though I think many 3d scanned objects are going to be very difficult to make manifold for printing and may not look like much, printed w/o their color textures,.

Otherwise, the Friday idea is great, it'll be good to know exactly when it comes out.

How about that idea of a link on the home page to the forum thread? Oh and @andylewis 's idea of putting the winner on the front page, at least for the day, is a great idea. The exposure of being on the homepage would probably be at least a big of a draw as the other prize.