First let me introduce myself for those who don't know me yet. I am Mieke Roth, science illustrator for over a decade now.
And among the first users of Sketchfab.
Most of the work me and my peers do, ends up on 2d displays. Doesn't matter if it's printed media or online, except for video, the use of current techniques is still in its infancy within the scientific illustration community.
Luckily I see that changing. Slowly but steady, I see more and more museums and research groups making use of 3d scans and displaying those scans online.
But that still isn't scientific visualization.
Scanning is to scientific visualization what photography is to scientific illustration. It is really great to look at, but it needs something more if you want to use it in science communication (because that is basically what scientific visualization is: communicating scientific insights to an audience).
So scientific visualization, like their illustration counterpart, requires insight and knowledge and the skills to convey that knowledge in a effective way.
A lot of my work here on Sketchfab therefor is, strictly speaking, no scientific visualization.
That is because most of my models here are originally used as a base for a 2d illustration. So they are stubs. Only recently I started making use of the full potential of Sketchfab regarding scientific visualization.
And that takes a different approach of 3d models than purely for 2d print.
In order to make proper use of real time scientific 3d, models need to be smaller and things that could be done after modeling in Photoshop for example, need to be incorporated into the model itself.
Like a friend of mine said, he is a teacher: "a 3d scan of a skull looks awesome, but I rather have a plain illustration. Then I know what I am looking at."
(above) this is scientific visualization...
* (above) this isn't..*
That is the base of scientific visualization: visualizing something in such a way that your audience knows what they are looking at and even can learn something from it. And not just see a pretty model and go on with the rest of their lives.
This is a rather elaborate introduction into my question here.
I want to start a discussion here on Sketchfab among the present users and everybody that likes to join and has some connection with scientific visualization about the use of Sketchfab in scientific visualization.
I see a lot of models scattered all over Sketchfab that could be used within scientific visualization and I would love to see more. Also I would love to discuss the possibilities of Sketchfab in real science communication. What is needed to encourage use of real 3d in science communication?
Do we need more easy to use examples of the viewer api ( http://miekeroth.com/blog/2016/02/03/real-3d-model-application/ ) or can we use the annotations more to our advantage?
How do we convert models that are first used for 2d use into something that would be great in real 3d? Do we need a game model approach for that or can we stay in between the really large models and the low poly ones? What about animation and the possibilities of having several animations on one model?
And most of all I would love to see as many examples as possible of sketchfab used in real scientific visualization.
The best ones will be in my Artist Picks.