Sketchfab improvement suggestions


(Ettienne) #1

Hi folks,

Archive formats

Recently I've been thinking about something that might be a good idea to implement (if it isn't already) that would make life easier for uploaders in general. As I tend to upload high poly models, compressing to zip format still keeps the file size pretty big to upload each time, so I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to support more archive formats.

For instance, 7z and winrar formats can compress files to an extremely small file size making it easier an faster to get them uploaded. Would it be possible to add support for these above mentioned formats or not?

HDRI Images

Another idea that came to mind a while ago was if it would be possible to implement the ability for uploaders to add a custom HDRI image, or panoramic image to be used as an "Environment Texture" in order to get good reflections from glossy surfaces for instance. Having tons of HDRI images myself, and being able to make panoramic images within blender, being able to add my own image to be used in the environment would allow for that bit more customization to get the most out of presenting your model to your viewer.

Environment Texture/map slot

As with the HDRI images for instance, having maybe another slot for specifically Environment textures to fake a reflection would be a great addition, if for instance one isn't keen on using an HDRI image, adding a texture to be used as an "Env" map would be quite useful. Similar to how it is done in video games, Env maps could be quite handy to create better looking materials in sketchfab as well as getting semi realistic reflections with no performance hit of any sort.

If any more ideas comes to mind, I'll suggest them here, just as some ideas, not as a "must be" implemented feature. :wink:

(Bart) #2

Hey thanks!

Regarding the compression, could you give us some sample data? How much space would you save by using those formats instead of zip?

@mauricesvay - do we have any plans for more HDRI/Environment map support?

(Mauricesvay) #3

We have imported environments for enterprise customers in the past. I don't know what are our plans for importing HDRI. @cedric probably knows more.

(Ettienne) #4

At the moment I actually have a model I'm in the process of finishing up which (uncompressed) is about 83.9mb, compressed with a standard .zip format, I get it down to 38mb, with the 7zip format I manage to hit the size down to 22 - 26mb with LMA2 compression.

The file contains 26 textures at 2k and 4k resolution and one model that is 56mb by itself if that helps.

Hi Maurice,

Thanks for the info, just a suggestion. smile

(Mrchlblng) #5

@xelus we already support rar and 7z on top of zip. We should probably make this more 'visible'.
If you experience any processing error with those compression formats do not hesitate to report the error.

(Bart) #6

Oh wow, I never knew. We should add that to the upload dialog @mauricesvay!

And @james, can you add this to our upload help page?

(Ettienne) #7

Hi mrchlblng

Thanks for the info, great to hear it is supported, by the day more I like sketchfab haha


Archives: Yep, only a few days ago I (accidentally) discovered we support 7z. Since then I've been using it exclusively. Of course JPGs and PNGs are (usually) compressed very, very efficiently, but for model files 7z can make a difference of 10-40% compared to ZIP, depending on the file format and compression level – totally worth it. It's a great way to push your 50MB / 200MB limit to the max.

Environments: We have a nice little script to convert and pack .hdr files into the reflection and background maps that we need. But at the moment, actually adding them to accounts has to be done manually server-side. Maybe we'll have a end-user GUI for it one day...

(Ettienne) #9

Hi James,

Thanks for the info. Was just an idea that came to mind seeing as I tend to usually use my own HDR images when rendering my models, there is a nice selection here on sketchfab that covers most of needs when you're looking at getting an environment to help make the model stand out.

I just noticed something else though. Is there any possible way to make the thumbnail completely separate from the actual model file, as I noticed recently with my Anvil as well as another model I'm busy uploading. When I take the screenshot at, say 30 degrees, and I then afterwards set the degrees back up to 60 and save the settings, the thumbnail seems to change to the 60 degree image, and not the original 30 degree one I took the first time.

Anyhow, thanks so much to you all for your hardwork, skethcfab feels like home. smile


I reproduced the behavior when using the Orientation XYZ buttons. But manually setting position/orientation without the buttons did not replace the thumbnail image. Can you confirm?

(Ettienne) #11

Odd, happened on both the anvil model as well as my dodge viper and the new Jewelry set I made. Hmm, will experiment a bit more with it and see if I can get it to reproduce the result.

(Ettienne) #12

With the recent addition of my Ultra - Minecraft Diamond block, something came to mind that I think could be quite a useful feature regarding reflections. Not too sure if there is already a way to do this however, if so I'll take another look at it.

Like many games out there, artists have various different texture slots each of which fill their own part in completing the final look of the model and its textures, one of these textures involve a "mask" type of texture, which specifies which parts of the model should reflect the environment, and which parts shouldn't.

For example:

With the Ultra Minecraft pickaxe, I have a wooden handle, but an iron head, I want the iron head to reflect the HDR image, but not the wooden handle, instead of making two separate materials one can only make one material for the pickaxe, with the addition of adding the simple (grayscale) mask map to specify which parts should reflect the HDR image, and which parts shouldn't. Black = 0% reflection, whereas White = 100% reflection.

Would this be possible to implement at some point?


You should be able to do this with your Specular and Gloss map...but I have little experience in that area... maybe someone like @mestaty or @juang3d has advice?

(Mestaty) #14

@james is right in sketchfab the specular factor is used like a mask for the environmental reflexion. If the spec is 0 no environmental reflection, if 1 then 100 reflection

(Bart) #15

Hey @mestaty, would you be able to write a (very) short tutorial on that for our blog? It's a great tip to share!

(Mauricesvay) #16

Support for .rar and .7z archives is now properly advertised in the upload popup.

Thanks for your feedback!

(Ettienne) #17

HI folks,

So recently working a lot with sketchfab, I noticed something that is causing a bit of discomfort. This is mainly related to the way importing textures are being handled. When importing textures as well as Fixed backgrounds, instead of sketchfab replacing/overwrite the texture/background with the same name, it creates duplicate of said texture/background image with the exact same name.

Is it possible to be able to overwrite existing textures with a new/updated version when importing it, same goes for the Fixed background images?

Also, would it be possible to add a function to be able to delete fixed backgrounds and old textures, if they didn't overwrite the old one? I have a list of images in my "Fixed Background" menu that I don't use as the backgrounds were updated but they didn't overwrite the old one, now I'm sitting with a ton of unused images and I cannot delete them.

I'd like to be able to get rid of the ones I don't use anymore, for both textures and Backgrounds, more so for backgrounds.

Kind Regards

(Mauricesvay) #18

Hi @xelus,

we just released an update. You should now be able to delete unused background and unused textures. Let us know if you encounter any issues!

(Ettienne) #20

Hi Folks,

Apologies if this is resurrecting an old thread. Seeing as I'm finally back and able to upload again, I've been thinking of a few improvements you guys could possibly look at IF you epic folks aren't already working on them. I'm aware that you guys are working hard on getting sketchfab to work as best as you can, so none of these is a must, but merely just suggestions :stuck_out_tongue:

Shadow casting

Enable the user to be able to turn off shadow casting on any model. This could help in making sure things like particle effects, Custom Sky Dome Meshes or effects like light shafts etc don't cast shadows, or at the very least, allow for more possibilities of using lights that cast shadows.


Super excited to see animation is getting implemented, with that I'd like to know if it would be possible to somehow implement a sort of motion blur filter on models, not necessarily something that overlays the camera but rather a sort of "per-model" motion blur effect. Haven't worked with animations in sketchfab myself, but noticed from those who have uploaded animations there isn't something like this to make the animations appear more fluid.

Always face camera

I've been running across a few situations where I thought it would be quite handy to have a model or "sprite" having a setting to "always face camera". This could be useful for plane effects like flares, explosions and small debris.

PBR Reflections

With the recent implementation of PBR, I've been thinking about something could possibly improve reflection quality of models if they are part of a scene that has a few models surrounding them. Would it be possible to implement real-time reflections into PBR, maybe have a setting that could regulate the quality of the real-time reflections, and mix the reflection value with the roughness/metallic values. If this is on the road map already, apologies. :stuck_out_tongue:

Displacement mapping / Parallax Mapping

Now from a game engine point of view, both effects are quite good, though parallax mapping isn't an easy shader to implement or one that would be very performance friendly for lower end graphics cards, though I do believe it would be nice to have any of these effects in sketchfab. This could keep polygons at a minimum, and still be able to get detailed quality from its surface. Normal Parallax mapping would be definitely a step up, occlusion parallax mapping is a lot more intense on hardware, so that might not necessarily be a good idea to use IF parallax is added. xD

Camera Lens Effects / Bokeh

With the additions of bloom, chromatic aberration and all the other awesome effects, I've been thinking of how one could make these effect such as bloom look in some cases more realistic. Would it be possible to add a camera filter for Lens Dirt / Bokeh?

This can be especially useful on something like a jet engine's jet blast, or the bright glow effect from lights that face the camera almost directly.The filter can be regulated with a threshold / radius and brightness value that could ensure that the effect can be customized to fit the user's scene.

For example, like this effect on the camera.

Texture Distortion

This would likely fall with Displacement, however this effect could be useful for something like water, glass or heat distortion effects for something like jet engines or lava, to make them appear more realistic. Ultimately something like a normal map could effect the amount in which the distortion effect takes places.

Lens Flares

This could go together with general camera filters. As with the Lens Dirt, the flare could be adjusted according to threshold, size of the flare and brightness of the flare. Models that glow would definitely look a lot nicer with this sort of effect available, especially on things like car headlights, street lamps, jet engines, and objects that have an emission color to them. if however this filter could be added, it could be even nicer to be able to upload a custom lens flare texture with a black background to be used.


@xelus Thanks for the awesome feedback, and welcome back :smile:

Shadow casting

We do have realtime shadows now, but you currently cannot choose which objects cast shadows. You can turn shadows on or off for each light in the scene:

Motion Blur

Cool idea!

Always face camera

We've had some requests for "billboard planes" and it's something we would like to implement in the future

PBR Reflections

One day :smiley:

Displacement mapping / Parallax Mapping

Not on our road map at the moment, but maybe one day.

Camera Lens Effects / Bokeh / Lens Flares

Would be cool. I guess the closest effect we have right now is Bloom.

I've reported and/or added your +1 to these ideas - thanks! :smile: